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From Bombay to Bollywood

The Making of a Global Media Industry

Aswin Punathambekar

Publication Year: 2013

From Bombay to Bollywood analyzes the transformation of the national film industry in Bombay into a transnational and multi-media cultural enterprise, which has come to be known as Bollywood. Combining ethnographic, institutional, and textual analyses, Aswin Punathambekar explores how relations between state institutions, the Indian diaspora, circuits of capital, and new media technologies and industries have reconfigured the Bombay-based industry’s geographic reach. Providing in-depth accounts of the workings of media companies and media professionals, Punathambekar has produced a timely analysis of how a media industry in the postcolonial world has come to claim the global as its scale of operations.
 
Based on extensive field research in India and the U.S., this book offers empirically-rich and theoretically-informed analyses of how the imaginations and practices of industry professionals give shape to the media worlds we inhabit and engage with. Moving beyond a focus on a single medium, Punathambekar develops a comparative and integrated approach that examines four different but interrelated media industries--film, television, marketing, and digital media. Offering a path-breaking account of media convergence in a non-Western context, Punathambekar’s transnational approach to understanding the formation of Bollywood is an innovative intervention into current debates on media industries, production cultures, and cultural globalization.
 
Aswin Punathambekar is Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. He is the co-editor of Global Bollywood (NYU Press, 2008).
 
In the Postmillenial Pop series
 

Published by: NYU Press

Cover, Title page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 1-7

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

This is a book about connections and networks that span multiple spaces and places in the world. Through the long process of reading, learning, and writing about transnational media spaces, the numerous material, intellectual, and emotional debts I have accrued also span many places and times. ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-24

In May 1998, the Indian government transformed world media by granting Bombay cinema “industry” status. It was a remarkable decision, given the history of the state’s relationship with popular cinema. Even though Bombay had emerged as a major center of film production during the 1930s and 1940s, ...

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1. Bollywood Is Useful: Media Industries and the State in an Era of Reform

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pp. 25-50

Held in the “grand ballroom” of the five-star Renaissance Hotel in suburban Bombay, the inauguration of the FICCI-FRAMES 2009 convention was a lavish affair that opened with Amit Mitra, the Secretary-General of FICCI, inviting the Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting and External Affairs, Anand Sharma, on to the stage to light a lamp ...

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2. Staging Bollywood: Industrial Identity in an Era of Reform

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pp. 51-78

In many respects, the filmic exemplar for Bollywood in a phase of transition is Rommy Rolly, one of the central protagonists in Luck by Chance (2009), a film that takes an affectionate and at times critical look at the workings of the film industry in Bombay. Written and directed by Zoya Akhtar, daughter of established screenwriter Honey Irani ...

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3. “It’s All about Knowing Your Audience”: Marketing and Promotions in Bollywood

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pp. 79-112

In April 2004 the Times of India began publishing a comic strip featuring two characters named Hum and Tum. As soon became clear to readers across the country, the comic strips were part of a marketing campaign for a film produced and distributed by Yash Raj Films (Hum Tum, 2004, You and Me, dir. Kunal Kohli). ...

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4. “Multiplex with Unlimited Seats”: Dot-Coms and the Making of an Overseas Territory

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pp. 113-146

“So tell me, you left India for work or for higher studies?” asked Saleem Mobhani, cofounder of the highly popular and successful Bollywood website indiafm.com, a division of Hungama.com and recently rebranded as Bollywoodhungama.com. We were in a conference room in the office of Hungama.com, ...

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5. “It’s Not Your Dad’s Bollywood”: Diasporic Entrepreneurs and the Allure of Digital Media

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pp. 147-176

In June 2003 the publicity event for Rajshri Productions’ film Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon in New York City was attended primarily by journalists and public relations professionals working for various South Asian newspapers, magazines, and popular diaspora-centric web portals like Sulekha.com. ...

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Conclusion: Fandom and Other Transnational Futures

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pp. 177-190

I began this book with an account of a spectacular media convention designed to celebrate Bollywood’s growing prominence in the world. Held in Bombay and attended by industry professionals, policymakers, and bureaucrats from across the world, the 2009 FICCI-FRAMES convention seemed to mark Bollywood’s arrival on the world stage. ...

Appendix 1: Profiles of Key Bollywood Companies

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pp. 191-204

Appendix 2: Top Box-Office Successes, 2000–2009

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pp. 205-208

Notes

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pp. 209-228

Bibliography

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pp. 229-240

Index

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pp. 241-254

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About the Author

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pp. 255-268

Aswin Punathambekar is Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor. He is the co-editor, with Anandam P. Kavoori, of Global Bollywood (NYU Press, 2008).


E-ISBN-13: 9780814771907
E-ISBN-10: 0814771890
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814771891
Print-ISBN-10: 0814771890

Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2013