Gujarati cinema

The film industry of Gujarat started its journey in 1932. Since then Gujarati films immensely contributed to Indian cinema. Gujarati cinema has gained popularity among the regional film industry in India. Gujarati cinema is always based on scripts from mythology to history and social to political. Since its origin Gujarati cinema has experimented with stories and issues from the Indian society. Furthermore, Gujarat has immense contribution to Bollywood as several Gujarati actors have brought glamour to the Indian film industry. Gujarati film industry has included the work of actors including Sanjeev Kumar, Rajendra Kumar, Bindu, Asha Parekh, Kiran Kumar, Arvind Trivedi, Aruna Irani, Mallika Sarabhai, and Asrani.

The scripts and stories dealt in the Gujarati films are intrinsically humane. They include relationship- and family-oriented subjects with human aspirations and deal with Indian family culture. Thus, there can be no turning away from the essential humanity of these Gujarati cinema. The first Gujarati movie, Narasinh Mehta, was released in the year 1932 and was directed by Nanubhai Vakil. The film starred Mohanlala, Marutirao, Master Manhar, and Miss Mehtab. It was of the `Saint film` genre and was based on the life of the saint Narasinh Mehta who observed a creed that was followed centuries later by Mahatma Gandhi. The film was matchless as it avoided any depiction of miracles. In 1935, another social movie, Ghar Jamai was released, directed by Homi Master. The film starred Heera, Jamna, Baby Nurjehan, Amoo, Alimiya, Jamshedji, and Gulam Rasool. The film featured a `resident son-in-law` (ghar jamai) and his escapades as well as his problematic attitude toward the freedom of women. It was a comedy-oriented movie that was a major success in the industry.

Gujarati films thus proceeded with several other important social, political as well as religious issues. The years 1948, 1950, 1968, 1971 moved in a wide variety of dimensions. The Gujarati movies such as Kariyavar, directed by Chaturbhuj Doshi, Vadilona Vank directed by Ramchandra Thakur, Gadano Bel directed by Ratibhai Punatar and Leeludi Dharti directed by Vallabh Choksi brought immense success to the industry. The problems of modernisation are the underlying concern of several films. The movies like Gadano Bel had strong realism and reformism.

Gujarati films such as Leeludi Dharti reflect the rural world with its fertility rituals. In 1975 Tanariri, directed by Chandrakant Sangani presents highlights the little-known side of Akbar who is usually presented as a consistently benign ruler. The first cinemascope film of Gujarati cinema was Sonbaini Chundadi, directed by Girish Manukant released in 1976. Besides these, Bhavni Bhavai released in 1980 was directed by Ketan Mehta. It boasted superlative performances, fine camerawork and won two awards: National Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration and an award at the Nantes Three Continents Festival in France. In 1992, Hun Hunshi Hunshilal, directed by Sanjiv Shah was sought to be post-modern.

Gujarati films were further enriched by the brilliant performances of the film personalities. Anupama, Upendra Trivedi, Arvind Trivedi, Naresh Kanodia (Gujarati superstar), Sneh Lata (great Gujarati actress), Ramesh Mehta and Veljibhai Gajjar, Dilip Patel, Ranjitraj, Sohil Virani, Narayan Rajgor, Premshankar Bhatt, Jay Patel, Ashvin Patel, Girija Mitra, Anjana, Manmohan Desai, Sanjay Gadhvi, Kalyanji Anandji, Deepika Chikhalia, Bindu Desai, Renuka Sahane and Priti Parekh are celebrities who have contributed a lot to the Gujarati film industry.