MALEGAON: Have you heard about the films ‘Malegaon ke Sholay’ or ‘Malegaon ka Super Man’?
Well, several film buffs not only in the power-loom town of Malegaon but also in other parts of Maharashtra and overseas have seen these films and appreciated their work enormously.
Malegaon, a small town in the Nashik district of Maharashtra, is known for its textiles and power looms.
However, low budget films made by enthusiastic producers, directors, technicians, actors without any professional training, experience and facilities in this town drew worldwide attention.
Popularity and vast penetration of social media has helped the Malegaon film industry, popularly referred as ‘Malewood’, to broaden their base.
They are now being encouraged to go out of the video parlors of the town, through global social media networks, and show-case their talents to the world.
Malegaon’s own little film industry is heavily influenced by Mumbai’s Hindi film industry, popularly known as Bollywood. Therefore, this poor cousin of Bollywood is popular amongst the locals as Mollywood or Malewood.
Malegaon has many video theatres which showcases popular Hindi films to their customers consisting of mostly power loom workers at very cheap rates. The city did not have any sources of recreation and poorly paid power loom workers did not have any other medium of entertainment which would suit their pockets.
Thus they patronized such video theatres and video parlors, which exhibited Hindi films. Some video photographers, who usually worked for wedding albums, along with a team of passionate artistes and creative technicians heavily influenced by Bollywood films, began to produce small video films.
These locally produced films were released in the local video theatres. Thus, marking the birth of Malewood or the local Malegaon film industry in this textile town.
However any form of entertainment or film has to make a mark to penetrate its popularity among the crowds. Thus Bollywood’s greatest super hit Hindi film ‘Sholay’ & its popular characters like Gabbar Singh, & his associates Sambha, Kalia, the heart-broken revenge-seeking Thakur Sahab, or the superstar best friends Jay-Veeru, Veeru’s love interest Basanti & her ‘Izzat Bachane wali’ horse Dhanno, or for that matter ‘Angrezo ke zamane ke Jailor’ came to the rescue of Malewood.
This super-hit spoof ‘Malegaon Ke Sholay’ became an instant hit amongst the locals and broke the path of progress for Malegaon’s local film industry.
It was very difficult to emulate the successful Bollywood films, with shoe string budget and non trained actors, majority of whom worked as power loom workers or small traders or individuals involved with small time vocations to earn their livelihood.
However, sheer enthusiasm, passion and creativity brought success to Malewood, which began to make spoofs of super hit Bollywood films with success in its own right.
Many such films, which drew local film fans to video theaters, bringing appreciation & repute for the makers, actors and other staff members are:
Malegaon ke Sholay , Malegaon ki Lagaan , Koi Hil Gaya ( a Khandeshi spoof of Koi Mil gaya ) , Malegaon Ka Superman ( Parody of Hollywood film Superman ).
Apart from Bollywood spoofs, Malegaon film industry is making their own films too. However this industry has not been recognized or organized & it is still struggling for survival.