Punjabi community always had a great presence in Hindi film industry. You talk about any era or generation, Punjabis have kept us entertained. Whether its actors, directors or singers, Punjabi people have ruled the roost in Bollywood. Right from Kapoors, Chopras, Sagars, Khannas to singers like Sehgal, Rafi and Daler Mehndi, Punjabi talents have always mesmerised cine-goers. Presence of such stalwarts in every sphere of Hindi cinema also tells us that Bollywood will become completely colourless in absence of Punjabis. We have also enjoyed Punjabi songs and dance sequences in Hindi film industry.

Though, presence of Punjabi community has made Hindi film industry a much richer place, same can’t be said about Punjabi film industry. Here, the movies have suffered a lot because of several reasons. Lack of finances, undeveloped market and language constraint did not give regional cinema a pretty picture. During the 70s and 80s, hardly 6-10 movies were released in the region. However, movies made in Hindustani language got more success. The condition of Punjabi cinema remained in doldrums till 90s but arrival of new millennium has witnessed better market and even better days for Punjabi cinemas. Now more and more new movies are being made in Punjabi and people are also accepting them whole-heartedly. Wider spread of Punjabi community in several regions has also helped in popularising Punjabi movies.

Some of the top Punjabi actors include Satish Kaul, Harbhajan Mann, Raj Babbar, Om Puri, Shashi Puri, Meher Mittal, Shivendra Mahal, Veerendra, Yograj Singh, Gurdas Mann, Diljeet Kaur, Divya Dutta, Kimi Verma and Jimmy Shergill. Many of these artists have also worked in Hindi film industry. Few Punjabi movies have also won National awards the likes of which include Satluj De Kande (1964), Chann Pardesi, Kachehari (1994), Main Maa Punjab (1998), Shaheed-E-Mohabbat (1999) and Des Hoya Pardes (2005).

In the recent years, some Punjabi movies have proved to be huge Box-office successes. Movies like Rustam-e-Hind, Mitti Wajan Mardi, Yaariyan, Mera Pind, Lakh pardesi hoye, Heaven on earth, Sat sri akal, Jag jeodeye deh mele, Tera mera ki Ristha, Munde U.K. They have made roaring business. Punjabi cinema has witnessed renewed interest in recent years and that is amply reflected by number of movies being released every year and revenues being earned.

If Kerala is known for its scenic beauty and amazing backwaters, then it is also famous for churning out socially relevant movies. The language of the state of Kerala is Malayalam and movies made in the state are often in Malayalam language only. The most striking aspect about Malayalam cinema is that they are more realistic in nature and unlike popular Hindi cinemas; they are more prone to delivering social messages. One reason behind this phenomenon could be political landscape of the region that has affected the arts and culture of Kerala. The people of Kerala love to watch Malayalam movies and that explains its popularity in the region as well as in some countries where Malay expats are spread.

Going back to the history books, the first Malayalam cinema was ‘Vigathakumaran’ made in 1928. It was a silent movie that was well received by the people of the state. The first spoken cinema was ‘Balan’. Malayalam movies got a fresh lease of life with opening of its first studio Udaya. With the passage of time, Malayalam films have made a strong identity for themselves. During the initial period, the movies made in the region were hugely influenced by Tamil and Telugu cinemas but then the tide turned. Directors like Adoor Gopalakrishnan, G. Aravindan and Shaji Karun etc have contributed significantly in the global recognition of Malayalam cinema.

Malayalam cinema works in two layers of melodramatic themes and art cinema that has continued to grow. Movies made in the region are wonderful manifestation of deeply interwoven other pillars of culture such as literature, art and politics. 1950s witnessed first major Malayalam hit known as ‘Jeevithanauka’. The super success of this movie was followed by other classics like Neelakkuyil, Newspaper Boy and Chemmeen etc. 1970’s witnessed a socio-political change in Kerala. This period also saw huge interests of youths in movie making and Malayalam film songs. The movies became a powerful medium of self-expression.

Malayalam cinema kept growing strength by strength during 80’s, 90’s and in new millennium. The gap between commercial and art cinema slowly subsided and new technologies were incorporated in the film medium. Some of the most popular Malayalam actors are Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi and Mammootty. Malayalam cinemas are frequently shown at international film festivals.