Although rife with its own set of struggles, what’s truly beautiful about the Indian indie film space is that it continues to hustle on. And in the past few years, we’ve seen quite a fair share of awesome indie filmmakers who continue to rally on in bringing out the other (and better) side of Indian cinema. So, whether you want to get started or update your to be watched films list, we’ve curated a list of some of our favourite filmmakers whose works you can always put your money on.
Girish Kasaravalli is considered as one of the pioneers of Indian parallel cinema. He has made 14 (all excellent and in Kannada) films till date and is one of the few filmmaker to win the National Award for Best Feature Films four times. All of his films are adaptations of Kannada literature, with strong social and political sentiments. Some of his most memorable films are Ghatashraddha, Kraurya, Thhayi Saheba, Gulabi Talkies
Pawan Kumar is a prolific filmmaker who keeps dishing out excellent films – each one more delightful than the other. Extremely active in the Kannada indie film circuit, he made Lucia
– a psychological thriller on lucid dreaming in 2013 that’s touted as one of the most remarkable indie films even today! He also made C10H14N2
(the chemical formula of Nicotine), yet another psychological thriller. He’s currently working on another film titled U-Turn.
Pawan has a brilliant way of working on his films – wherein not only does he crowdfund his films but he also regularly engages with his audience to gain feedback, improve and innovate on his projects!
Quashik Mukherjee (also called Q) is one of the most interesting filmmakers in India today. In fact, his films enjoy quite the cult following in the Bengali film circuit. Bold, fearless, unapologetic and extremely edgy, his films are a direct reflection of his sensibilities and are often considered to be not for the faint of heart. Whether it’s Gandu –
the angsty story of disaffected youth, Ludo
– the gore and havoc filled supernatural-horror film, or Tasher Desh –
a trippy adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore’s play, Q’s films tread paths that conventional films wouldn’t even dream of treading.
Ashim has consistently made it a point to work outside of the mainstream Bollywood industry. He gained international acclaim for his documentary films Thin Air
and John And Jane.
He then made Miss Lovely -
a feature-length film on the dark side of Mumbai’s C-grade film industry, which won acclaim and love from national as well as international audiences. A classic trademark of Ashim’s films is the blurred line between documentary and fictional style and storytelling. In 2005, he started his own independent production company called Future East.
Sandeep Mohan debuted with Love, Wrinkle-free
in 2011 – an endearing slice of life comedy about a dysfunctional Goan family. He then made Hola Venky!
And took it to the audience through the interesting concept of The Great Indian Travelling Cinema, where he took the film to wherever the audience wanted to see it – be it their home, office or bar! Sandeep’s films showcase simple stories that are quirky, enjoyable and relatable too! He also makes interesting use of social media to not only promote his films but also call for casting and collaborations. He’s currently working on his next film Shreelancer.
Hemant Gaba was one of the 11 directors in X: Past is Present
– he directed the segment “17 Presents” in the film. He also wrote and directed Japan In Nagaland –
a documentary that follows a group of anime fans in Nagaland and sheds some much-needed light on how a slice of Japanese culture is flourishing in this North-East Indian state. He also made Shuttlecock Boys
– a heartwarming story of 4 Delhi boys and their entrepreneurial aspirations.
Although he dabbles more in theatre and acting in films, when he directs a film, it’s just as memorable. He has been directing films since 1994, but some of his recent and most memorable films are Mithya
(2008) a comic thriller about a two-bit actor who is caught up in a case of mistaken identity with an underworld don, and Ankhon Dekhi
– the tale of a patriarch who decides to only believe what he sees with his own eyes.
Jahnu Barua is one of the pioneers of Assamese Art Cinema. He’s most well-known for his film Maine Gandhi Ko Nahi Mara.
He has won up to ten National Awards, 3 for Best Feature Film and 5 for Best Regional Film among others. His films are most about the fragility of human emotions and presenting raw stories that make people shift in their seats. Notable among his vast repertoire are Halodhia Choraye Baodhan Khai, Xagoroloi Bohu Door
Gurvinder Singh is best known for his Punjabi films Anhe Gore Da Daan
and Chauthi Koot. Anhe Gore Da Daan
won the National Award whereas Chauthi Koot
was shown at Cannes. He has also made short films like Pala –
a documentary about a Punjabi-folk balladeer, Legs Above my Feet
among a few others.
How many films by these filmmakers have you watched? Which filmmaker’s works do you enjoy the most? Help us make this list bigger and better!