broadcasting authorities, too, advocated using communication satellites for expanding their coverage nationwide (and also to the neighbouring regions, especially to central Asian republics), enhancing their channel capacity, and initiating a cable television system. Such a wide-ranging revolution in distribution, exhibition, and delivery systems for film, television, and video at a time of diminishing financial prowess of the country means the film industry must not only reach more and more of the swelling national population within the country but also create an international market for its products. This necessitates entering the commercial distribution of films abroad. Such a multifaceted scenario of change -- which is tantamount to a veritable mass-media revolution almost as profound as the anti-monarchy social revolution a dozen years earlier -- can be realized only if the government and the film industry are able to muster sufficient foresight, political will, social stability, and economic growth to sustain the industry long enough for it to become self-sufficient. Recent history, however, has suggested that political will and social stability, like economic health, are fragile commodities in Iran.
Gaffary, Farrokh ( 1973), Le Cinéma en Iran.
Issari, Mohammad Ali ( 1989), Cinema in Iran, 1900-1979.
Naficy, Hamid ( 1979), "Iranian Feature Films: A Brief Critical History".
-- ( 1992), "Islamizing Cinema in Iran".
In 1971 India overtook Japan to become the world's largest manufacturer of feature films, with a total of 431 titles. It had registered a fairly steady growth through the 1960s, but it fairly boomed in the next decade, topping the 700 mark in 1979. In 1975 a Unesco survey on film audiences showed that it was the only Third World nation to have a larger audience for indigenous cinema than for imported films. While foreign films remained relatively marginal to India's film distribution sector, and on two occasions the Motion Picture Export Association of America announced a boycott of the Indian market, its own foreign sales in North Africa, the Middle East, and the Far East (for example Malaysia) made it a cultural force equalling and sometimes outstripping Hollywood in these regions.
Inevitably the Indian cinema has come to mean many different things to different people. It developed as a cultural force largely independent of state support, surviving without subsidies (with the exception of the Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Orissa regional governments) and facing a tax structure that hampered rather than assisted its growth. The mainstream cinema could hardly claim any 'official' cultural status, although it has had its political uses. And it has sustained a variety of ancillary industries: trade publications and fan magazines, the music recording industry, a fair portion of the popular fiction trade, the All-India Radio's only commercial 'light entertainment' channel Vividh Bharati, which was started in 1957, and now in the 1990s a variety of programming on Doordarshan (state-owned TV) and cable TV (especially the Hindi Zee-TV channel beamed on the STAR-TV network). And to the many émigré Indians whose only contact with the culture of their homeland has been through the movies, it has been the dominant source for the language of cultural diaspora -- in Britain, for instance, from Salman Rushdie's fiction to Apache Indian's music, Asian art has drawn from, commented on, and adapted its idioms for a variety of different cultural ends.
To a great extent, the Indian cinema megalith since 1960 has been effectively categorized in popular discourse as two things: the 'Hindi movie', and 'Satyajit Ray': the former being the song-dance-action stereotype made in over twelve languages and representing that most enviable of all national possessions, a cultural mainstream, and the latter a highly generalized category involving a variety of different directors generically celebrated as being culturally 'rooted' in their context. Both categories have been sustained as much by marketing strategies as by a committed and articulate brand of cinephilia accompanying each of them.
In both instances, it is obvious, a key component has been that of 'nation': and indeed, it is virtually impossible to speak of the Indian cinema without bringing somewhere into play that crucial cultural movement of Indian nationalism, and the shift or redirecting of nationalist utopia into other kinds of cultural practices after Independence was achieved and the promised 'nation' gave way to the Indian State.
India declared itself a sovereign democratic republic in 1950 and almost immediately instituted a series of measures to intervene in the movie industry that had been booming ever since the war had ended. The first was