Happy Birthday India.

In 1913 Indian audiences witnessed the birth of the country’s first feature length film, Raj Harishchandra. 100 years on, Bradford International Film Festival plans to celebrating the Birthday of Indian Cinema in style. To coincide with the National Media Museum’s upcoming exhibition, Bollywood Icons: 100 Years of Indian Cinema, the festival is putting on a specially selected programme of films that highlight and celebrate Indian Cinema over the century. The programme will be a mixture of contemporary Bollywood films and restored classics that many audiences will not have had the chance to see in cinemas before. This is going to be a wonderful opportunity to either indulge in your current love of Indian Cinema or to discover it and fall in love with it for the very first time.

Raj Harishchandra (1913)
“Cinephilia – the intense love of cinema – is felt in India quite like nowhere else. It has created a film industry that today makes thousands of films a year in dozens of languages, and has produced Bollywood legends – the biggest stars on the planet. In many regions of the world, Bollywood trumps all else at the box office, and yet the treasures of early Indian cinema are endangered and rarely screened. We hope that our Festival centenary selection will give a glimpse into the richness, diversity and range of the treasures which Indian Cinema can offer, in a sampler of 13 films from the very first film to three new UK premieres.” – Tom Vincent, Bradford International Film Festival Director
The festival’s programme includes the classic Indian epic, Mother India. Repeatedly referred to as India’s Gone with the Wind, Mother India is an emotionally charged film that beautifully displays India’s vibrant cinematic aesthetic. The festival will also be screening the surviving 12 minutes of  Raj Harishchandra. These 12 minutes make up about a quarter of the original film. I myself feel as though I have only had a taster for Indian cinema. I have watched several Indian films, including Mother India, and am ready to discover more about Bollywood and India’s film industry. The exhibition will tie in perfectly with the film programme and promises to provide some background into the cinema of India. It would be such a shame to miss the chance to experience such a fascinating insight into Indian cinema, one of the leading film industries in the world.
Thanks for reading and let’s all keep supporting our beloved film industry.

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