History of Tamil Cinema
Movies / Cinema:
Tamil cinema also known as Kollywood is based in a place called Kodambakkam, in Chennai ( earlier Madras), Tamilnadu.
The first theatre was established in Chennai during the year 1916 in which movies without voice were released. R. Natraja Mudaliar was the first producer, director and cinematographer for Tamil Cinema who made his first film Keechaka Vadham in 1917 which was the first feature film without any background voice
The first talking film came into entry during the year 1931 with the superhit blockbuster Kalidas. The movie directed by H.M. Reddy was a superb historic epic and was produced by Ardeshar .The actors were T.P.Rajalaxmi who was the heroine with lot of experience as stage artist and the film was a huge success in the box office. Kalavarishi directed by P.P. Rangachari was the 100% talking movie release in the year 1932.
M.K. Thiyagaraja Bhagavathar was the first box-office superstar in tamil cinema and he entered kollywood in the year 1934. His first movie Pavalakkodi which introduced the lead pair himself and S.D.Subulakshmi was a big hit and mad a huge gross in box office
Mostly Tamil movies were shot in Bombay and calcutta prior to 1934. The first tamil movie to be shot in Tamilnadu was Srinivasa Kalyanam. Lava Kusa was the most famous tamil talkie movie produced by S. Soundararaja Iyengar. This movie was big success as it had good dialogues and songs. Nandhanar was another movie which got good appreciation from audience
Pathi Bhakthi, a stage play was made into a movie in the year 1936 with M.K. Radha playing lead role in the movie. The movie Sati Leelavati was the first one starring T.S. Balliah a famous actor those time,.M.G. Ramachandran played a role in this movie. T.P. Rajaalakshmi made her debut as director with the movie Miss Kamala. Pattinathar was a movie produced by Vel Pictures and released during the same year. Chanda Kantha directed by Raja Sandow showcasted actor P.U. Chinnappa who made his debut in the movie.Thiyagaraja Bhagavatha also made success with double action in the movie Satyaseelan. He played the role as a king as well as a songster in the court.
In the 1930s AVM set up its makeshift studio in the town of Karaikudi, and during the same decade, full-fledged Movie studios were built in Salem (Modern Theatres Studio) and Coimbatore (Central Studios, Neptune, and Pakshiraja). By the mid 1940s, Chennai became the hub of Studio activity with two more movie Studios built in Chennai, Vijaya Vauhini Studios and Gemini Studios. Later, AVM Studios shifted its operations to Chennai.
At the beginning of the talkie era, Tamil cinema was dominated by M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar and P.U.Cinnappah up until the end of the 1940s. From the 1950s to the late 1970s, the two highly anticipated Tamil film stars were M. G. Ramachandran and Sivaji Ganesan.Present-day dominators are Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan, who have been lead-acting in the industry since the mid-1970s. Though it is debatable, successors to the two are currently considered to be actors Joseph Vijay , Ajith Kumar, Surya, Vikram, Dhanush, Silambarasan
The Chennai film industry produced the first commercially successful film across India in 1948 with Chandralekha, a landmark film in Tamil cinema. They have recently become popular in Japan (particularly Muthu, directed by K. S. Ravikumar, and Indira, directed by Suhasini Mani Ratnam), South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Sivaji: The Boss (2007) had been touted as a record-breaking film for its high-budget, large opening, and reception worldwide. It also cracked into the United Kingdom's and South Africa's top-ten high-grossing films during the week of its release. Ayngaran International distributes a majority of Tamil films overseas while domestic distributors such as Aascar Films, Pyramid Saimira, and Madras Talkies handle distribution within India. The Kamal Haasan starrer Dasavathaaram was distributed by Walt Disney Pictures in Canada.
Many Tamil-language films have premiered or have been selected as special presentations at various prestigious film festivals across the world, such as Mani Ratnam's Kannathil Muthamittal, Veyyil and Ameer Sultan's Paruthiveeran. More recently, Kanchivaram, directed by Priyadarshan, had been selected to be premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Films like Thevar Magan, Indian and Jeans had been selected by India for Best Foreign Language Film for the Academy Awards. Mani Ratnam's Nayagan (1987) was included in Time magazine's "All-TIME" 100 best movies list
Chandralekha produced in 1948 at a cost of almost $600,000 ($28 million in 2008 prices) remains the most expensive Tamil film ever. The film was released in 609 screens worldwide with subtitles.
In the year 2007 a record 108 movies were released. Costs of production have grown exponentially from just under Rs.40 lakhs in 1980 to over Rs.11 crores by 2005 for a typical star-studded big-budget film. Similarly, costs of processing per print have risen from just under Rs.2,500 in 1980 to nearly Rs.70,000 by 2005
The Tamil Nadu government has made provisions for an entertainment tax exemption for Tamil movies having pure Tamil word(s) in the title.
There are about 1800 cinema-halls located in Tamil Nadu
( Courtesy: Wikipedia and http://celluloidtamil.com )