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Film Studies: National Cinemas

This guide highlights selected resources for various national cinemas.

Introduction to Indian cinema

Moving images were first screened in India on 7 July 1896 in Bombay (now Mumbai), and local filmmaking began in the following year. 1913 saw the release of the first Indian feature-length film, Raja Harishchandra/ King Harishchandra, a story from the Mahabharata by D.G. (‘Dadasaheb’) Phalke, a pioneering director who established Bombay as the centre of Indian film production. At this time, there was already a huge, largely urban working-class, cinemagoing public. By the 1920s, a number of self-sufficient production companies were established, and India’s film output had exceeded that of Britain in both quantity and profitability. Other key directors of the silent era include Baburao Painter (Vatsala Haran, 1923) and V. Shantaram (Gopal Krishna, 1929), and the most popular genres of the silent era were dramas in contemporary settings (‘socials’), for example Bilat Ferat/England Returned (Dhiren Ganguly, 1921), and ‘mythologicals’—films based around Indian legends.

Kuhn, A., & Westwell, G. (2020). India, film in. In A Dictionary of Film Studies. : Oxford University Press. Retrieved 13 May. 2021

Searching the online catalog

You can use the subject heading below to find resources in the online catalog. The call number range is also included.

Introductory reading(s)

Selected book titles

Finding journal articles

You can find scholarly articles about Indian cinema in a variety of publications. We don't have a journal specific to Indian cinema, but you can search in film journals for articles. You can use Film & Television Literature Index, the Screen Studies Collection or Web of Science to find articles or use the search box at the top of the page.

Selected movie titles

Find more Indian cinema titles in the library's online catalog.

Keeping up with the journal literature

Want an easy way to keep up with the journal literature for a national or regional cinema? And you use a mobile device? You can install the BrowZine app and create a custom Bookshelf of your favorite journal titles. Then you will get the Table of Contents (ToCs) of your favorite journals automatically delivered to you when they become available. Once you have the ToC's you can download and read the articles you want.

You can get the app from the App Store or Google Play.

Don't own or use a mobile device? You can still use BrowZine! It's now available in a web version. You can get to it here. The web version works the same way as the app version. Find the journals you like, create a custom Bookshelf, get ToCs and read the articles you want.