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Film History

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Beginning and Evolution of film industry in sub-continent

Film is a term that encompasses motion pictures as individual projects, as well as the field in general. The origin of the name comes from the fact that photographic film has historically been the primary medium for recording and displaying motion pictures. Many other terms exist for an individual motion picture, including picture, picture show, and most commonly, movie. Additional terms for the field in general include the big screen, the silver screen, the cinema and the movies. Films are produced by recording actual people and objects with cameras, or by creating them using animation techniques and/or special effects. They comprise a series of individual frames, but when these images are shown rapidly in succession, the illusion of motion is given to the viewer. Flickering between frames is not seen due to an effect known as persistence of vision, whereby the eye retains a visual image for a fraction of a second after the source has been removed.
Film-A true art-form:-

Film is considered by many to be an important art form; films entertain, educate, enlighten and inspire audiences. The visual elements of cinema need no translation, giving the motion picture a universal power of communication. Any film can become a worldwide attraction, especially with the addition of dubbing or subtitles that translate the dialogue. Films are also artifacts created by specific cultures, which reflect those cultures, and, in turn, affect them.
Historical Background:-
The history of film is an account of the historical development of the medium known variously as cinema, motion pictures, film, or the movies.
The history of film spans over 100 years, from the latter part of the 19th century to the present day. Motion pictures developed gradually from a carnival novelty to one of the most important tools of communication and entertainment, and mass media in the 20th century and into the 21st century. Most films before 1930 were silent. Motion picture films have substantially affected the arts, technology, and politics. The cinema was invented during the 1890s, during the industrial revolution. It was considered a cheaper, simpler way to provide entertainment to the masses. Movies would become the most popular visual art form of the late Victorian age. It was simpler because of the fact that before the cinema people would have to travel long distances to see major dioramas or amusement parks. With the advent of the cinema this changed. During the first decade of the cinema's existence, inventors worked to improve the machines for making and showing films. The cinema is a complicated medium, and before it could be invented, several technological requirements had to be met.
Motion Pictures/Documentaries:-
The first machine patented in the United States that showed animated pictures or movies was a device called the "wheel of life" or "zoopraxiscope". Patented in 1867 by William Lincoln, moving drawings or photographs were watched through a slit in the zoopraxiscope. However, this was a far cry from motion pictures as we know them today. Modern motion picture making began with the invention of the motion picture camera.
The Frenchman Louis Lumiere is often credited as inventing the first motion picture camera in 1895. But in truth, several others had made similar inventions around the same time as Lumiere. What Lumiere invented was a portable motion-picture camera, film processing unit and projector called the Cinematographe, three functions covered in one invention.
The Cinematographe made motion pictures very popular, and it could be better be said that Lumiere's invention began the motion picture era. In 1895, Lumiere and his brother were the first to present projected, moving, photographic, pictures to a paying audience of more than one person. The Lumiere brothers were not the first to project film. In 1891, the Edison company successfully demonstrated the Kinetoscope, which enabled one person at a time to view moving pictures. Later in 1896, Edison showed his improved Vitascope projector and it was the first commercially, successful, projector in the U.S.
Silent Era:-

A scene from "A trip to the moon" (1902) by Georges Méliès.
In the silent era of film, marrying the image with synchronous sound was not possible for inventors and producers, since no practical method was devised until 1923. Thus, for the first thirty years of their history, films were silent, although accompanied by live musicians and sometimes sound effects and even commentary spoken by the showman or projectionist.
Illustrated songs were a notable exception to this trend that began in 1894 in vaudeville houses and persisted as late as the late 1930s in film theaters. In this early precursor to the music video, live performance or sound recordings were paired with hand-colored glass slides projected through stereopticons and similar devices. In this way, song narrative was illustrated through a series of slides whose changes were simultaneous with the narrative development. The main purpose of illustrated songs was to encourage sheet music sales, and they were highly successful with sales reaching into the millions for a single song. Later, with the birth of film, illustrated songs were used as filler material preceding films and during reel changes.
In most countries the need for spoken accompaniment quickly faded, with dialogue and narration presented in intertitles, but in Japanese cinema it remained popular throughout the silent era.
Talkie Era:-
Experimentation with sound film technology, both for recording and playback, was virtually constant throughout the silent era, but the twin problems of accurate synchronization and sufficient amplification had been difficult to overcome (Eyman, 1997). In 1926, Hollywood studioWarner Bros. introduced the "Vitaphone" system, producing short films of live entertainment acts and public figures and adding recorded sound effects and orchestral scores to some of its major features. During late 1927, Warners released The Jazz Singer, which was mostly silent but contained what is generally regarded as the first synchronized dialogue (and singing) in a feature film; but this process was actually accomplished first by Charles Taze Russell in 1914 with the lengthy film The Photo-Drama of Creation. This drama consisted of picture slides and moving pictures synchronized with phonograph records of talks and music. The early sound-on-disc processes such as Vitaphone were soon superseded by sound-on-film methods like Fox Movietone, DeForest Phonofilm, and RCA Photophone. The trend convinced the largely reluctant industrialists that "talking pictures", or "talkies", were the future. A lot of attempts were made before the success of the Singer, that can be seen in the List of film sound systems.
Black and White Era:-
Movies started out in black and white, and for the first few decades of their existence were produced entirely in that form. Indeed, the phrase "silver screen" stems from those early days, when shimmering black and white images became synonymous with the medium. Today the vast majority of films are in color, but some enterprising directors still use black and white for aesthetic effects, and film aficionados still adore the unique look that black and white film provides. Some of the most memorable images in photographic history have been made on black and white film. Think of the landscape photos taken by Ansel Adams; they are iconic. Black and white is still used by many photographers to create arresting images; many digital cameras let the user switch to a black and white scheme in their menus.
