Producing Bollywood offers an unprecedented look inside the social and professional worlds of the Mumbai-based Hindi film industry and explains how it became "Bollywood," the global film phenomenon and potent symbol of India as a rising economic powerhouse. In this rich and entertaining ethnography Tejaswini Ganti examines the changes in Hindi film production from the 1990s until 2010, locating them in Hindi filmmakers' efforts to accrue symbolic capital, social respectability, and professional distinction, and to manage the commercial uncertainties of filmmaking. These efforts have been enabled by the neoliberal restructuring of the Indian state and economy since 1991. This restructuring has dramatically altered the country's media landscape, which quickly expanded to include satellite television and multiplex theaters. Ganti contends that the Hindi film industry's metamorphosis into Bollywood would not have been possible without the rise of neoliberal economic ideals in India. By describing dramatic transformations in the Hindi film industry's production culture, daily practices, and filmmaking ideologies during a decade of tremendous social and economic change in India, Ganti offers valuable new insights into the effects of neoliberalism on cultural production in a postcolonial setting.
Tejaswini Ganti is Associate Professor of Anthropology at New York University. She is the author of Bollywood: A Guidebook to Popular Hindi Cinema.
March 2012About Producing Bollywood
456 pages, 30 illustrations
"This is the first book on Bollywood to combine a deep knowledge of the dynamics of script, song, stars, and style in this cinematic world with an equally keen sense of the unique nature of the politics, finance, and cultural prejudices of the film industry. It will be an indispensable benchmark for all future studies of Bollywood and of similar cinematic industries worldwide, and it will interest media scholars, anthropologists, sociologists of culture, and the curious general reader." -Arjun Appadurai
, New York University
"Tejaswini Ganti mines her extensive contacts in an industry generally closed-off to outsiders to provide us with in-depth analyses of the sensibilities, compulsions, and desires of important figures in the film industry, as well as the social practices of film production. Producing Bollywood
provides unique insights into the forces that shape the production of films in one of the largest film industries in the world. By going beyond the hype surrounding 'Bollywood' and eschewing simplistic dismissals about escapism and the profit-making drive of Bollywood filmmakers, this book enables us to understand the cultural logics that shape the production of Bollywood film. Based on more than a decade of ethnographic fieldwork in multiple sites of film production, Producing Bollywood
is truly a trailblazing work."- Purnima Mankekar
, author of Screening Culture, Viewing Politics: An Ethnography of Television, Womanhood, and Nation in Postcolonial India