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It was this "chance juxtaposition of two pairs of rhyming syllables," Holly and Tolly, that led to the portmanteau name "Tollywood" being coined.

The name "Tollywood" went on to be used as a nickname for the Bengali film industry by the popular Calcutta-based Junior Statesman youth magazine, establishing a precedent for other film industries to use similar-sounding names, eventually leading to the coining of "Bollywood".

In the 1940s, many actors, filmmakers and musicians in the Lahore industry migrated to the Bombay industry, including actors such as K. Saigal, Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand and singers such as Mohammed Rafi, Noorjahan and Shamshad Begum.

Around that time, filmmakers and actors from the Bengali film industry based in Calcutta (now Kolkata) also began migrating to the Bombay film industry, which for decades after partition would be dominated by actors, filmmakers and musicians with origins in what is today Pakistani Punjab, along with those from Bengal.

Key to this was the emergence of the masala film genre, which combines elements of multiple genres (action, comedy, romance, drama, melodrama, musical).

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