Colored Era:-
The 1930s decade (and most of the 1940s as well) has been nostalgically labeled "The Golden Age of Hollywood" (although most of the output of the decade was black-and-white). The 30s was also the decade of the sound and color revolutions and the advance of the 'talkies', and the further development of film genres (gangster films, musicals, newspaper-reporting films, historical biopics, social-realism films, lighthearted screwball comedies, westerns and horror to name a few). It was the era in which the silent period ended, with many silent film stars not making the transition to sound (e.g., Vilmy Banky, John Gilbert, and Norma Talmadge). By 1933, the economic effects of the Depression were being strongly felt, especially in decreased movie theatre attendance.
Beginning of film industry in subcontinent:-
The Lumière Brothers of France exhibited their short films in December 1895 at Grande Cafe,
Paris. The following year, they brought the show to India and held its premiere at the Watson Hotel in Bombay on 7 July 1896. It was a package of 6 films viz, Entry of cinematograph, Arrival of the train, the sea bath, A demolition, Leaving the factory and Ladies and Soldiers on wheels. From 18 July 1896, films were released at the Novelty Theatre on a regular basis. Entrance tickets ranged from four anaas to one rupee.
Raja Harish chandra (1913) was the first silent feature film made in subcontinent. It was made by Dadasaheb Phalke. By the 1930s, the industry was producing over 200 films per annum. The first Indian sound film, Ardeshir Irani's Alam Ara (1931), was a super hit. There was clearly a huge market for talkies and musicals; Bollywood and all the regional film industries quickly switched to sound filming.The 1930s and 1940s were tumultuous times: like the whole world the subcontinent was rocked by the Great Depression, World War II, the Indian independence movement, and the violence of the Partition. There were a number of filmmakers who tackled tough social issues, or used the struggle for independence as a backdrop for their plots. In late 1950s, Bollywood films moved from black-and-white to colour. Lavish romantic musicals and melodramas were the staple fare at the cinema. Successful actors included Dev Anand, Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor.
Pre-cinema times:-
Telling stories from the epics using hand-drawn tableau images in scroll paintings, with accompanying live sounds have been an age old tradition. These tales, mostly the familiar stories of gods and goddesses, are revealed slowly through choreographic movements of painted glass slides in a lantern, which create illusions of movements. And so when the Lumière brothers' representatives held the first public showing at Mumbai's (Bombay) Watson's Hotel on July 7, 1896, the new phenomenon did not create much of a stir here and no one in the audience ran out at the image of the train speeding towards them, as it did elsewhere. The viewer took the new experience as something already familiar to them In Calcutta, Hiralal Sen photographed scenes from some of the plays at the Classic Theatre. Such films were shown as added attractions after the stage performances or taken to distant venue where the stage performers could not reach. The possibility of reaching a large audience through recorded images which could be projected several times through mechanical gadgets caught the fancy of people in the performing arts and the stage and entertainment business. The first decade of the 20th century saw live and recorded performances being clubbed together in the same program.
Influence of traditional arts – music, dance on cinema
The strong influence of its traditional arts, music, dance and popular theatre – which was already in existence for the last about 80 years, on the cinema movement in subcontinent in its early days, is probable responsible for its characteristic enthusiasm for inserting song and dance sequences in subcontinent cinema, even till today.
First local film showing:- * Raja Harish Chandra
Director Dada Saheb Phalke made a studio in Dadar Main Road, wrote the scenario, erected the set and started shooting for his first venture Raja Harishchandra in 1912. The first full-length story film of Phalke was completed in 1912 and released at the Coronation cinema on April 21, 1913, for special invitees and members of the Press. The film was widely acclaimed by one and all and proved to be a great success. Phalke hailed from an orthodox Hindu household - a family of priests with strong religious roots. So, when technology made it possible to tell stories through moving images, it was but natural that the film pioneer turned to his own ancient epics for source material. The phenomenal success of Raja Harishchandra was kept up by Phalke with a series of mythological films that followed - Mohini Bhasmasur (1914), significant for introducing the first woman to act before the cameras - Kamalabai Gokhale. The significant titles that followed include - Satyawan Savitri (1914), Satyavadi Raja Harischandra (1917), Lanka Dahan (1917),Shri Krishna Janma (1918) and Kalia Mardan (1919).
Regional Cinema:-
Here we will discuss different regions in the subcontinent where the film art flourished. The mention of Lahore as one very strong pocket which nurtured a film industry will be made in the next setting along with cinema life in Pakistan.
South subcontinent:-
The first film in Southern India was made in 1916 by R Nataraja Mudaliar- Keechaka Vadham. As the title indicates the subject is again a mythological from the Mahabharata. Another film made in Madras - Valli Thiru-Manam (1921) by Whittaker drew critical acclaim and box office success. In Bengal, a region rich in culture and intellectual activity, the first Bengali feature film in 1917, was remake of Phalke's Raja Harishchandra. Titled Satyawadi Raja Harishchandra, it was directed by Rustomjee Dotiwala. Less prolific than Bombay based film industry, around 122 feature films were made in Calcutta in the Silent Era.
The first feature film in Tamil, also the first in entire South India, Keechakavatham was made during 1916- 17, directed by Nataraja Mudaliar.
