Indian Cinema - Select Timeline of Some Key Events
First film screening at Watson’s Hotel Bombay, on 7 July, by the French Lumière brothers’ cameraman Marius Sestier.
First films shown in Calcutta and Madras.
Pundalik (Saint Pundalik, 1912, dir. P.R.Tipnis), probably India’s first feature film.
Raja Harischandra (King Harischandra, 1913, dir. D.G. Phalke), India’s first commercially released feature film.
Indian Cinematograph Act enforced as law by the British colonials in India regulating the terms of censorship and cinema licensing.
Alam Ara (Alam Ara, 1931, dir. Ardeshir Irani), India’s first sound film, featuring seven songs.
Independence of Pakistan (14 August) and India (15 August) from British colonial rule and Partition of South Asia into Pakistan, India and then later (1971) into Bangladesh. Separation of the sub-continental regional film industries into India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Awaara (The Vagabond/Tramp, dir Raj Kapoor) starring Raj Kapoor and Nargis is a huge success and launches their popularity as major stars in parts of the former USSR, Africa and the middle East.
The first Indian International Film Festival held in Bombay, Madras and Calcutta.
West Pakistan (now Pakistan) bans Indian films.
Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road, 1955, dir. Satyajit Ray) has its world premiere at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Mother India (dir.Mehboob Khan) is released. India’s first-ever Academy Awards entry.
East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) bans Indian films.
The National Film Archive of India is founded in Pune.
Zanjeer (The Chain, dir. Prakash Mehra) is released and launches Amitabh Bachchan’s star persona as the ‘angry young man’ of Hindi cinema.
Sholay (Embers, dir. Ramesh Sippy) is released.
Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (Until the End of Eternity, dir. Mansoor Khan) is released. A hugely popular Romeo and Juliet-style tragic romance.
Bhaji on the Beach (dir. Gurinder Chadha) is released blending together British, American and popular Hindi cinema styles.
Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (The Braveheart Will Take the Bride, dir. Aditya Chopra) is released. It marks the arrival of the non-resident Indian (NRI) or diasporic hero, played successfully by Shahrukh Khan.
Dil Se (From the Heart, dir.Mani Ratnam) is released and officially tracked and listed in the UK’s Top Ten box office releases, ahead of several mainstream British and Hollywood films.
IIFA Awards held at the Millennium Dome in London.
Lagaan (Land Tax, dir. Ashutosh Gowariker) is released and is India’s Oscars Award entry the following year.
Bombay Dreams, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical opens at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre in June.
IIFA Awards held at the Sheffield Arena, Yorkshire.