#32 - Bollywood Fans


Episode outline

Last Time’s Famous Last Words

Z: In The Simpsons, when Apu lives with the Simpsons temporarily, they watch a Bollywood movie together. That movie now exists.
G: Are western fans of Bollywood also interested in Indian culture in general?
T: What is the most ridiculous Bollywood film that exists?

Fandom Facts

“Bollywood” movies, more formally referred to as “Hindi cinema”, are films produced as part of the larger Indian film industry. It is one of the largest film producers in India representing 43% of net box office revenue (Tamil and Teluga cinema represent 36%). It is one of the largest centres of film production in the world, and one of the biggest film industries in the world in terms of films produced and people employed.

The first silent films made in India started around the beginning of the 20th century, and by the 1930s the industry was producing about 200 films per year.

Hindi cinema fans, Bollywood fans,

Most Active:
Probably the present day; Google trends data shows a slow but gradual increase from 2005 to now with the most interest being in spikes from last year and early this year.

Size of Fandom:
In 2012, over 2.6 billion tickets were sold to Bollywood films, compared to 1.3 billion in the United States and almost 0.5 billion in China during the same period. Another source cites 4 billion tickets (Bollywood) vs 3 billion tickets (United States), but still, that’s a huge upper bound.

Around the world:
There are definitely fans of Bollywood films outside of India, and outside of just Indian ex-patriots. Bollywood films are known from Egypt to Pakistan, Russia (in Soviet Russia, Indian movies were fairly common due to an Indo-Russian deal and also the fact that Hollywood movies were quite restricted back then), Ukraine, Poland, China, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, UK, USA, Canada. They are less known in Europe in general, Africa, Latin America and Oceania.

“About 95 per cent of these are women,” Wessel says. “They’re drawn to the movies because German culture can be quite cold, especially for men. In actors like Shah Rukh, they see a guy who is soft, romantic, not afraid to cry or show his emotional side.”
Hindustan Times - Take a tour to see how Indian cinema has found foreign fans

Fast facts:

In the 1970s, India cinema overtook America as the world’s largest film producer and the term ‘Bollywood’ was coined.
Leicester Mercury - Bollywood: 17 interesting facts about Indian cinema

A vast majority of Hindi films are still dubbed using synch-sound equipment. The reason for this is, most people have not invested in sound-proofing their studios. Given the camera noise, it is much more effective to have the actors dub in their voices later. Of course, this often ends up compromising on the quality of the films.

Are you in, or out?

T is in.

  • T will watch a Bollywood movie at some point

Z is in.

G is in.

  • Looking forward to some Shah Rukh Khan

This week’s spotlight

Arts for India
A charity organization looking to support underprivileged youth artists in India!

While several philanthropic organizations are working towards education for poor Indian children, most of them are focused on providing basic school level education. Arts for India takes these initiatives further in supporting needy Indian students at the next level life-changing higher education at the college level.
Arts for India

The Race Against Time
Now in its third year of running, the Race Against Time is the Nickscast’s annual charity livestream where we work our way though Chrono Trigger, obtaining all its endings, and also raising money for the Alzheimer Society of Canada. Last year we raised over $1200 CAD, and have plans to surpass that!

This year, the event will be held August 12 through to August 13, starting at 10am ET. You can also subscribe on Twitch.tv/theraceagainsttime in anticipation of the event!

Famous Last Words

This week’s famous last words around next week’s fandom, Cinephiles! Because of a hiccup in the recording schedule, these famous last words are unchanged from our Cyberpunks episode:

Is there a movie marathon, cited as a cinephile’s paradise, where people are encouraged to bring in multiple-course meals?

Is it important for cinephiles to see movies in the theatre?

Are cinephiles really a fandom? Isn’t that just a pretentious title for people who watch movies? Where is the culture? The shared experience and unique terminology?

I am already eating my words; I’ve already preheated them in the oven.
— T

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  • … You’re still looking for ways to reach out? You can also use the hashtag #fanthro on Twitter!

What is “Fanthropological”?

How did you read this far without asking this question?!

Fanthropological is an anthropological (ish) podcast where we bring the fan’s-eye view to you! Each week, we take a look at a different fandom, dig up interesting background, trivia, and history, and try to get to why it is that people are a fan. We also try to highlight good causes related to that fandom, and find interesting things that fans have created to share them with the world. Each episode is about an hour. Ish.

Who is “The Nickscast”?

We are the Nickscast! Three products of late-80s / early-90s pop culture who love exploring fandom and everything geek … who also happen to have been best buddies since high school, and all happen to be named Nick. Yes, we are super creative. Dare we say, the most creative.


We are Nick Green, Nick Terwoord, and Nick Zacharewicz: We started the Nickscast as a labour of love, and as a place to entertain and to discuss our love of fans and fandom, and all that is shiny and interesting in that realm. It’s what lead us to start our first podcast, our satellite podcasts, Fanthropological, and so much more.

We want to help others learn more about different fandoms, and to create empathy with other fans: We dream of a world where other fans aren’t “those Weird-o’s”, but just folks with different tastes. A world where fandom is full of discourse and analysis, and there are plenty of tools and resources to help. Fans building communities to do good in the world. Because everyone’s a fan.



Music / Sound

  • All music and sound for this week’s episode were provided by Nick Green!


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