9 Not-So-Popular But Brilliant Indian Indie Films Of 2016

Posted on 13 December, 2016 by Team Wishberry

Image Courtesy: Bollywood Direct


Believe it or not, Indians in 2016 brought out some of the most beautiful, inspiring and disturbing stories to the fore. But only a few of them went on to win major awards at various film festivals and hence rose above the noise (Read our list of 10 Indian Films That Created Waves Internationally). There were many brilliant films that deserved the felicitation as well, but were overshadowed by the other flicks.

Here are 9 Indian films that haven’t been spoken about much, but are a good watch.


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Image Courtesy: Huffington Post

Directed by Vikramaditya Motwane Trapped starring Rajkummar Rao is a survival-drama-thriller about a guy, who gets trapped in his own house at a high-rise building with no escape route.

The movie screened at the Mumbai Film Festival and received thundering standing ovation. During the Q&A session of the film Motwane who previously delivered Lootera and Udaan joked that this was his first full-house experience.


Starring Shiv Pandit, Dhruv Ganesh and Siddharth Menon, Loev written and directed by Sudhanshu Saria is a tender and intimate portrait of three men who struggle to define the boundaries of their friendship and the love that exists between them.

The film is progressive yet subtle. It is about a weekend between friends where chances are missed, truths evaded and where love unexpectedly prevails.


Maroon is one of the most intriguing films that I caught in 2016. It is a psychological thriller starring the eccentric Manav Kaul, directed by a debutante director who only goes by his first name, Pulkit.

The film narrates the story of an insomniac professor who is panicked and fearful that his wife has gone missing. And is clueless about where to go look for her which is driving him Marooned in the house through psychological traumas.

Railway Children

Image Credits: Tin Drum Beats

Railway Children is a Kannada film by Tindrum Beats of Udupi, directed by Prithvi Konanur. The film is a docudrama based on the research work by Lalitha Iyer and Malcolm Harper’s ‘Rescuing Railway Children’.

The film explores the world through the eyes of Raju, a 12-year-old runaway kid, who steps out to an unknown and never-seen-before sphere of the railway platform. The film takes one through the illegal platform business, young kids addicted to substance/drugs, physical abuse, gang fights, perverted paedophiles, and more. But this film has a happy ending, that too with a twist which will make you cry tears of joy and acceptance.

Ozhivudivasathe Kali

Directed by Sanal Kumar Sasidharan Ozhivudivasathe Kali is inspired by a short story by Unni R. The film has won several awards at the Kerala State Film Festival.

The story is about society, the caste system and class divide. It digs out the deeply rooted disparities and discrimination that exist and can be brought out if provoked.  The narrative follows four friends who go on a trip on an election day. And soon, a game that they played as kids brings out disputes and prejudices towards norms and customs.

Loktak Lairembee (The Lady of the Lake)

Tomba is sick and depressed since the authorities burnt his huts after blaming his community for the pollution of the Loktak lake. He has confined himself at home and lies idle the entire day, terrified of the possibility that the authorities may return to take whatever he has left. One fine morning, Tomba accidentally finds a gun within the biomass. At first he is confused, but slowly, starts enjoying his newfound toy. He becomes aggressive and starts looking for opportunities to use the gun. One day an old lady knocks at his door in the middle of the night.

Loosely based on the short story, Nongmei by Sudhir Naoroibam, Loktak Lairembee directed by Haobam Paban Kumar, bagged the Golden Gateway Award, at the Mumbai Film Festival.

Ottayaal Paatha (The Narrow Path)

Directed by the Babusenan brothers, Satish and Santosh, Ottayaal Paatha follows the story of a father and son. The father is a retired, partly paralysed cleaner in the city corporation. Currently, the man is restricted largely to his bed and wheel chair. His unemployed software engineer son looks him after. Both of them have different ways of looking at life and have a strange relationship which gets tested, all of a sudden, in ways unknown and unexpected to both of them.

Haanduk (The Hidden Corner)

Haanduk is the debut project of independent filmmaker Jaicheng Jai Dohutia. The movie is based on real news stories and incidents of radical militarization in Northeast India.

An elderly woman receives a mutilated and bullet ridden body at her doorstep. She begins to question whether the body is that of her son, who left home years ago to join a radical terrorist group in Northeast India. She gets in contact with her son's childhood friend, who waits for him in longing. Meanwhile, another member of the terrorist group, has returned to the village, renouncing his membership from the group and hoping to return sanity back to his life.


Directed by Rohit Mittal, Autohead is a mockumentary about an auto rickshaw driver in Mumbai. As the film crew digs deeper to learn about the daily life of the man, they discover things that could either make them very rich or could kill them. The angst, sexual frustration and paranoia of the driver soon gets out of hand and leads to a terrible end. 

The lead actor, Deepak Sampath, won a Special Mention award for his realistic performance as psychotic protagonist in the film.

If there is an Indie Indian film that you believe must be a part of this list, do let us know about it.


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