Indian film's fascination for 'wood' suffix
Dawn/Asia New Network
May 6, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
ISLAMABAD--As the Indian film industry turned 100 years old yesterday, here's looking at its different industries and their fascination for the “wood” suffix.
Globally, the Indian film industry is almost synonymous with Bollywood. But the 100-year-old industry, which makes more films a year than any other country, has a strong regional presence as well. Much like the Hindi film industry that has twisted the word Hollywood to its convenience, other industries have also sought refuge in the “wood” suffix. While some of them have chosen to tweak it based on the place of operation, others have named them after the language. Here's a look at the many Indian “woods.”
Bollywood: The biggest film industry in the country, it has been named after Bombay, from where it operates. Traditionally, it has been ruled by stars, but this year has seen scripts, scriptwriters and directors take center stage, with many performer-actors rising in popularity.
Kollywood: The Tamil film industry is named after Kodambakam, an area in Chennai, which used to be the hub of all filming activity in Tamil Nadu. Kollywood has always been known for idol worshipping. The Konkani film industry is also named thus, after the language. April 24, 1950, saw the first Konkani film release and this date, ever since, has been celebrated as the Konkani Cinema Day.
Tollywood: The Telugu film industry, which is one of the bigger ones in the country, is named after the language of Andhra Pradesh. This industry is known for making total commercial entertainers. If Telugu has inspired the name in Andhra, in Bengal, it is the area of Tollygunge that is responsible for its name. An industry that's known to produce the most “quality” films, it is synonymous with directors who've altered the course of parallel cinema in India like Satyajit Ray.
Sandalwood: Considering the fact that Karnataka has many sandalwood forests, one doesn't have to look too far to spot the inspiration. The industry has produced many matinee idols, but the names that have made a national mark are directors like Girish Kasaravalli, MS Sathyu and Girish Karnad.
Mollywood: Kerala's film industry is called Mollywood because of the Malayalam language. This industry is also known for its art house cinema. Just like Kerala, Maharashtra's film industry has been christened Mollywood because of its operating language: Marathi. This industry has the right mix of class and mass.
The Manipuri film industry has been christened based on the first letter of the state's name. Manipuri films seek inspiration from Bollywood and are complete entertainers.
Gollywood: Gujarat's film industry is called so because of its regional language, Gujarati. This is one of the older industries, with its first film dating back to 1932.
Pollywood: No prizes for guessing this one. The Punjabi film industry takes its name from the language. Punjabi films also date back a long time. Recent years have seen a revival of the industry, with many popular Punjabi Bollywood actors doing films in their native tongue.
Ollywood: Odisha calls its industry Ollywood because it is named after the region's language, Odia. Initially known to be a lesser famous sister of Bengali films, the industry has now branched out and earned its own space.
Lollywood: Lambani, a nomadic community, have a film industry, albeit with just half a dozen films to boast of till now. They call it Lollywood based on the language. The films are made mainly in Karnataka, which happens to have many Lambanis living there.