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Home > Regional Films > Regional Film Studios
Regional Film Studios
Regional cinema became a force to reckon with due to the enterprise of certain individuals and more than that, due to the studios they established. Films were made in more than one language - thus they were important production centres for a wider scope of film-makers and audiences. The technical expertise and discipline allowed for a tremendous creativity and prolificity. Producers and directors were unafraid of languages other than their own.

Aurora Cinema/Aurora Film Corporation:

The studio was established in 1911 by Debi Ghosh, Anadi Bose and Charu Ghosh in Calcutta. In 1917, during World War I, it was awarded the contract for short films for the army. Plays from Calcutta theatres formed the content.

  • 1921 - Ratnakar .- The first film and a popular one.
  • 1922 - Bidyasundar - Aurora Tuki-taki.

  • In 1929 Anadi Bose took over the reins of the studio and renamed it Aurora Film Corporation. The studio made films in Bengali, Hindi, Telugu and Tamil. Niranjan Pal was part of the effort - and was associated with the ground-breaking Aurora Screen News. This filmed the funeral of Rabindranath Tagore - and can be seen in the 1961 documentary by Satyajit Ray. Aurora Film Corporation is the sole Bengali studio of the silent film era still in operation!!

    A.V. MeiyappanA.V. Meiyappan (1907-79) AVM Film Company:

    The studio was launched in 1947. Meiyappan embarked on his film-making career in 1935 with the film Alli Arjuna for Saraswathi Sound. After the success of his Tamil film Srivalli in 1945, he set up this studio. The studio was well-equipped for film production in four languages.

  • 1947 - Nam Iruvar. A Tamil film based on Sahasranamam`s play of the same name and directed by Meiyappan.
  • 1951 - Bahar. A Hindi film starring Vyjanthimala.
  • 1952 - Parasakthi. A Tamil film for DMK Films, and of the same genre as Nam Iruvar.
  • 1954 - Bedara Kannappa. A Kannada film - Andha Naal. A Tamil film.
  • 1956 - Sadarame. This too was a Kannada film.
  • - Chori Chori. A Hindi film starring Raj Kapoor and Nargis.
  • 1964 - Server Sundaram. A Tamil film. The studio faded for a while, but Meiyappan`s son Saravanan re-established the studio with hit films.
  • 1980 - Murattu Kalai - A Tamil film starring Rajanikant . It placed the actor on a sure superstar footing.
  • 1982 - Sahakala Vallavan. The film starred the versatile star Kamalahasan.

  • DMK Films:

    In 1949, DMK Films was launched - a genre catering to the ideology of the Dravida Munetra Kazhagam (DMK) party. C.N. Annadurai commenced film production with screen adaptations of his own plays. Later, writers like A.V.P. Asaithambi, A.K. Velan and Kannadasan provided scripts for their films.

  • 1949 - Valaikkari. - Nallathambi. Both films were very popular and inspired the DMK to use the cinema medium to further their cause. First, cinema was a democratic medium - there were no class or caste-distinctions vis-a-vis enjoying a film. Second, the struggle and the rhetoric brought the films closer to the people. The propaganda was brought within the home.
  • 1950 - Manthiri Kumari The script was written by Karunanidhi, and was the first folk fable by the film-makers.
  • 1951 - Sarvadhikari. - Marmayogi.
  • 1952 - Parasakthi. The script and the lyrics were composed by Karunanidhi, and this was Sivaji Ganesan`s debut film.
  • 1954 - Sorgavasal.
  • 1956 - Sivagangai Seemai.
  • 1958 - Nadodi Mannam.

  • S. S. VasanS.S. Vasan (1903-69) : Gemini Pictures

  • In 1939 S.S. Vasan bought a distribution and financial concern at an auction, and renamed it Gemini Pictures (also known as Gemini Studios).
  • 1941 - Madanakamarajan. The arrival of K. Ramnoth, a cameraman and scenarist, and A.K. Sekhar, art director brought many changes in production. Their talents were exactly what the studio needed.
  • 1943 - Mangamma Sapatham.
  • 1945 - Kannamma En Kadhali.
  • 1947 - Miss Malini.
  • 1948 - Kalpana. This was Uday Shankar`s dance spectacular, shot at the studio, that set the trend for future choreographers. - Chandralekha. -A magnificent movie that brought excellent returns.
  • 1955 - Insaniyat
  • 1949 - Apoorva Sahodarargal. A `costume adventure` film in three languages - Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, and a major success.
  • 1953 - Avvaiyyar. -A Tamil film that proved a major box-office hit.
  • 1955 - Insaniyat. -A Hindi film starring Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand.
  • 1958 - Raj Tilak. - A Hindi film starring Vyjanthimala.
  • 1959 - Paigham. - A Hindi film starring Dilip Kumar, Vyjanthimala and Raaj Kumar.
  • 1966 - Motor Sundaram Pillai. This was Sivaji Ganesan`s sole film for Gemini Studios. After S.S. Vasan`s death, his son S.S. Balasubramanyam took the reins.
  • 1975 - Ellorum Nallavare. This was not successful. The studio`s fortunes declined in the Seventies and it was taken over by Anand Cine Services.

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