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Film Within Film: 6 Times Filmmakers Decide to Show Their Own World

·3 min read

There is hardly any topic or theme that has gone untouched in the vast history of filmmaking all around the world. Even the concept of exploring filmmaking within a film, or producing a film that is on the industry itself and shows the nuances that go into making a film has been covered widely. So here is a list of some Indian films that are based on films and show filmmaking within the film.

Harishchandrachi Factory

In this award-winning directorial debut of Paresh Mokashi, we see the journey of Dadasaheb Phalke (played by Nandu Madhav) towards making India’s first full-length feature film, Raja Harishchandra. It details his struggles in making the film that would not only go on to set the stepping stone in Indian cinema but also fetch the title of ‘The Father of Indian Cinema’ for Phalke. This film fetched Mokashi the Best Director award at the Pune International Film Festival, and it was India’s official entry for the Academy Award in Best Foreign Language Film Category in 2009.

AK vs AK

A recent addition to the list, this film sees Anurag Kashyap and Anil Kapoor playing fictionalised versions of themselves. When an interview takes an ugly turn, Kashyap kidnaps Kapoor’s daughter Sonam Kapoor and asks the actor to rescue her, while the former’s assistant shoots the entire process as a part of her project.

Dhoondte Reh Jaaoge

Dhoondte Reh Jaaoge follows a failed director Raj (Paresh Rawal) and an accountant (Kunal Khemu) who set out to scam investors by intentionally directing a flop film so that they can pocket all the money. Chaos ensues after things stop going according to their plans and the due end up in jail for making a fraud film and looting money.

Cinema Company

A Malayalam romantic comedy, Cinema Company follows the journey of four friends who decide to make a film together. After witnessing an accident, Paul goes into self-reflection mode and remembers his friends. That’s when he realizes his friends and he had decided to make a film together but they had to abandon the project as things did not go their way. The group finally returns to their abandoned project and makes a film that goes on to be a super hit.


Fan not only shows the life of a superstar in the industry but also explores the relationship of a star with his fans and well-wishers and how one cannot exist without the other. The film stars Shah Rukh Khan in dual roles, as an actor and as his fan, and shows the consequences of over obsessing with a celebrity and how it can turn one from someone’s biggest fan to worst enemy.


This Malayalam romantic drama by Aneesh Upasana revolves around two people who dream to become movie stars, but their lives take an unexpected turn when they finally receive an opportunity to work as lead actors in a film. Upon release, the film was hailed for its realistic depiction of showbiz and the rocky side of the industry.

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