Calcutta film Industry:-
Madan Theatres of Calcutta produced Shirin Farhad and Laila Majnu (1931) well composed and recorded musicals. Both films replete with songs had a tremendous impact on the audience and can be said to have established the unshakeable hold of songs on our films. Chandidas (1932, Bengali), the story of a Vaishnavite poet-priest who falls in love with a low caste washerwoman and defies convention, was a superhit. P C Barua produced Devdas (1935) based on Saratchandra Chatterjee's famous story about frustrated love, influenced a generation of viewers and filmmakers.
Cinema Starts Talking:-
In the early thirties, the silent Indian cinema began to talk, sing and dance. Alam Ara produced by Ardeshir Irani, released on March 14, 1931 was the first Indian cinema with a sound track.
Mumbai became the hub of the Indian film industry having a number of self-contained production units.The thirties saw hits like Madhuri (1932), Indira, M A (1934), Anarkali (1935), Miss Frontier Mail (1936), and Punjab Mail (1939).
Hindu cast system was first to get attention:-
The hindu culture based strongly on cast-divide and not be changed by long muslim rule, but strongly felt by hindu scholars, was the first to get attention when a strong mass medium like film was invented.
Among the leading filmmakers of Mumbai during the forties, V Shantaram was arguably the most innovative and ambitious. From his first Ayodhya ka Raja (1932) to Admi (1939), it was clear that he was a filmmaker with a distinct style. He dealt with issues like cast system, religious bigotry and women's rights. Even when Shantaram took up stories from the past, he used these as parables to highlight contemporary situations. While Amirt Manthan (1934) opposed the senseless violence of Hindu rituals, Dharmatama (1935) dealt with Brahmanical orthodoxy and cast system. Duniya Na Mane (1937) was about a young woman's courageous resistance to a much older husband whom she had been tricked into marrying. Admi (1939) was one of Shantaram's major works. Tamil cinema emerged as a veritable entertainment industry in 1929 with the creation of General Picture Corporation in Madras (Chennai). Most of the Tamil films produced were multilingual productions, with versions in Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada until film production units were established in Hyderabad, Trivandrum and Bangalore. The first talkie of South India, Srinivas Kalyanam was made by A Narayanan in 1934.
Some Famous actors of sub-continent:- * Mehboob Khan 40s to 50s
Mehboob made his films down to earth, dramatic, even melodramatic. Roti made in the early 1940s inspired by the German Expressionism, is a real critique of Indian society with prophetic insight. It deals with two models - one of a millionaire, possessed by money and power in an industrial civilization, the other of a tribal couple living in a primeval state of nature. The millionaire is saved by the couple after an air crash, the tribal couple immigrates to the city, do not find happiness and return. The millionaire is ruined in the city, tries futilely to find salvation among the tribal.
Mehboob remade his film Aurat (1940) in colour and with drastically different imagery as Mother India (1957), which was a massive success and later even acquired an epic status. The story revolves around Radha, played by Nargis, one of the strongest woman characters of Indian cinema. Her husband having lost both arms in an accident leaves her. Alone, she raises her children while fending off the financial as well as the sexual pressure from a moneylender. One of her sons, Birju becomes a rebel and the other one Ramu remains a dutiful son. In the end the long suffering mother kills her rebel son, as his blood fertilizes the soil Highly successful and critically acclaimed, Mehboob's films often derive from clash between pre-capitalist ruralism and an increasingly modernized state with its commercial-industrial practices and values. * Bimal Roy
Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Bimal Roy entered the field of cinema as a camera assistant. His directorial debut was with Udayer Pathey (1944). He introduced a new era of post World War romanticrealist melodramas that was an integration of the Bengal School style with that of De Sica. Do Bigha Zamin (1953) and Sujata were two of the most notable films of Bimal Roy, who basically was a reformist, a humanist liberal. Do Bigha Zamin was one of the Indian first films to chart mass migration of rural people to cities and their degradation in urban slums. Though the situation was tragic, Roy sought to relieve the starkness by brave and hopeful songs and dances. Sujata dealt with the disturbances created to a lost soul from the world of untouchable underclass who escaped accidentally to the world of the urban middle class. * Raj Kapoor Born in Peshawar, now in Pakistan as son of Prithviraj Kapoor, Raj Kapoor acted the role of a megastar, successful producer and a director. He started as a clapper-boy in the Hindi film industry and latter became one of the most successful directors of the industry. He set up the R K Films in 1948 and made his first directorial venture Aag. His earlier films Awara (1951) and Shri 420 (1955) evince a sentimental approach to social reforms, presenting political independence as a loss of innocence in exchange of stability.
Film history from 1896-1947:-
Pakistan shared its film history with India from 1896 to 1947. Lahore produced many films and a big number of Pakistani artists debuted in this period.
More activities of foreigners made Bombay the centre of film world right in the beginning. But the part of the subcontinent which spearheaded in film arts was Lahore. It will not be wrong to say that most talent in direction, acting and singing was generated in the Lahore film studios before partition. Here we will talk in detail how the film art flourished in Lahore before partition and how this one distinguished mean of mass communication fared in Pakistan after independence.
The first silent film from Lahore was The Daughter of Today released in 1924 and the inaugural Punjabi or talkie film from Lahore was Heer Ranjha in 1932. (Alam Ara was released in 1931, which means Lahore was going as fast and one top hum after Bombay for film making in the subcontinent. Punjabi or talkie film from Lahore was Heer Ranjha in 1932. (Alam Ara was released in 1931, which means Lahore was going as fast and one top film-home after Bombay in the subcontinent.
Some Memorable Movies from 1913-47:- * Raja Harishchandra * The Daughter of Today * Alam Ara * Heer Ranjha * Khazanci * Anmol Gharri * Jugnu
First film made with cultural taboos- sans women:-
Raja Harishchandra was released for public viewing in Coronation theatres, Bombay. The first
Indian motion picture, D. G. Phalke’s mythological boasted of an all-male star-cast. Even the female lead was played by a man since no woman was willing to be part of the cast.
