A scene from Raja HarishchandraThe first feature film made in India was anarrative named Pundalik, by N.G. Chitre and R.G. Torney. The first full-length Indianfeature film was Raja Harishchandra (3700 feet as compared to 1500 for Pundalik), madein 1913 and released commercially in May that year, by Dadasaheb Phalke. Phalke hadattended a screening of The Life of Christ at P.B. Mehta's American-Indian Cinema andwas inspired to make films himself. He was convinced of the possibility of establishingan indigenous film industry by focussing on Indian themes. In this regard, he said Likethe life of Christ, we shall make pictures on Rama and Krishna. The film was about anhonest king who for the sake of his principles sacrifices his kingdom and family beforethe gods, who are impressed with his honesty and restore him to his former glory. Thefilm was a success, and Phalke went on to make more mythological films till the adventof talkies, and commercialization of Indian films lessened his popularity..In 1916, Universal Pictures set up Hollywood's first Indian agency (seeHollywood meets India, below). The first South Indian feature was Rangaswamy Nataraja Mudaliar's Keechaka Vadham, released in 1918. The following year, he madethe film Draupadi Vastrapaharanam, featuring Anglo-Indian actress Marian Hill who played the role of Draupadi.
Regional film industries
A cinema hall in DelhiIndia is a large country where many languages are spoken.According to the 1991 Census of India there are about 10,400 'raw mother tongues' inIndia. If closely related and mutually comprehensible dialects are grouped, the number can be reduced to 1576 ‘rationalised’ mother tongues, or with even more consolidation,114 main languages. These 114 languages are the ones surveyed in the Indian census.Indian film producers have made films in thirty of the largest languages. However, onlythe very largest language groups support major regional industries. These are: Hindi,Bengali, Marathi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam. Official statistics categoriseIndian films according to the languages in which they are distributed.There is a great deal of mobility between the regional industries. Many workers inother regional industries, once their talent and popularity is established, move on to work in other film industries, nationally as well as internationally. For example, A. R. Rahman,one of the best known film music composers in Indian cinema, started his career in Tamilcinema in Chennai but has since worked in Bollywood, London, and New York.Similarly, films that succeed in one language are often remade or dubbed in others. Films