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Bollywood: The World's Biggest Film Industry

Series 1

Episode 2

Duration: 59 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two ScotlandLatest broadcast: on BBC Two Wales

Anita Rani is with India’s new generations of stars and producers as she sets out to understand how the modern film industry is being challenged to keep up with India’s unusually young population - more than half the 1.3 billion people in India are under 25. She meets the young Brits who have flocked to Bollywood, drawn by the huge number of films being shot there each year to understand why Indian cinema is so fascinated with having westerners on screen.

Anita begins in the middle of a modern hip hop dance scene being shot in Mumbai and quickly finds she’s not the only Brit on the dancefloor. Meanwhile in Chennai, one of the biggest local film stars is Liverpudlian Amy Jackson who is busy filming the dance scene to the largest budget Indian film ever made. To understand the challenges these foreigners sometimes face in India, Anita meets two aspiring western actors, or ‘Strugglers’ as they’re known in Bollywood, who explain the issues they faced when they first arrived and the realities of the infamous ‘casting couch’.

Anita gets invited to the set of a historical film which is at the centre of a huge controversy in India. Political and religious groups have been protesting its release and the director has even received death threats and she hears the incredible story behind the news headlines from the crew at the heart of it.

Next she heads to a film being shot in Mumbai harbour to meet a pioneer of women’s rights in India. It was illegal for women to do make up on film sets prior to 2015 and Anita discovers how a group of brave women won a landmark case in the Supreme court which paved the way for female make-up artists in Bollywood. In Rajasthan, she’s on set with one of India’s most famous and outspoken actresses, Kangana Ranaut, to understand how the portrayal of women in Bollywood is slowly changing, and then meets the team behind a video Kangana made calling out Bollywood’s sexists attitudes with the controversial chorus: “Because I have a vagina, no one listens to me”.

Finally, Anita visits one of Asia’s largest slums to meet the director and young cast of a new film about sanitation, part of an increasing trend in Bollywood to use the enormous power of cinema in India to bring about social change. Show less


Anita Rani
Special thanks:
Bhansali Productions
Special thanks:
Farhath Hussain
Special thanks:
Think Events
Special thanks:
Kairos Kontent Studios
Special thanks:
Kriarj Entertainment
Special thanks:
Panorama Studios
Special thanks:
Romp Pictures
Re-recording mixer:
Nas Parkash
Chris Batham
On-line editing:
Ronnie Newman
Sound Recordist:
Sudipto Mukhopadhyay
Production Coordinator:
Laura Hodgson
Line Producer:
James Mudie
Sarah Muhsen
Executive Producer:
Dominique Walker
Series Producer:
Chris Parkin
Chris Parkin
Production Company:
Raw TV

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