First ever silent feature film from Lahore:-
Premier Film Company * The Daughter of Today
Released in: 1924
The first ever silent film from Punjab
Actors: A.K.Kardar, Wilayat Begum, M. Ismaeel, Vijay Kumar, Heera Lal and Master Ghulam Qadir, G.K. Mehta. M. Ismaeel started his film career from the first ever Lahore made silent film and he was an automatic choice in the first talkie film from Lahore too.
Assistant Director: Mian Abdur Rasheed Kardar, was the man who started film making in Lahore. He was hero in first silent film and director of first talkie film.
First Color film:-
Ardeshir Irani's Kisan Kanya (1937) was the first color film. Sohrab Modi's Jhansi Ki Rani (1953) was the first Techni-color film shot in India.
Inaugural Urdu/Hindi Indo-Pak feature film:-
Imperial Film Company Presents * Alam Ara
Urdu/Hindi (124 minutes, black & white)
Released on: Saturday, March 14, 1931 (Capital Cinema Lahore)
India's first talkie film was released at Bombay's Majestic cinema hall. It had seven songs and was 10,500 ft. long and ran for seven weeks. It was a costume drama and romantic film.
Story: A period fantasy that told of the ageing king of Kamarpur, and his two rival queens, Navbahar and Dilbahar, and their rivalry when a fakir predicts that Navbahar will bear the king's heir. Dilbahar unsuccessfully tries to seduce the army chief Adil (Vithal) and vengefully destroys his family, leaving his daughter Alam Ara (Zubaida) to be raised by nomads. Eventually, Alam Ara's nomad friends invade the palace, expose Dilbahar's schemes, release Adil from the dungeon and she marries the prince of the realm. Actors: Zubaida (Alam Ara), Master Vitthal (Adil), J. Sushila (as Sushila), Jillo Bai, Prithviraj Kapoor, Elizer,
Wazir Mohammed Khan, Jagdish Sethi and L.V. Prasad
Music: Feroz Shah and B. Irani
Singers: Zubaida, W.M. Khan
First ever Punjabi feature film:- * Heer Ranjha
Realesed in: 1932
The first ever Lahore made film.
Actors: Anwari Begum, Rafiq Ghazniv, Gul Hameed, Lala Yaqoob, M. Ismael, Fazal Shah, Walait Begum.
Anwari Begum and Rafiq Ghaznavi - the grand parent of Salma Agha - played title roles in this memorable film. Rafiq Ghaznavi was a famous musician in the 30s and 40s and Anwari Begum appeared in many films, one of them was Anmol Ghari.
Music: Rafiq Ghaznavi
Folk music comes to films:-
Pancholi Art Pictures * Khazanchi
Realesed in: 1941
Actors: Ramola, Naring, M. Ismael, Manorma, Ajmal, Janki Das, Durga Khote
Music: Revolutionary music director Master Ghulam Haidar changed the whole style of film music from classical Bengali to folk Punjabi music in this mega hit film from Lahore.
Master Ghulam Haidar introduced Baby Noor Jehan as playback singer in this film first time. (He also introduced Indian diva Lata Mangeshkar in film Majboor in 1948).
Mehoboob Production Ltd. (Bombay-Lahore) * Anmol Gharri
Released in: 1946
Actors: Noor Jehan, Surender, Surayya, Zahoor Raja, Leela Mishra, Anwari Begum, Bhudo Anvari, Murad
Director: Mehboob Khan, one of the greatest film director in the history, was not formerly educated. This film is special because it brought almost a revolution in subcontinent film world.
Music: One of the most memorable and melodious film by Noushad Ali from the 40s. Naushad Ali is regarded as one of the greatest Music Directors of Indian Cinema.
Assistent: Ghulam Ahamd (Pakeeza fame)
Lyrics: Tanvir Naqvi was a relative of Madam Noor Jehan and a very successful lyricist....
Singers: Noor Jehan was the most impressive film personality in the Indo-Pak film history. She was dominating since her debut as a child star (1935).
Surayya was another famous singer/actress from the 40s and 50s. Born in Lahore, she debuted as a child star with Taj Mahal (1941).Shamshad Begum was the first generation of top Punjabi film singers (followd by Zubaida Khanum (in the 50s) and Madam Noor Jehan (from 40s-90s), respectively).
The Last Big film before partition
Shoukat Arts Productions * JUGNU
Released on: 1947
This film was the last big film by Madam Noor Jehan and her husband director Shaukat Hussain Rizvi before partition. It was a big musical and romantic film. Madam Noor Jehan was on peak of her film career as singer and film heroine. Dillip Kumar and Mohammad Rafi got breakthrough from this film.
Actors: Dilip Kumar - the acting legend - got breakthrough from this mega hit film. He was born in Peshawar...
Music: Feroz Nizami, completed hat trick of three great musical film, first Jugnu in 1947, then Chann We in 1951 and Dopatta 1952 - all with Noor Jehan, & G. A. Chishti was a legendry musician in Punjabi films. He dominated Pakistani film music until the beginning of the 70s.
Singers: Madam Noor Jehan, Shamshad Begum.
Mohammad Rafi was a legend and he left behind a rich legacy of songs in Urdu/Hindi, Punjabi and many other languages. Started his singing career from Lahore.Roshan Ara Begum was acclaimed the best exponent of Kirana gharana style of khayal singing in the subcontinent...
