100 Years of Indian cinema

Indian cinema's first silent feature film, 'Raja Harishchandra,' by home-grown film maker Dadasaheb Phalke was released on May 3, 1913. Known as the 'father of Indian cinema' Phalke's 40 minute offering tells the story of a righteous king, adapted from Hindu mythology. An unusual feature of the film was that all female characters were actually male actors. In the 100 years since the movie's release, the Indian film industry – largely thanks to Bollywood – has become one of the biggest in the world. More than one thousand films are produced in several languages each year. Although the Bollywood factor has given India a huge new profile, the period of the 1950s to the 1960s is considered the Golden Age of Cinema, with some of the most acclaimed films being made during that time. The images that follow illustrate the love of cinema in that country and also includes a small visual essay featuring Ram Pratap Verma, an aspiring Bollywood film actor. [38 photos total]

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A film crew member holds a clapper board during the shooting of Bollywood film 'Black Home' at a beach on the outskirts of Mumbai April 26, 2013. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters) #
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A film camera bears flowers following a prayer ceremony before the start of the shoot for Bollywood film 'Black Home' on the outskirts of Mumbai April 26, 2013. Indian cinema marks 100 years since Dhundiraj Govind Phalke's black-and-white silent film "Raja Harishchandra" (King Harishchandra) held audiences spellbound at its first public screening on May 3, 1913, in Mumbai. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters) #
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A cinematographer films, as other members of the crew watch, during the shooting of Bollywood film 'Black Home' at a beach on the outskirts of Mumbai, April 26, 2013. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters) #
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Bollywood actress, Chitrashi Rawat, lies in a plastic drum as she is briefed by a crew member during the shoot for the film 'Black Home,' April 26, 2013. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters) #
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A crew member holds a light cutter during the shoot on a beach on the outskirts of Mumbai, April 26, 2013. Indian cinema, with its subset of Bollywood for Hindi-language films, is now a billion-dollar industry that makes more than a thousand films a year in several languages. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters) #
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Bollywood actress, Chitrashi Rawat, runs along a beach, as she is chased, during the shoot for the film 'Black Home' on the outskirts of Mumbai, April 26, 2013. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters) #
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Actress Nainaa Jolly performs during the filming of a low budget Hindi movie in Meerut ,in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, April 28, 2013. (Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters) #
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An employee of Anoop Touring Talkies, a traveling tent cinema company, stands between cut-outs of Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha, in Mumbai, April 23, 2013. #
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An employee of Anoop Touring Talkies, a traveling tent cinema company, speaks into a microphone to advertise a film in Mumbai, April 23, 2013. Indian cinema is a billion dollar industry that makes more than one thousand films a year in several languages. It is worth 112.4 billion rupees (over $2 billion) and leads the world in terms of films produced and tickets sold. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters) #
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Posters for a low budget Hindi film are pasted onto the wall of a cinema in Meerut in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, April 28, 2013. (Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters) #
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Boys inquire about tickets from a mobile ticket booth at Anoop Touring Talkies, a traveling tent cinema company in Mumbai, April 23, 2013. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters) #
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People walk past Bollywood film posters in Mumbai, April 14, 2013. (Vivek Prakash/Reuters) #
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Children watch a Hindi film during a festival celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema in New Delhi, April 30, 2013. (Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters) #
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Patrons wait to buy tickets for a Bollywood film at a cinema in Mumbai, April 14, 2013. (Vivek Prakash/Reuters) #
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A security guard peeps through a door to watch a Hindi movie being screened during a festival celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema in New Delhi, April 30, 2013. (Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters) #
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An actor performs in a play about the life of Dhundiraj Govind Phalke during a festival celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema in New Delhi, April 30, 2013. (Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters) #
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Actors perform in a play about the life of Dadasaheb Phalke during a festival celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema in New Delhi, April 30, 2013. (Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters) #
