Welcome to Bollywood
In recent years, Indian cinema’s popularity snowballed in Southern California from Los Angeles to Irvine. This is evident in the rising popularity of festivals like the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles and the increasing emergence of Hindi film dance teams, such as UC Irvine’s Sitaare.
According to Christina Marouda, the director of the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, when the festival first began in 2002, only 3,000 audience members attended and there were only 100 submissions. In comparison, 6,500 people attended the festival in 2007 and 300 submissions were received.
Marouda believes Indian cin- ema is so popular in the United States because it appeals to a broad audience. Unlike many American films, which often target specific segments of the population or have restrictions for children and young teens, Indian films tend to focus on the general viewer.
“The uniqueness is in the fact that it’s very diverse as a whole and also the fact that Indian cinema is, I think, for the most part, catered to entertaining entire families that you don’t necessarily find in other countries,” Marouda said.
However, according to Marouda, the current wave of Indian films