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India is the largest film producing country in the world and its output has a global reach. After years of marginalisation by academics in the Western world, Indian cinemas have moved from the periphery to the centre of the world cinema in a comparatively short space of time. The reasons for this remarkable journey are many and complex. This handbook brings together specially commissioned contributions by leading academics and rising stars in the field to unravel these complexities. In our attempt to be as comprehensive as possible, we have opted to combine a historical and thematic approach. Indian cinemas need to be understood in their historical unfolding as well as their complex relationships to social, economic, cultural, political, ideological and institutional discourses. Thus, considering the diverse contributions of the regional cinemas of India, often marginalised in much of the literature, we have flagged them as much as space allowed us. We are aware of the problems involved in such an approach for in the words of The Making of India (2005) we are dealing with #xE2;#xAC;#xDC;a nation that is held together neither by a common language nor a shared religion nor a primordial racial myth#xE2;#xAC;". The contributors in this section demonstrate the many facets of the Indian Cinemas by discussing Popular, Parallel and Regional cinemas as well as the spectacular rise of Bollywood. The thematic section provides a framework for some of the leading scholars on Indian cinemas to weave an up-to-date critical narrative on diverse topics such as: Censorship Sexuality Overseas audiences Film Music Nationalism The handbook will provide a comprehensive and cutting edge survey of Indian cinemas and an invaluable resource for students and academics.