Bollywood in Britain

Teachers' notes: what is Bollywood?

This resource explores the rise in popularity of Indian cinema in Britain. It delves into the history of Indian film viewing in this country and also looks at the growing relationship between Bollywood and Britain today.

The resource is based on research conducted by writer and researcher Irna Qureshi for her blog at:


Bollywood is the nickname given to the popular Indian cinema based in Mumbai (previously Bombay). The term 'Bollywood' didnít even exist until the late 1970s, when the industry was referred to as Hindi cinema. It is the world's most prolific film industry, generating more than 1,000 films a year, which is twice as many films as Hollywood. The films are produced in a mixture of Urdu and Hindi, and increasingly in a mix of Hindi and English which is commonly known as Hinglish. The mix of languages makes the films easily accessible to the widest possible audience.


Bollywood films are around three hours long and usually contain several song and dance sequences. While audiences may forget the most recent Hollywood hit, they won't forget the latest Bollywood blockbuster quite so easily. Fans will return to cinemas to watch their favourite Bollywood movie time and again. They might be captivated by the performance of a much-loved actor, or they might want to enjoy the way their favourite song has been visualised.

Curriculum links:

KS4/GCSE/AS Level Media Studies Film genre, National cinema, style and narrative 

KS4/GCSE Art - Art from different cultures, non Western cultures

KS4 Music - Dance music, Bhangra

KS4 Citizenship - Community identities and diversities, what is a community?

MyLearning has suggested discussion and activity ideas as prompts for your teaching about this resource


Learning Objectives:

  • To understand Indian cultural heritage and its relationship with the film industry, music, drama and dance
  • To understand the economic impact of Bollywood films
  • To understand the importance of Bollywood films to Indian cultural identity in Britain  

Google map showing Mumbai»

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