Pakistani artists started their film careers before 1947:- * M. Sadiq (director) Namastey 1943 * Sheikh Iqbal (actor) Champa 1945 * Sharif Nayyar (director) Laila Majnu 1945 * Rasheed Attre (musician) Sheerin Farhad 1945 * Meena Shori (actress) Rutt Rangeeli 1945 * Asha Posley (actress) Champa 1945 * Renuka Devi (actress) Ghulami 1945 * Feroz Nizami (musician) Ammar Raj 1946 * Master Inayat Hussain (musician) Kamli 1946 * Luqman (director) Hamjoli 1946 * Nisar Bazmi (musician) Jamna Paar 1946 * Nashaad (musician) Dildar 1947 * Nasreen (actress) Ek Roz 1947 * Shah Nawaz (actor) Elan 1947 * Sudhir (actor) Farz 1947 * Santosh (actor) Ahensa 1947 * Rehana (actress) Saajan 1947 * Talish (actor) Saraye ke baad 1947 * Ilyas Kashmiri (actor) Malka 1947 * Tufail Farooqi (musician) Dekho Jee 1947 * Fateh Ali Khan (musician) Director 1947

Pakistani Film Industry:-
The cinema of Pakistan refers to Pakistan's film industry. Most of the feature films shot in Pakistan are in Urdu language but may also include films in English, Punjabi, Pashto, Balochi or Sindhi languages. Pakistan's largest film industry is Lollywood.
Background History:-
Before the separation of Bangladesh, Pakistan had three main film production centres: Lahore, Karachi andDhaka. Dhaka was lost after 1971. The regime of Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, VCRs, film piracy, the introduction of entertainment taxes, and Islamic laws, have been some of the many obstacles to the industry's growth. Once thriving, the cinema in Pakistan now barely exists.
The Pakistani film industry is credited with having produced some of the most notable and recognised filmmakers, actors, writers and directors, and for introducing pop music to South Asia and beyond. Competition from Bollywood and piracy, however, have led to the industry's decline.
Partition and growth of cinema (1947–1958):-

Ahmad Rushdi, a playback singer

Immediately following the partition, the newly founded Pakistan being a new state faced a shortage of funds. Shortage of filming equipment further paralysed the nation's film industry.
With much hardships faced, the new film industry was able to produce its first feature film, Teri Yaad on 7 August, 1948, premièring at the Parbhat Theatre in Lahore. The following year, Evernew Studios established a studio in the country which would later become the largest film company of the time. Over the next few years, films that were released reached mediocre success until the release of Do Ansoo on 7 April 1950. Do Ansoo became the first film to attain a 25-week viewing making it the first film to reach silver jubilee status.
Recovery was evident with Noor Jehan's directorial debut Chanwey releasing on 29 April 1951. The film became the first film to be directed by a female director. Syed Faqir ahmad Shah produced his first production 1952 The "Jagga Daku" Saqlain Rizvi was the Director, the film could not get much appreciation due to violence shown in it. As cinema viewership increased, Sassireleased on 3 June 1954 reached golden jubilee status staying on screens for 50-weeks. Legendary playback singer Ahmed Rushdi started his career in April 1955 after singing his first song in Pakistan "Bander Road Se Kemari".Umar Marvi released on 12 March 1956 became the first ever Pakistani film made in the Sindhi language. To celebrate the success of these endeavours, film journalist Ilyas Rashidi launched an annual awarding event on July 17, 1958. Named Nigar Awards, the event is since then considered Pakistan's premier awarding event celebrating outstanding performance in various categories of filmmaking.
Golden age under President Ayub Khan (1959–1969):- Waheed Murad and Zeba in Heera aur pathar, 1964

The '60s decade is often cited as being the golden age of cinema in Pakistan. Many A-stars were introduced in this period in time and became legends on the silver screen. As black-and-white became obsolete, Pakistan saw the introduction of first colour films. Some that share the status of being firsts are Munshi Dil's Azra in early 1960s, Zahir Raihan's Sangam (first full-length coloured film) released on 23 April 1964, and Mala (first coloured cinemascope film).
Although it seemed that the industry had stabilised to a certain extent, the relations between the two neighbouring countries were not. On 26 May 1961, Kay Productions released a film titled Bombay Wallah, which did not came under scrutiny from the censor board for having a name that represented a city in India in the wake of the growing tension between the region. Later, the censor board was blamed for irresponsibility. It was the first time that a Pakistani film explored the realms of politics, but it would not be the last. In 1962, film Shaheed aka Martyr, pronounced the Palestine issue on the silver screen and became an instant hit. With the changing tide in the attitude of filmmakers, actress Mussarat Nazir who had reigned the industry for a while left for Canada and settled with her family. Her much anticipated film Bahadur was left unfinished and never released giving alternative films like Syed Kamal's debutant acting role in film Tauba to be admired and fill the void.
In September 1965, following an armed conflict between India and Pakistan, all Indian films were taken off the screen from cinemas in Pakistan and a complete ban was imposed on the Indian films. The ban existed since 1952 in West Pakistan and since 1962 in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), but was exercised rigorously after the conflict. Pakistani cinemas did not suffer much from the decision to remove the films and instead received better viewership for their films. Realising the potential, Waheed Murad stepped into the industry. His persona led people to call him the chocolate hero and in essence, he became the Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley of Pakistan.
In 1966, film Armaan was released and became one of the most cherished accomplishments of the industry.[8] The film is said to have given birth to Pakistani pop music introducing playback singing legends – composer Sohail Rana and singer Ahmed Rushdi. The film became the first to complete 75-weeks screenings at cinema houses throughout the country attaining a platinum jubilee.[8] Another rising star Nazeer Beg with th stage-name Nadeem received instant success with his debut film Chakori in 1967. The same year, he would act in another film of a different genre altogether. Horror films were introduced with the release of Zinda Laash aka The Living Corpse making it the first film to display an R rating tag on its posters.
