The Business of Bollywood

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Quick Info

01/09/2014 - 01/19/2014
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Program Overview

Program Overview

India - The Business of BollywoodOver the past decade, Bollywood has seen a significant increase in its popularity in the west and other parts of the world. The spectacular song and dance routines, emotionally charged melodramas, and larger-than-life heroes have drawn many stars, directors, and audiences to the cinema. Though most of the 800 to 1,000 Indian films produced and marketed in a year are commercial dramas, many touch on social issues prevalent in the country. As a gradual shift in audience has taken place—from domestic to international—these issues, as well as Indian society and culture at large, have become accessible to the world. Through presentations, lectures, and dialogues with industry experts, this seminar explores the evolution of Bollywood over the years, the business and social aims behind the industry, and the impact it has had on Indian society.

Program Activities

Program Activities

Lectures & Discussions

Participants will meet with experts from the Indian film industry to discuss the business and culture of Bollywood with a focus on: the importance of audience, film marketing, the role and impact of major Bollywood stars in brand advertising, and the globalization of Indian cinema. Lectures to include:

  • Bollywood: Who’s Watching and Why?
    The Bollywood audience is varied and widespread. Broadly it includes the niche, the masses, and international viewers. All of these may perceive and absorb the same film differently. Despite its diversity and reach, Hindi cinema aims to make films that are viewed across India. Who is the audience? What differentiates them from each other? How does the industry distinguish between these audiences? This session will help us understand the mixed bag of Bollywood consumers.
  • Gender and Modernity in Indian Cinema
    India is undergoing a transformation. Movie roles for women have changed over time from homemakers, sacrificing career and personal goals for the needs of the family, to strong, independent, working characters. Homosexuality is another subject that Bollywood is helping India come to terms with. This session will focus on the conflict between India’s traditional values and it’s rapidly evolving modern beliefs, as played out on film.
  • Hero Worship
    In other parts of the world, actors are aped, followed, and admired. In India, they are also trusted, worshiped, and celebrated. What is the explanation for this hero worship? How do the movie industry and its sponsors capitalize on it to promote their products and brands? This session will address many more such questions.
  • Evolution of Bollywood in a 100 Years
    Although the term wasn’t coined until the 1970s, Indian cinema began in 1913, with the first “Bollywood” film. This session takes participants on a fascinating journey through the history of Indian cinema.
  • Behind the scenes
    Filmmaking in India is very different from the U.S. Participants will learn the steps and processes of the Bollywood film industry: production, distribution, marketing, the role of movie stars, and more.

Site Visits

  • Film/TV ad production sets

Cultural Engagement

  • Bollywood choreography lessons

Note: Program content is subject to change.

Program Objectives

Program Objectives

During this seminar, participants will:

  • Experience and develop an understanding of Indian culture through the lenses of cinema and media production, dissemination, and consumption.
  • Explore economic and cultural connections between Bollywood cinema and mass media advertising industries in present day India.
  • Track the causes and effects of Bollywood’s increasing popularity with international audiences.
Seminar Locations

Seminar Locations

Based in Mumbai; participants fly in and out of Mumbai.

Seminar content subject to change.