Bollywood Behind the Scenes: Inside Film City
PhotographerBeth Stirnaman
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

"Bollywood Behind the Scenes: Inside Film City" is a 37 image photo story that gives a glimpse inside a large studio complex in Mumbai, India where many of Bollywood's productions are filmed. India remains the largest film industry in the world with close to 1,000 feature films being made every year for an audience of about half the world's population. The story shows the color and glitz of the industry as well as the problems it faces.


India remains the largest film industry in the world with close to 1,000 feature films being made every year for an audience of over half the world's population. Inside India's commercial capital of Mumbai, lies the government run studio complex of Film City. With over half of India's productions taking place in Mumbai, Film City serves as the backdrop to many of the country's colorful feature films, television series, commercials and music videos. Bollywood has been argued as a viable alternative to Hollywood as it has developed an increasingly global audience while maintaining significantly lower budgets. In the midst of this current transition, problems such as cultural leveling, poor working conditions and low profits persist. Actors using bleaching creams, contacts and hair dye to appear more fair is commonplace. English has also been increasingly appearing along side Hindi in films. Many of the industry's behind the scenes workers earn less than 9 US dollars for a twelve hour shift despite having to pay into unions. The the village of studio workers outside Film City suffers inadequate toilet facilities and no running water. As the industry wrestles with how to stay competitive in it's newly earned place in the global film races, it's challenge will be earning recognition without continuing to compromise the well being and identity of its own people.

About Photographer

Beth Stirnaman is a Southern California native who began shooting in high school with her mother's simple film camera. She interned with the journalist Ed Carreon and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Photo Communications. She currently is a contracted Zuma Press photographer and her published works may be found in The Daily Titan, Filter Magazine, LA.COM, Skratch Magazine, The Philippine News, LA Record, SPIN, and OC Weekly. Beth was chosen to be one of four members of the Los Angeles team for the 2011 International Mentor Program with the Young Photographers Alliance. Photographers from across the globe were given the task of photographing Energy to be exhibited in the Calumet Gallery in New York. She has documented a wide spectrum of topics including Bollywood in Mumbai, India over a period of four months. She continues to shoot cultures, music, protests and anything that she believes deserves the attention of conscious observers everywhere.