Most people know that there are lots of movies made in India, but reports of the actual numbers tend to very widely. It is commonly reported that "Bollywood" produces 800-1000 films a year, but this is not correct. The error arises from a misapplication of the term Bollywood, which really refers only to the commercial sector of Hindi language films. But there are some Hindi films that are not Bollywood - and there are films made in other languages all over India. Bollywood only represents a small segment of the films that come out of India.
I recently came across some more authoritative numbers, reported in the LA Times:
|Language||Number of films in '06||Change from '04|
Those are some interesting numbers. Telugu films have started to outpace Hindi films, with growth in the former and reduction in the latter. There are still plenty of Hindi films - but the growth in pretty much every other regional cinema (at least the ones broken out here - I don't know what's happening in Bengali cinema these days, for example) is a really interesting sign. It means to a certain degree the various regions are retaining their individual linguistic and cultural traditions despite increasing globalization and the increasing use of English. From what I have learned of India in the past few years, it strikes me that India is in a unique position to have this kind of simultaneous preservation and progress - Indians recognize that development need not come at the expense of cultural identity. This is one of the many compelling facets of modern India.