India is home to one of the biggest film industry in the world and more than thousands of films are made in India each year. There is no dearth of creativity in India, it’s just that the right movies don’t get till the Indian audience. While the whole world is enjoying critically acclaimed Indian movies, we Indians are stuck in watching nonsensical masala films. Worry not, cause here we have a list of some of the critically acclaimed movies that have won international acclaim but aren’t known to many Indians.
1) Ghatashraddha (1977)
Ghatashraddha is a Kannada language film released in 1977 about a young Brahman boy from an aristocratic family who fails to conceal the pregnancy of a friend who is also a widow. This movie won 3 awards at the 25th National Films Award and was also the only Indian film to be selected by the National Archive of Paris among 100 others during the centenary celebration of cinema.
2) Jai Bhim Comrade (2011)
Jai Bhim Comrade is a documentary about the lives of Dalits in Mumbai. The film begins with the description of 1997 Ramabai killings and was released 14 years later after the conclusion of the court trials. This movie won various national and international awards at the Mumbai International Film Festival, Hong Kong International Film Festival, the National Film Awards, and the Jean Rouch Film International Film Festival in 2012.
3) The Japanese Wife (2010)
An unusual story, The Japanese Wife is the tale of a Bengali school teacher who marries and remains loyal to a Japanese pen friend who he never meets throughout his life. This movie received a lot of critical acclaim in India and worldwide. The movie was purchased for distribution in North America and was released through Netflix, Amazon and iTunes.
4) Court (2014)
Court is a court room drama describing the trials of an elderly folk singer at a session court in Mumbai. This Marathi movie was the directorial debut of Chaitanya Tamhane and was premiered at the 71st Venice International Film Festival. This movie won 19 awards nationally and internationally including the Best Feature Film award at the 62nd National Film Awards.
5) Lucia (2013)
Lucia is the story of a guy called Nikki who suffers from Insomnia but after consuming a special pill, he enters some different kind of dream. This movie was also the first crowd funded Kannada movie. This movie was one of the films shortlisted by FFI for India’s submission for Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. This movie also won the Best Film Audience Choice Award at the London Indian Film Festival 2013.
6) Gandu (2010)
This movie got banned in India because of its graphic sex scenes. Shot in black and white this Bengali movie is the story of a frustrated teenager whose story is narrated in the form of a ‘rap musical’. The film premiered at the 2010 South Asian International Film Festival in New York City. This film was also screened at the Slamdance Film Festival and was officially selected at the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival.
7) Killa (2015)
Killa is a 2015 Marathi film directed by Avinash Arun about a 11 year old who is coping with the recent death of his father while making new friends at the new locality where his mother got transferred. The film won the Best Feature Film in Marathi award at the National Film Awards. This movie also won two awards at Berlin Film Festival and nominated at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards for the Best Youth Feature Film.
8) Gattu (2012)
Gattu is the tale of a little kid who is passionate about flying kites. The 2012 film directed by Rajan Khosa received critical acclaim from all over the world. The film had been honoured with a special mention under Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk (German Children’s Fund) category at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival.
9) Unfreedom (2014)
Another movie to be banned from public release in India, this movie talks about the Muslim and the LGBT. The movie features two parallel stories, one about a Muslim man in New York who kidnaps a liberal Muslim scholar in order to kill him and another of a closeted lesbian in New Delhi who kidnaps her bisexual lover. The film received lot of critical acclaim and was later released in North America.
10) Labour of Love (2014)
Labour of Love is the story of a young couple who work in different shifts and the problem of unemployment in Kolkata. This Bengali film directed Aditya Vikram Sengupta. This film premiered at the 71st Venice International Film Festival where it won the Best Debut Director in the Venice Days. It also won the Indira Gandhi Award for Best First Film of a Director and Best Audiography at the 62nd National Film Awards.
Indian Cinema is not all crap, it’s just that the gems lie hidden.