Bollywood Turns 100

In honor of the centennial of Bollywood (call it “Hindi cinema” like a true fan), a timeline of its burgeoning influence on Western moviemaking.

1913: Raja Harishchandra is the first feature-length silent movie to be made in India, centering on the legendary, honor-bound king of the same name.

1924: One of Bollywood’s earliest hits, Savitri, is a coproduction with an overseas studio, Rome’s UG Italiana.

1967: The Dirty Dozen, said to be inspired by the 1957 Bollywood classic Do Aanken Barah Haath, rakes in a then-staggering $45 million at the box office.

1998: After earning international attention with his movie Bandit Queen, director Shekhar Kapur directs Cate Blanchett to her first Best Actress Oscar nomination in Elizabeth.

2001: Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding, filmed in English, Hindi and Punjabi, becomes a breakout art-house hit worldwide.

2003: Aishwarya Rai, Bollywood’s top female star, becomes a global ambassador for L’Oréal alongside Penélope Cruz and Andie MacDowell.

2008: Indian billionaire Anil Ambani’s Reliance Entertainment enters a joint venture with DreamWorks, allowing Steven Spielberg to leave Paramount.

2009: Slumdog Millionaire scores big at the Oscars, with two statuettes going to Bollywood composer A. R. Rahman.

James Cameron admits he was referencing blue-skinned Hindu god Krishna when designing the Na’vi in Avatar.

2010: Woody Allen signs both Freida Pinto and veteran character actor Anupam Kher for lead roles in his dramedy You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.

2011: Jennifer Aniston costars with Adam Sandler in Just Go with It, a remake of Hindi-cinema hit Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya (which itself was a do-over of the 1969 rom-com Cactus Flower).

2012: Top Mumbai costume designer Arjun Bhasin is handpicked by director Ang Lee to oversee Oscar winner Life of Pi.

2013: Bollywood sweetheart Priyanka Chopra teams up with Black Eyed Pea for pop-dance song “In My City.”

Amitabh Bachchan, India’s answer to Kirk Douglas, films a cameo as Meyer Wolfsheim in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.

The 66th annual Cannes Film Festival makes India its guest country for the first time.