10 remarkable Indian films that won International appreciation but are hardly known to Indians.

In India, there is absolutely no dearth of creativity. The entertainment and film industry have produced some spectacular masterpieces that have not only been critically acclaimed in India but also, abroad, but we Indian never come to know about them. Here is a whole list of films, documentaries and short movies by Indian filmmakers that became big abroad and are still unknown to most Indians. Watch out for these, and add them to your viewing list!

  1. Parched (2015)

Radhika Apte starrer showcased at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.

Written and directed by Leena Yadav and produced by Ajay Devgn Parched is the story of four women in a desert village of Rajasthan, India. This village and the society is plagued by several social evils, age-old traditions, and practices of patriarchy, child marriage, dowry, marital rapes and physical and mental abuse. Watch this movie if you haven’t  seen this type of society till now.


  1. Court (2014)

Won 19 awards at National and International Film Festivals.

the film Court examines the Indian legal system through the trial of an aging folk singer at a Sessions Court in Mumbai. This directorial debut of Chaitanya Tamhane as a writer and director premiered at the 71st Venice International Film Festival. It won altogether 19 awards at various film festivals including the Best Feature Film award at the 62nd National Film Awards in 2014.


  1. Gattu (2012)

Received high critical acclaim by critics and film reviewers all over the world.

It is a tale of a little boy who is passionate about flying kites. Gattu is written by K.D. Satyam and directed by Rajan Khosa received high critical acclaim by critics and film reviewers all over the world. The film had been honored with a special mention under Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk (German Children’s Fund) category at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival securing a high position among the few Bollywood films to win such acclaim.


  1. Peddlers (2012)

Never got a release but was selected for International Critics’ Week.

Peddlers revolve around 20-year-old destitute boys who live in Mumbai. They get trapped in the drug trade. The movie is written and directed by Vasan Bala. This movie never got a release but was selected for International Critics’ Week which is a prestigious sidebar at the festival.


  1. Om-Dar-B-Dar (1988)

Premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival.

The movie follows the adventures of a school boy named Om along with his family and employs nonlinear narrative and an absurdist storyline to satire mythology, arts, politics, and philosophy. This movie was made in 1988 but was released in Indian theaters 26 years later. It premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1988 and won the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Movie in 1989.

om dar b dar

  1. Lucia (2013)

Won the Best Film Audience Choice award at the London Indian Film Festival.

This is a story about Nikki, an usher in the theater who suffers from insomnia but after consuming a special pill, he gets entangled in a different kind of dream. It was the first crowd-funded Kannada film. It premiered at the London Indian Film Festival on 20 July 2013 and won the Best Film Audience Choice award at the festival. This 2013 release was also among the films shortlisted by the FFI to become India’s submission for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, the same year.


  1. Sonchidi (2011)

Screened at the 68th Venice International Film Festival.

Sonchidi is an Indian science fiction film directed by Amit Dutta, is about two travelers who are in search of a flying craft, which they believe could possibly take them to the ultimate escape from the cycle of births. It was screened at the 68th Venice International Film Festival.


  1. Inshallah, Football (2010)

Was picked for a National award after being banned earlier.

This is a 2010 documentary film by Ashvin Kumar is about an aspiring 18-year-old footballer, known as Basha, who was denied the right to travel abroad on the pretext that his father was a militant in the 1990s. It ran into a lot of controversies for not owning the necessary censor certificate, without which it cannot be shown publicly in India. It premiered at the Pusan International Film Festival and bagged a Special Mention award at the 2010 Dubai International Film Festival.


  1. Unfreedom (2014)

Was banned from a public release in India and was later released in North America.

This movie focuses on the Muslim and LGBT identities by exhibiting a parallelism between a Muslim fundamentalist in New York who kidnaps a liberal Muslim scholar with an intent to kill and a closeted lesbian in New Delhi who kidnaps her bisexual lover with the intent to love. This 2014 Indian drama film by Raj Amit Kumar was banned from a public release in India and was later released in North America in May 2015.


  1. Cities of Sleep (2015)

Showcased at the Taiwan International Documentary Festival.

This is a documentary on sleep communes and sleep industry in India. Filmmaker Shaunak Sen explores this unexplored aspect of sleep and its socio-political dynamics. The 74-minutes film follows two beggars who have spent last seven years sleeping in odd places in Delhi — from subways and under flyovers to car garages, vacant zoo cages and deserted pipeline.

cities of sleep

If you have not seen any of the movie listed here till now, do watch to see what type of cinemas do we Indian make. Do comment below!

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