Producing Bollywood offers an unprecedented look inside the social and professional worlds of the Mumbai-based Hindi film industry and explains how it became “Bollywood”, the global film phenomenon and potent symbol of India as a rising economic powerhouse. In this rich and entertaining ethnography Tejaswini Ganti examines the changes in Hindi film production from the 1990s until 2010, locating them in Hindi filmmakers’ efforts to accrue symbolic capital, social respectability, and professional distinction, and to manage the commercial uncertainties of filmmaking. These efforts have been enabled by the neo-liberal restructuring of the Indian state and economy since 1991. This restructuring has dramatically altered the country’s media landscape, which quickly expanded to include satellite television and multiplex theaters.
Ganti contends that the Hindi film industry’s metamorphosis into Bollywood would not have been possible without the rise of neo-liberal economic ideals in India. By describing dramatic transformations in the Hindi film industry’s production culture, daily practices, and filmmaking ideologies during a decade of tremendous social and economic change in India, Ganti offers valuable new insights into the effects of neo-liberalism on cultural production in a postcolonial setting.
Introduction. How the Hindi Film Industry Became "Bollywood"
Part 1. The Social Status of Films and Filmmakers
1. From Vice to Virtue: The State and Filmmaking in India
2. From Slumdogs to Millionaires: The Gentrification of Hindi Cinema
3. Casting Respectability
Part 2. The Practices and Processes of Film Production
4. A Day in the Life of a Hindi Film Set
5. The Structure, Organization, and Social Relations of the Hindi Film Industry
6. Sentiments of Disdain and Practices of Distinction: The Work Culture of the Hindi Film Industry
7. Risky Business: Managing Uncertainty in the Hindi Film Industry
Part 3. Discourses and Practices of Audience-Making
8. Pleasing Both Aunties and Servants: The Hindi Film Industry and Its Audience Imaginaries
9. The Fear of Large Numbers: The Gentrification of Audience Imaginaries
Epilogue: My Name Is Bollywood