Iranian and Indian cinemas have recently shown a special interest in co-production. After producing the sensational film “Salaam Mumbai” starring Mohammad Reza Golzar and Benjamin Bahadori, who participated in commercial projects in a joint production of Iranian and Indian cinemas, now Majid Majidi, a filmmaker whose cinema does not necessarily rely on entertainment is preparing to produce his latest film in India.
Bollywood, as an alternative to Hollywood, acts as a dream factory for India and has been able to attract the people of India and the countries of the Indian subcontinent for nearly a century. Unlike Iranian cinema, which some executives mistakenly refer to as Hollywood, which has not even been able to penetrate neighboring countries, Indian cinema is transnational in nature and has attracted a large audience beyond its borders, such as the people.
The Persian language of Afghanistan welcomes the colorful and dynamic cinema of India more than the tired and quasi-intellectual cinema of Iran.
For some time now, the cinemas of the two countries have once again shown interest in working together. “Hello Mumbai” is a romantic melodrama that tells the story of an Indian girl and an Iranian boy who are both medical students and are involved in complex events.
What the teasers and photos of “Salam Bombay” show are the superiority of the atmosphere of Indian films in this work. Dominance in song and dance are the main and inseparable aspects of Indian cinema, and this issue, given the criteria that exist in Iranian cinema, can be presented to some extent by eliminating women.
But on the other hand, Majid Majidi is a director whose films are not very compatible with the dominance of entertainment and Indian romantic melodramas. He is currently based in Mumbai and has launched a new project in the country.
What has made the prominent director of Iranian cinema as well as the commercial sector of Iranian cinema interested in co-production with Indian cinema is an interesting issue, and this trend, if it becomes a wave, can be considered an important chapter for Iranian cinema.
At the beginning of its arrival in Iran, the cinema industry had a great relationship with Indian cinema. The first Iranian to make the first talkie film is allowed to work across the border in India.
It is interesting to know that an Iranian director made the first feature and eloquent film of Indian cinema and the word Bollywood comes from the combination of Hollywood and the first word Bombay. In 1931, Ardeshir Irani, one of the prominent Persians in India and director of the Imperial Film Company, directed the first feature and eloquent film of Indian cinema called “Alam Ara“.
The influence of Indian cinema on Iran before the revolution is somewhat undeniable. The phenomenon of Persian filmmaking, in which features such as cafes, dance, and the ignorant man were prominent, was somehow influenced by the atmosphere of Indian films, albeit at a very low and superficial level in Iran, and this tendency occupied several decades in the history of Iranian cinema.
Co-production of films between countries is not a new phenomenon in the film industry. Ideas, strategies, perspectives, and commonalities often lead to the production of a film with actors from several countries together. Usually, countries that share a common theme or have thematic concerns are interested in such products.
The closeness of Iranian and Indian cinema should be considered auspicious for Iranian cinema in one direction, that is the hope that the entertaining Indian cinema, which is very close to the national components and culture of this country, will have some effect on the depressing and quasi-intellectual Iranian cinema.
It will give some right to the Iranian spectator who enters the cinema to get rid of the problems and realities of the society in search of a new experience of life and to see his dreams.