Katahdin Foundation

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Shalom Bollywood

IN POST PRODUCTION

SHALOM BOLLYWOOD: THE UNTOLD STORY OF INDIAN CINEMA is a narrated, feature-length documentary, told in the style and feel of a Bollywood film, which reveals the unknown history of India’s tiny 2000 year old Indian Jewish community and its female superstars who shaped the world’s biggest film industry.

When Indian cinema began 100 years ago, it was taboo for Hindu and Islamic women to perform on screen, so female roles were played by men – sort of Monty Python or Shakespearian style. While the conservative nature of Hindu and Muslim societies shunned the notion of female performers, the Jewish community was more liberal and educated and willing to embrace the exciting new medium of film. The fact that Indian Jews were a lighter shade of brown made these women seem all the more suited for celluloid. However, because of their stage names people thought they were Muslims.

The story is told through the glamorous and often tumultuous lives of the famed Jewish actresses who, from the earliest days of Silent film through to the end of the twentieth century, passed the cinema queen baton onto each other and shaped what was to become the world’s largest film industry.