Crossover Films is a term that has different meanings for different sections of the film industry. Commercially, these are the films which are able to gross appreciable collections in international markets. Another plausible definition defines them to be movies based on broader themes that the international audiences can easily relate to.
Whatever may be the definition, India has seen a steady growth in crossover films. Their appeal as well as their presence has multiplied by several times. The homegrown Indian cinema in English has gradually become an established genre in itself. Depicting the English speaking Indian bourgeoisie in diverse contexts, these films occupy an intermediate space between popular Indian cinema and various cinemas of Europe, Latin America, China, Japan and Hollywood.
These films have a different brand-personality and a different target audience as well. All these films are addressed to transnational audiences viz: elite Indians and Non Resident Indians. This genre of cinema thus helps delineate the many Indias in and outside India. Interestingly, Crossover cinema happened at the time when Indian economy opened its doors to multinational corporations and disinvestment became the key to country’s economic liberalization. As a result cross-over cinema recorded the continuity of contexts and themes through cinema of Indians in America and Britain.
Although the number of films produced in this genre are negligible in comparison to the number of Bollywood movies, cross-over films has grown steadily ever since its inception. Films like English, August (director, Dev Benegal, 1994), Bombay Boys (director, Kaizad Gustad, 1997), Everybody Says I’m Fine (director, Rahul Bose, 2001), Hyderabad Blues (director, Nagesh Kukunoor, 1998), Rockford (director, Nagesh Kukunoor, 1999), Mr. and Mrs. Iyer(director, Aparna Sen, 2002), Parzania (director, Rahul Dholakia, 2007), The Last Lear (director, Rituporno Ghosh, 2008), etc are some examples to substantiate the fact.
Crossover Films has emerged as an important beneficiary of Global multiples culture which is now an equally established phenomenon in India. What makes this brand of film-making different from any other form of cinema is the fluidity of production and reception. But acceptance towards this genre of movies came after a long struggle of more than two decades. Today Crossover films is being appreciated and embraced by a large section of local and international audiences.