Meanwhile Eastern Films Magazine, a tabloid edited by Said Haroon, became the most popular magazine for film buffs in Pakistan. The magazine had a questions and answers section titled "Yours Impishly" which the sub-editor Asif Noorani took inspiration for from I. S. Johar's page in India's Filmfare magazine. Tabloid like these got their first controversial covers with the release of Neela Parbat on 3 January 1969, which became Pakistan's first feature-film with an adults-only tag. The film ran for only three-to-four days at the box office.
More controversial yet would be the offering of distribution rights in the Middle East to the Palestinian guerrilla organisation, Al Fatah by the writer, producer, and director Riaz Shahid for his film Zarqa released on 17 October 1969. The film depicted the activities of the organisation.
Age of the VCR (1970–1977):-
Following the Bangladesh Liberation War, Pakistani film industry lost its Dacca wing and number of cinema decreased rapidly. The period saw the exodus of more influential workers in the industry leave for the newly found Bangladesh. This caused another serious brain drain since the partition of India. Veterans like Runa Laila departed for Bangladesh and the Pakistani industry was at the brink of disaster yet again.
Amidst concerns of a collapse, the film Dosti, released on 7 February 1971, turned out to be the first indigenous Urdu film to complete 101 weeks of success at the box office dubbing it the first recipient of a diamond jubilee, however it is reported that the first diamond jubilee status was celebrated by the Punjabi film Yakke Wali in 1957.
As political uncertainty took charge of the entertainment industry, filmmakers were asked to consider socio-political impacts of their films as evident by the fact that the makers of Tehzeeb, released on 20 November 1971, were asked to change the lyrics with a reference to ‘Misr’, Urdu for Egypt, that might prove detrimental to diplomatic relations of Egypt and Pakistan. So vulnerable was the film industry to the changing political landscape that in 1976, an angry mob set fire to cinema in Quetta just before the release of the first Balochi film, Hamalo Mah Gunj, which was to be filmed in the same cinema.
The mid-1970s saw the introduction of video cassette recorders in Pakistan and instantly films from all over the world were copied onto tape, and attendance at cinemas decreased when people preferred to watch films in the comfort of their homes. This ushered the birth of the film piracy industry films began to be copied on tapes on the day they premiered in cinemas.
Javed Jabbar's Beyond the Last Mountain, released on 2 December 1976, was Pakistan’s first venture into English film-making. The film's Urdu version Musafir did not do well at the box-office. While the industry was revolutionising, Pakistan's government was in a state of turmoil.Aina, released on 18 March 1977, marked a distinct symbolic break between the so called liberal Zulfikar Ali Bhutto years and the increasingly conservative cum revolutionary Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq regime. The film stayed in cinemas for over 400 weeks at the box office,[17] with its last screening at 'Scala' in Karachi where it ran for more than four years. It is considered the most popular film in the country's history to date.
President Zia-ul-Haq's Islamisation, Gandasa culture and the downfall (1979–1987):-

Following Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq's military coup, he began to Islamicise the country and one of the very first victims of this socio-political change included the film industry. Imposition of new registration laws for film producers requiring filmmakers to be degree holders, where not many were, led to a steep decline in the workings of the industry. The government forcibly closed most of the cinemas in Lahore. Newtax rates were introduced, further decreasing cinema attendances.
Films dropped from a total output of 98 films in 1979, of which 42 were in Urdu, to only 58 films (26 in Urdu) in 1980. The filmmakers that remained employed flaccid storylines to present Punjabi cult classics like Maula Jatt in 1979, telling the story of a gandasa-carrying protagonist waging a blood-feud with a local gangster. Growing censorship policies against displays of affection, rather than violence, came as a blow to the industry and as a result violence-ridden Punjabi films prevailed and overshadowed the Urdu cinema. The middle class neglected the 'increasingly dilapidated and rowdy cinemas'. This film sub-culture came to be known as the ‘gandasa culture’ in the local industry.
Where veterans of this culture Sultan Rahi and Anjuman, became iconic figure in the Punjabi films, Pashto cinema took on a contrasting façade. Backed by powerful politicians, Pashto filmmakers were able to get around the censor policies and filled their films with soft corepornography to increase viewership. This threw away the romantic and loveable image of Pakistani cinema and less people were attracted to the prospect of going to a cinema. Being a female actor associated with film productions became an understandable taboo. Nevertheless influx of refugees from across the Afghani border, who were denied the entertainment in their country, kept the industry strongly active.
When it seemed the industry could not be further deteriorated, following years saw yet another blow to the fatal collapse. Waheed Murad, often termed the chocolate hero died in 1983 due to alcohol abuse and stomach cancer, some however says he committed suicide. Media attributes the film star's death to his disheartened view in the wake of Pakistani cinema's collapse. Director of his unfinished film Hero, employed cheat shots to complete the last of this legend's memorable films to a packed audience. This enthusiasm soon disappeared and not even Pakistan's first science fiction film Shaani in 1989, directed by Saeed Rizvi employing elaborate special effects could save the industry from failing. The sci-fi film received an award at the Moscow Film Festival and even in Egypt and Korea, but sadly was shelved in its country of origin.
Collapse (1988–2002):-

At the starts of the 1990s, Pakistan's film industry was gripped with certain doom. Of the several studios only 11 were operational in the '70s and '80s producing around 100 films annually. This number would lower further as studio went towards producing short-plays and television commercials and let the industry astray in the wake of cable television. By the early '90s, the annual output dropped to around 40 films, all produced by a single studio. Other productions would be independent of any studio usually financed by the filmmakers themselves.