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An audience watches a Hindi movie being screened during a festival celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema in New Delhi, April 30, 2013. Indian cinema marks 100 years since Dhundiraj Govind Phalke's black-and-white silent film "Raja Harishchandra" (King Harishchandra) held audiences spellbound at its first public screening on May 3, 1913, in Mumbai. (Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters) #
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Ram Pratap Verma, a 32-year-old aspiring Bollywood film actor, poses in front of a mural of actor Amitabh Bachchan in Mumbai, May 1, 2013. Bollywood is an addiction for many; an addiction that attracts thousands of aspiring stars to the city of Mumbai. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters) #
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Ram Pratap Verma, a 32-year-old aspiring Bollywood film actor, writes his name on the sand at a beach in Mumbai, April 17, 2013. Ram Pratap Verma made the journey from his small village eight years ago, and despite carrying his whole "home" inside his bag, he is determined not to give up on his ambitions. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters) #
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A 32-year-old aspiring Bollywood film actor, Ram Pratap Verma carries pictures of a film actress in his wallet, in Mumbai April 16, 2013. Bollywood is an addiction for many; an addiction that attracts thousands of aspiring stars to the city of Mumbai, just as it did for Ram Pratap Verma. (Danish Siddiqui /Reuters) #
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Ram Pratap Verma, an aspiring Bollywood film actor, practices gymnastics as joggers pass him on a beach in Mumbai, April 16, 2013. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters) #
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Ram Pratap Verma takes a bath in the Arabian Sea, as a jogger walks past his belongings, in Mumbai April 16, 2013. Despite carrying his whole "home" inside his bag, he is determined not to give up on his ambitions. (Danish Siddiqui /Reuters) #
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Ram Pratap Verma, wears worn out socks on a beach in Mumbai, April 16, 2013. He is determined not to give up on his ambitions, despite living very sparely. (Danish Siddiqui /Reuters) #
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Walking along a beach in Mumbai, April 17, 2013, Ram Pratap Verma tries to watch at least one film a week at a cinema, where the silver screen keeps his dreams alive. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters) #
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With more than a thousand films being produced a year, there is ample opportunity to watch a film shoot as Ram Pratap Verma does at a beach on the outskirts of Mumbai, April 26, 2013. #
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Keeping his dream alive but essentially living on the street has it's challenges. Ram Pratap Verma borrows a comb from a roadside barber in Mumbai, April 15, 2013. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters) #
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Ram Pratap Verma alters a pair of trousers in a tailor shop in Mumbai, April 15, 2013. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters) #
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Ram Pratap Verma waits for an audition at a studio in Mumbai, April 24, 2013. (Danish Siddiqui /Reuters) #
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A notice for Bollywood film auditions outside a closed studio in Mumbai, April 21, 2013. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters) #
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Aspiring film star, Ram Pratap Verma, rehearses his lines before an audition at a studio in Mumbai, April 21, 2013. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters) #
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The audition by Ram Pratap Verma is caught on camera at a studio in Mumbai April 21, 2013. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters) #
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Ram Pratap Verma leaves an audition at a studio in Mumbai April 21, 2013. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters) #
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Trying to watch at least one film a week, Ram Pratap Verma, travels on a bus after watching a film at a cinema in Mumbai, April 17, 2013. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters) #
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Ram Pratap Verma, an aspiring Bollywood film actor, watches a film at a cinema in Mumbai, April 17, 2013. He tries to watch at least one film a week at a cinema, where the silver screen keeps his dreams alive. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters) #
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While waiting to realize his dream of becoming a film star, Ram Pratap Verma watches at least one film a week. Ram waits outside a cinema after a film screening in Mumbai, May 1, 2013. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters) #
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Wanting to realize his dream of becoming a film actor, Ram Pratap Verma made the journey from his small village eight years ago. Watching one film a week, keeps that dream alive. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters) #
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Sleeping in a park in a residential colony in Mumbai, April 15, 2013, Ram Pratap Verma continues to dream of becoming an Indian film star. (Danish Siddiqui /Reuters) #

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