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.