The local industry succeeded to gain audience attention however in the mid- and late-1990s. With Syed Noor's JeevaSaeed Rizvis "SARKATA INSAAN" first Pakistani Horror and Fiction, in 1997 Saeed Rizvi created "TILISMIH JAZIRA" First Joint Venture between Soviet Union & Pakistan,and Samina Peerzada's Inteha, it seemed the cinema of Pakistan was headed towards a much needed revival but naught attendance recorded at the box-office for later ventures ushered a complete and utter collapse of the industry. Notable productions of the time include Deewane Tere Pyar Ke, Mujhe Chand Chahiye, Sangam, Tere Pyar Mein, and Ghar Kab Aao Gay, which tried hard to get away from the formulaic and violent storylines but were not accepted fully amongst the lower middle class cinema audience.
Controversy raged over the filming of Jinnah in the late 1990s, a film produced by Akbar Salahuddin Ahmed and directed by Jamil Dehlavi. Objections were raised over the choice of actor Christopher Lee as the protagonist depicting Muhammad Ali Jinnah and inclusion of IndianShashi Kapoor as archangel Gabriel in the cast combined with the experimental nature of the script. Imran Aslam, editor of The News International, said the author wrote the script in a ‘haze of hashish’. Of all the controversies and hearsay, the film proved a point that Indian and Pakistani filmmakers and actors can collaborate on any such cinematic ventures without the ban being lifted. Later years would see more actors travels traveling in and across the border on further cross-border ventures.
Late '80s had seen the death of Murad and towards 1989, Anjuman got married to Mobeen Malik, quitting from playback signing and finallySultan Rahi was murdered in 1996. The already reeling industry lost viewership not just for its Urdu but Punjabi films following Rahi's death. Director Sangeeta attended to her family life and Nazrul Islam died during the time. The industry was pronounced dead by the start of the new millennium. Syed Noor depressed at the sudden decline of cinema gathered investors for what was considered the only Pakistani film to have survived this chaos.
The year 1998 saw the release of Noor's Choorian, a Punjabi film that grossed 180 million rupees. Directors realised there was still hope and Javed Sheikh's Yeh Dil Aap Ka Huwa released in 2002 grossing over 200 million rupees (US $3.4 million) across Pakistan. The monetary prospects were then realised fully and for the first time in twelve years, investors starting taking keen interest in Pakistani films.
However, the short period of successes in the industry could not keep the cinemas afloat, and the same industry that at one time produced more than a 100 films annually a decade ago was now reduced to merely 32 per year, in the year 2003, with only one partial success called Larki Panjaban (A Punjabi Girl). In August, 2007, a new film titled Khuda Ke Liye was released. It became popular due to its controversial theme of the current problems faced in Pakistan. It was also released internationally, including in India, where it became the first Pakistani film released after four decades.
Revival under President Musharaf (2003–2009):-

In early 2003, young filmmakers took on a stance to demonstrate that high quality content could be produced by the local film industry using the limited resources available. Cinema was declining in all major cities of the nation and a need for revival was echoed in the media. With privatisation of television stations in full swing, a new channel Filmazia was broadcast, primarily to broadcast films and productions made indigenously in the country. It was during this time that Mahesh Bhatt, a celebrated Indian director visited Pakistan looking for talent, particularly singers who could lend their voices to his upcoming films in India. His visit to Pakistan was to attend the third Kara Film Festival, for the screenings of his film Paap in Karachi. Bhatt would later hire Atif Aslam for the soundtrack of his film Zeher and Pakistani actressMeera to play a lead-role in one of his films.
Later in 2005, industry officials realised that the government needed to lift the ban for the screening of Bollywood films in Pakistan. The issue was voiced by the Film Producers Association (FPA) and the Cinema Owners Association (CAO) of Pakistan after the release of the colourised remastering of the 1960 classic Mughal-e-Azam. When the government turned down the request, Geo Films, a subsidiary of Geo TV took on itself to invest in upcoming Pakistani directorial ventures and dubbed their efforts “Revival of Pakistani Cinema” and on 20 July 2007 released Shoaib Mansoor's cinematic directorial début Khuda Ke Liye (In The Name of God). The film would later become the first ever Pakistani film since the imposition of the ban in 1965 to be released simultaneously in India and Pakistan. With its general release in India, the four decade ban was finally lifted. The film was released in more than a 100 cinemas in 20 cities in India.
Unbeknown to the local media scene, a Pakistani horror and gore film was already doing rounds in International film festivals. Another directorial début by director Omar Ali Khan, Zibahkhana aka Hell's Ground premièred at festivals throughout the world gaining repute as the ‘first extreme-horror gore flick’ and received accolade wherever it screened.
The film ushered a revival in the horror genre for Pakistani films. The film would also be the first Pakistani film shot on HD. Where the horror genre seems to have been reincarnated in the industry, Freedom Sound, a science fiction film would use the computer-generated special effects for the first time since 1989's Shaani.
The recent successes of issue-centered Pakistani films such as Khuda Ke Liye prompted director Mehreen Jabbar to come forth with her instalment with the release of Ramchand Pakistani which will mark the first true efforts of international collaboration towards the revival of cinema in Pakistan.

Future under President Zardari (2009-present):-

Despite some optimism of a solid revival at the turn of the millennium, progress continues to be slow. Alongside Geo Films continued efforts with their 'Revival of cinema', the Pakistan New Cinema Movement was launched in 2009. With around 1400 members PNCM is a grass roots organization that facilitates networking and publishes articles in an effort to stimulate production.
