Bollywood is one of the biggest film industries in the world, second only to Hollywood. Despite the many masala films that are produced in Bollywood, a lot of the films that are produced go abroad and win awards. Sadly, it is rare for the general public to watch these films that are winning international awards for our country. Today we will be discussing 20 such films that have gone abroad and won international acclaim for the country.
1. ‘Mother India’
The film focused on the plight of a single mother who must not only fight poverty but also the world. The film was India’s first ever submission to the academy awards and the first ever film from India to get nominated. Regarded as the best film that was ever produced, Mehboob Khan’s 1957 film even won various awards at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival.
A more recent film, Court is a film by
released in the year 2014. In the Venice film festival, it was awarded the best film and was the country’s submission to the Academy Awards. It was a courtroom drama highlighting the drawback of the judicial system of India.
The film, starring
did not just give us a wonderful actress in
but the film also won many awards internationally, like the Critics Week Viewers’ Choice Award. It was also nominated in the British Academy awards. The film was the story of a housewife and a regular office worker and their romance that develops as the story unfolds.
4. ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’
The movie is easily on its way to becoming a cult classic. Apart from its popularity in India, it also received raving reviews in the countries abroad. The Hollywood Review stated that the
film was at par with any flick made in the style of
, and Variety mentioned the influences of Coppola in the film.
Although not a Bollywood film, the film still is the pride of India. Directed and written by
, the film was released in 1987 and starred
. The film made its place in the list of 100 best films of all time in 2005’s Time Magazine. The Moving Arts Journal too included the film in their list of the greatest films ever.
6. ‘Salaam Bombay’
The film is a true portrayal of the tragic fate of the street children in Bombay and their survival. The film won three awards at the Cannes Film Festival, namely the Audience Awards, the Golden Camera Award and the National Board of Review Award. The film was also included by New York Times in the list of the top 1000 films that have ever been made.
7. ‘Kagaz Ke Phool’
The movie was the brainchild of
and was inspired by his relationship with Gyan Mukherjee. The movie was included, by Sight and Sound, in the list of the greatest movies of all time. It was way ahead of its time and so, was an immediate flop on the box office. Later it became a cult classic and one of the many movies for which Guru Dutta is remembered.
8. ‘Pather Panchali’
This is a very old film, released in the year 1955, and was made by
. It was the first ever film that had been made in India after independence and received international acclaim. It was an inspiration for many makers and acclaimed by critic all over the globe. At the Cannes Film Festival in 1956, it received the Best Human Document Award.
It is hard to recognize Irrfan Khan in this film, but when you see him act, it is no longer easy to miss him. This 2006 film by
revolved around one of Jhumpa Lahiri’s novels by the same name and was given an 86% rating by Rotten Tomatoes. It also went on to win the Love is Folly Film Festival in Bulgaria, shining over from entries all over the world.
10. ‘Monsoon Wedding’
Another one of Mira Nair’s masterpieces, the film became one of the few to inspire a Broadway musical of its own. Featuring the likes of
, the film was released in 2001 and released 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It focused on the trials that one faces while organizing a wedding and won awards at the Venice Film Festival, British Independent Film Award, and was nominated for BAFTA and Golden Globe Awards.
This 1951 film by
was included by TIME magazine in their 100 greatest films of all time. The movie brought to light the socio-economic difference between individuals and what effect it can have. The film became an instant blockbuster in East Asia, Erstwhile Soviet Union and Middle East.
12. ‘Black Friday’
This 2004 film is one of those films that helped Anurag Kashyap build his reputation. The movie’s raw narrative style received favourable reviews from LA Weekly, The New York Times and The Hollywood Reporter. At the Locarno Film Festival, it was nominated for the best film, and won the Grand Jury Prize at Los Angeles’ Indian Film Festival.
Devdas has been made several times, and everyone has their own versions. In 2002,
Sanjay Leela Bhansali
presented his version, which received huge critical acclaim and was loved by the audience, so it was nominated for the BAFTA and was India’s official submission for the Academy Awards. It has been called the best movie that was released in 2002 and it was included in the worldwide list of top 10 movies of the millennium.
14. ‘Liar’s Dice’
The movie, that was released in 2014 was a work of art by
. It went on to become the Indian entry to the 87th Academy Awards, after being screened at film festivals in Rotterndam, Sundance, and Sofia International Film Festival, where it also won an award. It also won several awards at other international film festivals.
15. ‘Dil Se’
Released in 1998, the film was the last of Mani Ratnam’s three terror films and was a huge hit at the box office, not just in India, but also in countries like America and United Kingdoms. Its screenplay and cinematography earned it special praise at various film festivals. In 1999, the film went to Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Netpac award.
16. ‘1947 - Earth’
, the film was released in 1998, and was made by
. It was set in between partition in 1947 and was considered a universal message by Roger Ebert, who had won a Pulitzer Prize and he further went on to give the movie a 3 on 4 stars. Others who praised the film include The New Yorker and the New York Times.
Another masterpiece starring Aamir Khan, the film was made by Ashutosh Gowarikar in 2001 and still remains a hugely popular film not just because of the many elements it has that touch the heart, but because of the brilliance of everyone involved. It became India’s third nomination at the Academy Awards, received a rating of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, and in 2010, Empire Magazine ranked it among the ‘100 best films of World Cinema’. In 2011 too, it was included among the top 25 Best Sports Movies by Time Magazine.
Made by Meenu Singh, the film threw light on the social evils that are prevalent in our country, especially domestic violence and patriarchy, as a henna artist sees it. It highlights the fact that mehendi may be a medium of celebration, but it also highlights the people’s socio-economic plight. The film went on to win awards in the Nova Film House.
The film had
as the head of a brothel. This brothel is located right on the
border. The film is a period film set during the partition, so this border is also new. The movie shows women fighting against a separatist state and is a
film. At the 2016 film festival in Melbourne, the film was specially praised and received incredibly well.
The movie managed to bring a smile on every face that took out time to watch it. It tells the tale of a child who would do anything to fly his kite. The movie gives a sense of hope to those who question their life and believe it to be senseless or helpless. At the 62nd film festival at Berlin, the film was mentioned specially. It was produced in 2012 by India’s Children’s Film Society.