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South Asian cinema

South Asian cinema refers to the cinema of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives. The terms Asian cinema, Eastern cinema and Oriental cinema in common usage often encompass South Asia as well as East Asia and South East Asia. See also Asian cinema, East Asian cinema and Southeast Asian cinema.

File:Asian geographical divisions (south, east, west and south-east).png
The geographical divisions of Asia- South (orange), East (green), west (light green) and south-east (blue)

Styles and genres

The scope of South Asian cinema is huge and takes in a wide array of different film styles, linguistic regions and genres. South Asian cinema is particularly famous in the West for:

Regional industries

India contains many state languages which have film industries centered around them. Although Hindi is the official language of government business of northern regions of India, its often-used dialect Hindustani is the most widespread language but covering only 40% of the total population, and English is widely understood irrespective of region, the state languages are preserved for official use by different states in India, and many have as many speakers as an average European nation. Regional industries have also tended to produce a higher percentage of serious art film and political film. Bangladeshi cinema is filmed in Bengali and Sri Lankan cinema is filmed in Sinhala and Tamil. Last but not least is Indonesian cinema. In the beginning the Indonesian cinema grew after World War I, rooted from the Folk Theater Drama called Dardanela. Under Usmar Ismail, Indonesian cinema became the new entertainment in 1950 to 1980. Hundred of film stars were born, such as: Citra Dewi (1960), Tanty Yosepha (1970). Yenny Rachman and Christine Hakim (1980) and Dian Sastro (late 1990s). Teguh Karya was one of the leading Film Director in Indonesia after the era of Usmar Ismail. Now, by the popularity of television, film is replaced with electronic cinema which is popular as sinetron. This industry has made the Indian born producer, Raam Punjabi, a tycon of sinetron in Indonesia.

Indian cinema

Main article: Cinema of India

Pakistani cinema

Main article: Cinema of Pakistan

Bangladeshi cinema

Main article: Cinema of Bangladesh


Key figures of South Asian cinema

With the rise in popularity of South Asian cinema in the West, especially due to the twenty million Indian immigrants spread across the world, Western audiences are becoming more familiar with many of the industry's film-makers and stars. Some, like Satyajit Ray, who has been praised as the greatest director of all time by such luminaries as Akira Kurosawa, and who has often been cited as one of the three best directors of the 20th century, are legendary amongst film circles already. Some consider Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak and Mrinal Sen to be the foremost Indian directors.




See also

Further reading