Every year, the Bollywood Film Festival opens a gateway to Indian culture in Prague’s Světozor cinema. It offers audiences South Asian cinema that rivals American Hollywood in its scope and production! Bollywood – Hindi films produced in Mumbai – the so-called masala movies, have gained international popularity, they can make anyone cry, laugh, dance and bring a lot of energy with their colourfulness. In the few years of the festival, Bollywood has become a trend, a fashion and a phenomenon. Even those who still haven’t seen a single Indian film now have an opinion about the dances, the story or the length. But besides the growing popularity of Bollywood, India itself is also gearing up to be a world power. Indian stars are now quite routinely going to London, Sydney, New York and even Prague to shoot. South Asian cinema is constantly proving that it has a lot to offer.
But the festival is not just about typical Bollywood. Young filmmakers are beginning to make a more significant impact than ever before. The genre diversity brought by this “new blood” is also admirable – from the classic models of traditional Bollywood, to social satire, comedies with political overtones, horror, thrillers, to dramatic films comparable to European work. The festival also highlights the diversity of commercial and non-commercial Indian cinema. Short documentaries provide an unbiased insight into the culture and everyday life in India. And the selection of Hindi, Tamil, Marathi and Bengali films, both fiction and documentary, should also make it abundantly clear that India is not just about Bollywood… In short, there is something for every viewer!