Hooray for Ollywood

We start with Hollywood, a perfectly ordinary place name that has become the label for the American movie industry. That led to Bollywood (a portmanteau of Bombay and Hollywood) and to Dollywood (a satisfying portmanteau of Dolly — for Dolly Parton — and Hollywood) and many more -ollywoods. The one I came across most recently (in The Atlantic for September) is Chollywood:

Chollywood: Behind the scenes of China’s booming film industry (link)

Now for a guided tour of Ollywood.

First stop:

Hollywood is a famous district in Los Angeles, California, United States situated west-northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Due to its fame and cultural identity as the historical center of movie studios and movie stars, the word Hollywood is often used as a metonym of American cinema. Today, much of the movie industry has dispersed into surrounding areas such as the Westside neighborhood, and the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys, but significant auxiliary industries, such as editing, effects, props, post-production, and lighting companies remain in Hollywood, as does the backlot of Paramount Pictures. (link)

Then on to the South Asian District of Ollywood, starting with Tollywood (Tollygunge + Hollywood) and Bollywood:

Bollywood is the informal term popularly used for the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), Maharashtra, India. The term is often incorrectly used to refer to the whole of Indian cinema; it is only a part of the total Indian film industry, which includes other production centers producing films in regional languages.

… The name “Bollywood” is derived from Bombay (the former name for Mumbai) and Hollywood, the center of the American film industry. However, unlike Hollywood, Bollywood does not exist as a physical place. Though some deplore the name, arguing that it makes the industry look like a poor cousin to Hollywood, it has its own entry in the Oxford English Dictionary.

The term “Bollywood” has origins in the 1970s, when India overtook America as the world’s largest film producer. Credit for the term has been claimed by several different people, including the lyricist, filmmaker and scholar Amit Khanna, and the journalist Bevinda Collaco.

The naming scheme for “Bollywood” was inspired by “Tollywood”, the name that was used to refer to the cinema of West Bengal. Dating back to 1932, “Tollywood” was the earliest Hollywood-inspired name, referring to the Bengali film industry based in Tollygunge, whose name is reminiscent of “Hollywood” and was the center of the cinema of India at the time. (link)

Also in the South Asian District are Mollywood, Pollywood, and Lollywood:

[Mollywood] Malayalam Cinema, sector of Indian film industry (link)

Pollywood … is the term for the film industry based in the city of Peshawar, the provincial capital of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan. It produces Pashto language films. Some movies are also produced in Urdu and some are a mix up of Pashto and Urdu. (link)

Lollywood … refers to the Pakistani film industry based in the city of Lahore. The word “Lollywood” was first coined in the summer of 1989 in the now defunct magazine “Glamour” published from Karachi by a gossip columnist Saleem Nasir. (link)

Not far away is the African District, with Gollywood/Ghallywood, Nollywood, and Jollywood:

[Ghana] Before we call it Gollywood, Ghallywood, Sinikrom, etc – let’s get our house in order (link)

[Nollywood (Nigeria)] The cinema of Nigeria grew quickly in the 1990s and 2000s to become the second largest film industry in the world in terms of number of annual film productions, placing it ahead of the United States and behind the Indian film industry (link)

[Johannesburg]  South African Filmmakers’ wowed by the Success of Nollywood, plot to create rival brand – Jollywood. (link)

Meanwhile, moving from film to entertainment more generally, we have Dollywood:

Dollywood is a theme park owned by entertainer Dolly Parton and the Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation. It is located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

… The park first opened in 1961 as a small tourist attraction by the Robins brothers from Blowing Rock, NC, named “Rebel Railroad”, featuring a steam train, general store, blacksmith shop, and saloon. The park was modeled after their first successful theme park Tweetsie in Blowing Rock. In 1970, Rebel Railroad was renamed “Goldrush Junction” when it was bought by Art Modell, who also owned the Cleveland Browns football team. In 1976, Jack and Pete Herschend bought Goldrush Junction and renamed it “Goldrush” for the 1976 season. But in 1977, they renamed it “Silver Dollar City Tennessee” as a sister park to their original Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri.

In 1986, Dolly Parton became a co-owner, and the park was renamed “Dollywood”. (link)

Once we had Bollywood and Dollywood, people felt free to play with the name Hollywood in other ways. A small sampling:

[Colliewood, still with a film theme] Our theatre contains many screens showing films about Border Collies and Animal Welfare issues. (link)

Volleywood is the Midwest’s largest adult Beach Volleyball tournament with over 250 teams and features many of the region’s top players in our 2’s divisions as well as people just out to have fun in our 4’s and 6’s divisions. (link)

Planet Follywood, Restaurant/Cafe, Folly Beach, South Carolina (link) [there’s also Follywood Squares, and more]

[knitting site: wool] Wollywood … more than just a stitch! (link)

There’s a rough fun-and-leisure-time theme here. Everybody enjoys themselves in Ollywood.

3 Responses to “Hooray for Ollywood”

  1. Lauren Says:

    You can also add “Kollywood” to your list. The Nepali film industry, which is based in Kathmandu is occasionally referred to in this way.

    Interestingly, it appears that Kollywood is something of a second generation innovation – As far as I can tell it was modeled off Bollywood, which is the production style the Nepali movie industry aspires to.

  2. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Arne Adolfsen on Facebook:

    Maybe it’s because of the makeup of LA’s Indian expat community, but I’ve only heard/seen Tollywood used to mean the Telugu language cinema. Of course there’s Kollywood, the Tamil language cinema, which is based in a neighborhood (I think) of Madras that starts with a ‘K’ (Kadabakhum? something like that). And I have seen the Kannada language cinema referred to in print as Sandalwood, although I have no idea how widespread that name is.

    On the Tamil language cinema: this Kollywood is named for the Kodambakkam district of Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

  3. This Week’s Language Blog Roundup | Wordnik ~ all the words Says:

    […] Gough explored gender-neutral words; and Stan Carey considered hopefully. Arnold Zwicky took us on a tour of -ollywoods, while Sesquiotica brought us on their venture/adventure/misadventure, and tested the nocebo […]

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