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By Andrew Hassam; Makarand Paranjape

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By Rajadhyaksha’s definition, the Bollywood culture industry does not encompass India’s small art, or parallel, cinema or the regional-language cinemas which constitute the bulk of film production and consumption in the subcontinent. Even as a sector of Hindi cinema, the Bollywood brand appears to exclude the low-budget comedies and vigilante films which constitute the majority of screenings. Instead Bollywood is defined by the high-budget, saccharine, upper middleclass melodrama which represents a tongue-in-cheek repackaging of the masala movie within an affluent, nostalgic and highly exclusive view of Indian culture and society.

Madman Entertainment produces and distributes niche media in playback formats (including Japanese anime, Australian and other independent film, Asian martial arts and sports features). As a joint venture, the two companies launched the Bollywood Masala label to distribute Bollywood titles in the mainstream Australian playback market. Lange announced the new label at the opening of Bollywood Masala 2004 at Cinema Paris, along with a polite plea to festival-goers to stay away from the video pirates.

21 The crossover industry Australian film producer John Winter believes that, despite current high expectations in India, only a small number of Indian movies will actually have the potential to reach audiences in the West beyond the niche ethnic and art-house audiences. According to Winter, a foreignlanguage film will not succeed at the national level in Australia unless it consciously addresses a crossover aesthetic in both plot and style. However, Winter believes that it is possible to make such translations, since: Indian films aren’t that different from Australian/American films in terms of structure, in terms of storytelling.

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