A pre-filming puja or prayer ritual, on the first day of the shoot, in AVM studios, in 'Tollywood' (the Tamil language Hollywood), in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
On the set of a Tamil soap opera. Some of the best TV stars move into cinema and politics.
Outside Alfred Talkies, one of Mumbai's oldest cinemas, dating to the silent period. The cinema is also one of the last in Mumbai to still carry hand-painted billboards.
Ice cream cup tops featuring Bollywood film stars from the Mansoori family collection.
The Mansoori family in 'Mini Market,' one of three Bollywood memorabilia family-run shops in Mumbai's Chor Bazaar (Thieves' market). Sporting one of India's largest collections of posters, trinkets, original poster paintings (first runs, from which prints were made), props and costumes, the shop caters to private collectors, fans, even costume directors and set designers from Bollywood films looking for a 'period feel.'
On the set of an action film in AVM studios, Chennai, India
Sham Kaushal, stunt director for 'Slumdog Millionaire', demonstrates the range of emotions that Bollywood heroes often go through just before an action sequence. "Chinese films that we grew up watching often had extended fight sequences that were entertaining but totally unrelated to the narrative. By contrast, Indian films and Indian film characters feature motivated action, often with intensely emotional reasons."
A practice largely discarded in Northern India, superscale handpainted film-hero 'cut-outs' still grace the entrance of cinema halls throughout South India (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu). While cinemas grow less receptive to supporting such production costs, poster/cut-out painters are finding similarly grandiose work with politicians and political campaigns, which sometimes are run by ex-actors and ex-actresses.
Photos shot for a feature titled ‘India’s Collective Dreamworld’ in Rhythms Monthly magazine.