The cinema of West Bengal (Bengali: টলিউড, translit. ṭôliuḍ), also known as Tollywood, refers to the Indian Bengali language film industry based in the Tollygunge region of Kolkata, West Bengal, India. The origins of the nickname Tollywood, a portmanteau of the words Tollygunge and Hollywood, dates back to 1932. It was a historically important film industry, at one time the center of Indian film production. The Bengali film industry is known for producing many of Indian cinema's most critically acclaimed global Parallel Cinema and art films, with several of its filmmakers gaining prominence at the Indian National Film Awards as well as international acclaim. Since the late 20th century, the Bengali film industry has become smaller, overtaken by other regional industries such as Bollywood and South Indian cinema.
Ever since Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali (1955) was awarded Best Human Document at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival, Bengali films frequently appeared in international fora and film festivals for the next several decades. This allowed Bengali filmmakers to reach a global audience. The most influential among them was Satyajit Ray, whose films became successful among European, American and Asian audiences. His work subsequently had a worldwide impact, with filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, James Ivory, Abbas Kiarostami, Elia Kazan, François Truffaut, Carlos Saura, Isao Takahata, Wes Anderson and Danny Boyle being influenced by his cinematic style, and many others such as Akira Kurosawa praising his work.
The "youthful coming-of-age dramas that have flooded art houses since the mid-fifties owe a tremendous debt to the Apu trilogy". Kanchenjungha (1962) introduced a narrative structure that resembles later hyperlink cinema. Ray's 1967 script for a film to be called The Alien, which was eventually cancelled, is widely believed to have been the inspiration for Steven Spielberg's E.T. (1982). Ira Sachs' Forty Shades of Blue (2005) was a loose remake of Charulata, and in Gregory Navas My Family (1995), the final scene is duplicated from the final scene of The World of Apu. Similar references to Ray films are found in recent works such as Sacred Evil (2006), the Elements trilogy of Deepa Mehta, and in films of Jean-Luc Godard.
Kishore Kumar (4 August 1929 – 13 October 1987) was an Indian playback singer, actor, lyricist, composer, producer, director, and screenwriter. He is considered as one of the most popular singers of Hindi film industry and from soft numbers to peppy tracks to romantic moods, Kumar sang in different genres but some of his rare compositions which were considered classics were lost in time. According to Ashok Kumar, Kumar's success lies in the fact that his voice used to hit the microphone straight at its most sensitive point.
Apart from Hindi, he sang in many Indian languages including Bengali, Marathi, Assamese, Gujarati, Kannada, Bhojpuri, Malayalam and Urdu. He has also sung in private albums in several languages especially in Bengali. He won 8 Film fare Awards for Best Male Playback Singer and holds the record for winning the most Filmfare Awards in that category. He was awarded the "Lata Mangeshkar Award" by the Madhya Pradesh government in the year 1985-86. In the year 1997, the Madhya Pradesh Government initiated an award called the "Kishore Kumar Award" as a contribution to Hindi cinema. Recently, Kishore Kumar's unreleased last song was sold for Rs 15.6 lakh (1.56 million) at the Osian's Cinefan Auction, New Delhi in 2012.
A still of a scene from the movie Dena Paona which is credited as the one of the first Bengali talkies, and along with Alam Ara, was one of the first sound films produced in India.
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