Bollywood accounts for only about 200 of the 1,000 films that are annually produced in India, but “in terms of reach and revenue, as well as its stable of nationally-recognized stars, Bollywood films dominate the industry,” one of the U.S. Consulate cables (248356: unclassified) noted. Despite its dominance and popularity, the consensus among industry experts was that “South Indian cinema — Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, and Kannada language films — perform better at the box office [than Bollywood films], with four of every ten films becoming profitable.”

The cable said that “contrary to popular belief many in the industry admit that the South Indian film industry is better developed than the better known Hindi language film industry. According to G.K. Desai, a Bollywood film producer, the southern film industry is more organised than Bollywood.” In fact, a UTV executive “admitted that the technical talent and the quality of South Indian films is far superior to Bollywood films.”

(This article is a part of the series "The India Cables" based on the US diplomatic cables accessed by The Hindu via Wikileaks.)