The first Bhojpuri talkie film, Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo, was released in 1963 by Vishwanath Shahabadi. The 80s saw the release of many notable as well as run-of-the-mill Bhojpuri films like Bitia Bhail Sayan, Chandwa ke take Chakor, Hamar Bhauji, Ganga Kinare Mora Gaon and Sampoorna Tirth Yatra. Bhojpuri cinema has grown in recent years. The Bhojpuri film industry is now a ₹2000 crore industry. Bhojpuri movies are seen across various parts of North America, Europe, and Asia where second and third generation migrants still speak the language, as well as in Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Fiji, Mauritius, and South Africa, which has a large Bhojpuri population.
Bhojpuri, often considered a dialect of Hindi, originates in western Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh in northern India. Speakers of it and its creoles are found in many parts of the world, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Fiji, Guyana, Mauritius, South Africa, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago, and The Netherlands. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, many colonizers faced labor shortages due to the abolition of slavery; thus, they imported many Indians, many from Bhojpuri-speaking regions, as indentured servants to labor on plantations. Today, some 200 million people in the Caribbean, Oceania, and North America who speak Bhojpuri as a native or second language.
In the 1960s, the first president of India, Rajendra Prasad, who hailed from Bihar, met Bollywood actor Nazir Hussain and asked him to make a movie in Bhojpuri, which eventually led to the release of the first Bhojpuri film in 1963. Bhojpuri cinema's history begins with the well-received film Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo ("Mother Ganges, I will offer you a yellow sari"), which was produced by Biswanath Prasad Shahabadi under the banner of Nirmal Pictures and directed by Kundan Kumar. Throughout the following decades, films were produced in fits and starts. Bidesiya ("Foreigner", 1963, directed by S. N. Tripathi) and Ganga ("Ganges", 1965, directed by Kundan Kumar) were profitable and popular, but in general Bhojpuri films were not commonly produced in the 1960s and 1970s.
In the 1980s, enough Bhojpuri films were produced to tentatively make up an industry. Films such as Mai ("Mom", 1989, directed by Rajkumar Sharma) and Hamar Bhauji ("My Brother's Wife", 1983, directed by Kalpataru) continued to have at least sporadic success at the box office. Nadiya Ke Paar is a 1982 Hindi-Bhojpuri blockbuster directed by Govind Moonis and starring Sachin, Sadhana Singh, Inder Thakur, Mitali, Savita Bajaj, Sheela David, Leela Mishra and Soni Rathod. However, this trend faded out by the end of the decade. By 1990, the nascent industry seemed to be completely finished.
The industry took off again in 2001 with the Silver Jubilee hit Saiyyan Hamar ("My Sweetheart", directed by Mohan Prasad), which shot its hero, Ravi Kissan, to superstardom. This was quickly followed by several other remarkably successful films, including Panditji Batai Na Biyah Kab Hoi ("Priest, tell me when I will marry", 2005, directed by Mohan Prasad) and Sasura Bada Paisa Wala ("My father-in-law, the rich guy", 2005). In a measure of the Bhojpuri film industry's rise, both of these did much better business in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh than mainstream Bollywood hits at the time. Both films, made on extremely tight budgets, earned back more than ten times their production costs. Sasura Bada Paisa Wala introduced Manoj Tiwari, formerly a well-loved folk singer, to the wider audiences of Bhojpuri cinema. In 2008, he and Ravi Kissan were the leading actors of Bhojpuri films, and their fees increase with their fame. The extremely rapid success of their films has led to dramatic increases in Bhojpuri cinema's visibility, and the industry now supports an awards show and a trade magazine, Bhojpuri City, which chronicles the production and release of what are now over 100 films per year.
Many of the major stars of mainstream Bollywood cinema, including Amitabh Bachchan, have recently worked in Bhojpuri films. Mithun Chakraborty's Bhojpuri debut Bhole Shankar, released in 2008, is considered the biggest Bhojpuri hit of all time. Also in 2008, a 21-minute diploma Bhojpuri film by Siddharth Sinha, Udedh Bun (Unravel) was selected for world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival. Later it won the National Film Award for Best Short fiction Film.
Bhojpuri poet Manoj Bhawuk has written a history of Bhojpuri cinema. Bhawuk is widely known as "Encyclopedia of Bhojpuri Cinema".
In February 2011, a three-day film and cultural festival in Patna marking 50 years of Bhojpuri cinema, opened Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo the first Bhojpuri film. The first Bhojpuri Reality Film "Dhokha" is under production under banner Om Kaushik Films is about to be nominated and screened in different International Film Festivals under direction Of Rashmi Raj Kaushik Vicky and Renu Chaudhary.
Notable personalities of the Bhojpuri film industry include:
Apart from these regular actors, many Bollywood actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Rahul Roy, Dharmendra, Kader Khan, Mithun Chakraborty, Jackie Shroff, and Raj Babbar, Rahul Dev, have acted in Bhojpuri movies.
Apart from these regular Bhojpuri singers, famous Bollywood singers such as Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Usha Mangeshkar, Geeta Dutt, Anuradha Paudwal, Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Sonu Nigam and Udit Narayan are featured.
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