Next up are filmstar Reema Khan's directorial project based on Paulo Coehlo's Veronica Decides to Die, filmstar Shan's directorial project " Chup" introducing model Juggun Kazim to the silver screen, Syed Noor's " Price of Honor" based reportedly on the Mukhtara Mai Rape incident,Syed Noor and his wife Saima are also working on a comedy "Wohti le ke Jani Hai" after the recorded breaking success of 'Majajan'. Khamaj fame Music Video director Safdar Malik's Directorial debut "Ajnabi Sheher mein" starring Nadeem, Samina Peerzada, Ali Zafar and Model Tooba Malik, Shehzad Gul's "Iman" starring Shan and Nirma, Actor Humayun Saeed debut production BALAA with the support of Vishesh Films(Mukesh and Mahesh Bhatt) to be directed by Script writer of Indian films 'Woh Lamhe' and 'Raaz the mystery continues' Shagufta Rafique(talks are on with Indian actress Tabu for the title role and Iman Ali and Juggan Kazim in Pakistan), Salman Peerzada's "Zargul" a major festival circuit success might also finally see mainstream release. Shoaib Mansoor is to bring his second film 'Bol' with stars Atif Aslam, Mahira Khan and Juggan Kazim. Also Syed Faisal Bokhari's 'Bhai Log',Shehzad Rafique's second film 'Mene Jeena Tere Naal' with Veena Malik and Adnan Khan. TV Producer Ejaz Bajwa's film directorial debut "Channa Sachi Muchi" starring Babar Ali, Momar Rana and Saima. Indo-Pak-American co production "Virsa" starring Arya Babbar from India and Mehreen Raheal from Pakistan will be releasing in Pakistan and India both after its world premiere at the Dallas International Film Festival (the director, Pankaj Batra is Indian). Iqbal Kashmiri's second film 'Devdas' remake of Indian film, Devdas, and Bengali novel, starring Zara Sheikh, Meera and Nadeem Shah. Son of Pakistan based on terrorism in Pakistan. Written, directed and produced by Jarar Rizvi. The film features Shamyl Khan, Sana Nawaz and Meera in lead roles. Aamir Zafar, a filmmaking student, debut as director with film Victim which features Humayun Saeed and Irtiza Ruhab in lead roles. Syed Faisal Bukhari's second film "Saltanat" featuring Lollywood debut Mona Laizza who also does an item number, Javed Sheikh andAhsan Khan. Shaan Shahid's second film, script by Mashal Peezada featuring Vaneeza Ahmed and Natasha. Tamanna, a UK-Pakistani production shot entirely in Pakistan with the soundtrack featuring Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and written by veteran playwright Munnu Bhai is to be released in 2011.2010, Bodhicitta Works, an initiative by Australian film-maker Summer Nicks, Craig Peter Jones and Pakistani Canadian, Meher Jaffri (all Karachi based) began production of ''KOLACHI' - a big budget, apocalyptic sci-fi feature in the same genre as Spielberg's 'Deep Impact'. It stars British actor Nathaniel Antonio Lloyd, Australian Summer Nicks and Pakistani father and son actors Behroz Subzwari and Shahroz Subzwari, Hisham Aziz, Moiz Badshah, Fawad Khan, Saqib Khan and actress Meher Jaffri. The film is slated for an end of the year release worldwide and will be directed by Pakistani, Mansoor Mujahid.
Music industry of Pakistani films:-
The classical music tradition in Pakistan traces its roots to the 13th-century poet and musician Amir Khusru, who composed the earliest ragas, the traditional rhythmic form. To play the ragas, Muslim musicians invented the sitar, a long guitar-like stringed instrument, and the tabla, a small pair of hand drums.
Qawwali, a form of devotional song, arose as part of the Sufi (Islamic religious sect) tradition. This rich vocal tradition is based on melodic and free-rhythmic song-poems and classical musical forms. It is traditionally performed at the shrines of Sufi saints, but today qawwali singers also perform for major secular events. Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan won international popularity in the late 20th century by infusing qawwali performances with new form and style. Other traditional musical forms—including the Punjabi bhangra, the Sindhi juhumar, and the Pashtun khattack—have also acquired new forms and continue to be popular for dancing. Punjabi, Pashto, and Sindhi folk songs are popular in rural Pakistan. Modern Pakistani musical groups and singers have introduced new forms of pop music based on traditional melodies. Most Pakistanis prefer and enjoy songs from Pakistani and Indian movies. These songs are commonly played on radio and television. A synthesis of musical scores from movies, traditional folk music, and popular Western music is gaining popularity.The film industry of Pakistan, known as Lollywood, is concentrated in Lahore. Most Pakistani movies are long, melodramatic love stories with plenty of songs. The film industry is often regulated and censored by the government. Films must follow the conventions of Islamic law, and the showing of physical contact such as kissing is prohibited. In the mid-1970s the industry produced about 150 movies a year, but since then the number has declined. In the 1980s the market for Pakistani films shrunk as a result of restrictions imposed by the military regime of Muhammad Zia ul-Haq and the availability of smuggled videotapes of Indian and Western movies.
Film is considered by many to be an important art form; films entertain, educate, enlighten and inspire audiences. The visual elements of cinema need no translation, giving the motion picture a universal power of communication. Any film can become a worldwide attraction, especially with the addition of dubbing or subtitles that translate the dialogue. Films are also artifacts created by specific cultures, which reflect those cultures, and, in turn, affect them.Pakistani film industry flourish day by day due to the private production of some renowned actors and directors who put their efforts for the rapid growth of Film Industry.

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