World·Nothing is Foreign

Beyond Bollywood: RRR and the future of Indian film

RRR scored two Golden Globe nominations — a first for an Indian film. This week on Nothing is Foreign, we look at how this Telugu-language smash broke through in a year of increased political tensions for India’s film industry.

RRR's success has put a spotlight on Tollywood, India's Telugu-language film industry

Two men pose, mid-dance, smiling broadly. They wear white shirts and suspenders and dust has flicked up around them.
Ram Charan (left) and N.T. Rama Rao Jr. (right) in a still from the the Telugu-language blockbuster “RRR.” The film has since been nominated for two Golden Globe Awards. (DVV Entertainment)

India's RRR, a three-hour epic that's made 175 million dollars around the world and found a massive audience through Netflix, has just been nominated for two Golden Globes — a first for an Indian film. And with that, RRR has brought a lot of attention to Tollywood, the South Indian Telugu-language film industry from which it was made.

This comes during a rough patch for Bollywood, the country's dominant Hindi-language film industry. There have been a string of big budget flops along and a right-wing driven movement to boycott some big stars.

This week on Nothing is Foreign, we dive into the world of RRR and Tollywood's success and why this might be connected to India's polarizing political climate. 


  • Aakshi Magazine, a film and culture writer based in New Delhi

Nothing is Foreign, a podcast from CBC News and CBC Podcasts, is a weekly trip to where the story is unfolding. It's hosted by Tamara Khandaker.

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