Bollywood—not only the major Hindi-language film industry in India but also the largest film producer in the world! Am I a fan? Ever since I was a little boy!

Based in Mumbai, Bollywood derived its name in the 1970’s from a combination of “Hollywood” and the former name of Mumbai, which was Bombay.

The Indian film industry, however, can trace its origins to its first silent film in 1913. By the Thirties, nearly 200 films were being released per year.

Indian cinema exploded after Independence, entering a “golden age” from the late Forties to the Sixties. Bollywood then burst onto the international scene roughly 10 years ago and has been gaining in popularity ever since.

Bollywood draws from an assortment of inspirations, including the ancient Indian epics and early Sanskrit drama, 10th-century folk theatre, Parsi (or Zoroastrian) theatre, Hollywood musicals, and MTV. No wonder Bollywood is now exerting a heavy influence on music, dance, and films around the world.

To make it in Bollywood is no easy task! Bollywood films are musicals filled with rhythmic dance. Actors and actresses are not only expected to have the beauty of a fashion model but they must also know how to recite lyrics, act, sing, and dance—and, sometimes, all at once!

Probably the most notorious designer of all Bollywood designers is Manish Malhotra, who, in the course of his 19-year career, has received 34 awards and has designed for more than 1,000 films.

The striking quality of Manish is his keen sense for designing film costumes according to the role of each actor.

Already hosting his own talk show since 2005, Manish may soon be entering the role of film director with Dharma Productions.

Photos Copyright Manish Malhotra.

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