1. Margarita With A Straw
The 2014 Indian drama film directed by
Shonali Bose is one of the most well written-movies of recent times. Its star
Kalki Koechlin, plays Laila, who was a teenage girl with cerebral palsy. The film depicts her struggle as she tries to lead a normal life and explores her sexuality. The film was first premiered on 8 September 2014 at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). After receiving a great response from critiques, it went on to be screened at BFI London Film Festival, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia, Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) and Istanbul Film Festival. It won the prestigious NETPAC award at the Toronto International Film Festival that year and actress Kalki won the Best Actress award at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. The movie also bagged various other awards in the following year. Margarita with a Straw is a unique and lyrical tale of a sassy girl that warms up the hearts of the audience and is a must watch.
The Lunchbox, released in 2013, was a rather epistolary romantic film by
Ritesh Batra that revolves around Saajan Fernandes (played by
Irrfan Khan) and Ila (played by
Nimrat Kaur). Ila is a young wife trying to get her husband’s attention by different ways, one of which is to cook delicious food for him while Saajan is a man who is about to retire. Due to a mix-up of lunch boxes, the tiffin she sends to her husband gets delivered to Saajan instead. An exchange of messages starts and this gives rise to a beautiful, one of a kind story. The movie was screened at the 2103 Cannes Film Festival, it received a standing ovation after the screening and got superb reviews. It won the Critics Week Viewer’s Choice award. The lead actors and the writers were heavily praised. The film was 2014’s third highest grossing foreign film in the United States and Rotten Tomatoes gave it an amazing score of 96%.
3. I Am
I Am Kalam is a 2010 Indian Hindi film directed by
Nila Madhab Panda and produced by Smile Foundation. Shot in Bikaner, Rajasthan, the film is about a young boy named chhotu (played by
Harsh Mayar) and is basically aimed at spreading the noble message of educating children in poor families. It was screened in the market section at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival and won various awards at multiple film festivals including the Young Jury Award for the best feature film at the Int’l Film Festival of India, National Film award for best child artist, for Best feature film at the Lucas Film Festival, Germany and was rated 4.40 out of 5 by the audiences at the Transilvania International Film Festival.Kalam
4. Liars Dice
Liars Dice is a road drama film that is written and directed by
Geetu Mohandas. Starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and
Geetanjali Thapa, the film deals with the issues of migrant laborers and throws light on their exploitation and struggles. It talks about a sense of futility and anger against the system while showcasing a highly alarming backdrop of the socio-political conditions of our country. The movie received critical success at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). Siddiqi and Thapa won the best actor/ actress awards respectively, won the special jury award at the Sofia International Film Festival and The Best Film award at various Film Festivals.
Masaan is an Indian drama film released in 2015 and is director Neeraj Ghaywan’s first film as a director. Set in present-day Varanasi, the movie follows two separate storylines that converge at the ending. Well written and executed by talented actors, it is imbued with a great sense of poetry and lyricism while maintaining the timeline and captures the very essence of Banaras. It won the FIPRESCI prize at the Cannes Film Festival and a Prix de l’avenir for debut films. It also won the Golden Frame award for the Best Feature Film at the All Lights India International Film Festival.
6. Ship of Theseus
Written and directed by
Anand Gandhi, the 2013 Indian Drama film showcases the stories of an ailing monk, an experimental photographer and a stockbroker in order to answers everyday questions of beauty, justice, semantics, life and death. The title of the film relates to the Theseus’ Paradox, the theory behind which adds to the development and understanding of the story as a whole. The film was premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012 and was subsequently screened at the BFI London Film Festival, Tokyo Film Festival, The Brisbane International Film Festival and various noted film festivals all around the world.
Released in 1998, Earth is a period drama film directed by
Deepa Mehta. Based on Bapsi Sidhwa’s novel Cracking India, the movie is set in Lahore in the period just before the partition of India. The movie stars talented actors like Aamir khan,
Nandita Das and a warm young girl with polio named Leny, played by
Maia Sethna. It is narrated through the voice of her adult self by
Shabana Azmi. The movie recieved powerful and positive reviews by Roger Ebert, The
New York Times and Rediff.com. It won the Best Film award at the Asian Film Festival and the Filmfare Award for best male debut (
Rahul Khanna). Earth was India’s entry for the 1999 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film but it could not make it to the top 5 nominees.
The 2014 Bollywood drama film is written and directed by
Kanu Behl. The movie features actors
Amit Sial, Lalit Bhel,
Shivani Raghuvanshi and
Shashank Arora. The story is a breath of fresh air and the storyline keeps the audience entranced as it showcases the dystopic side to Delhi in a way that has never been filmed before. The film instantly wowed the critics and the film was shown at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and many other Film Festivals all around the world. It won many awards.
The Namesake is a 2006 Indian-American drama film by
Mira Nair. The movie follows the struggles of Ashima and Ashoke Ganguli and their children who are immigrants from West Bengal to New York. The story follows their son Gogol’s cross-cultural experiences and his exploration of his Indian heritage. The movie received positive reviews from the critics and rotten tomatoes gave it a score of 86% based on 126 reviews. It appeared on several top ten lists of 2007 and at the Love is Folly International Film Festival, Mira Nair won the Golden Aphrodite award. The film was nominated for various other awards.
10. Salaam Bombay
Another film directed by Mira Nair, Salaam Bombay is a 1998 film that won the hearts of critics. It chronicles the everyday life of the unprivileged children who live on the streets of Bombay. It won the Golden Camera Award and The Audience Award at the Cannes Film Festival and three awards at the Montreal Film Festival. It won many other awards and nominations.