Parallel cinema

Parallel cinema was a film movement in Indian cinema that originated in the state of West Bengal in the 1950s as an alternative to the mainstream commercial Indian cinema, represented especially by popular Hindi cinema, known today as Bollywood.

Inspired by Italian Neorealism, Parallel Cinema began just before the French New Wave and Japanese New Wave, and was a precursor to the Indian New Wave of the 1960s. The movement was initially led by Bengali cinema and produced internationally acclaimed filmmakers such as Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Ritwik Ghatak, Tapan Sinha and others. It later gained prominence in other film industries of India and Bangladesh.

It is known for its serious content, realism and naturalism, symbolic elements with a keen eye on the sociopolitical climate of the times, and for the rejection of inserted dance-and-song routines that are typical of mainstream Indian films.

Parallel cinema
Years active1
1952–1992 (New Wave)
Major figuresSatyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen, Tapan Sinha, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, G. Aravindan, Shyam Benegal, Girish Karnad, Girish Kasaravalli, Shaji N.Karun, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Goutam Ghose, Rituporno Ghosh, K. N. T. Sastry,Anurag Kashyap
InfluencesIndian theatre, Bengali literature, social realism, poetic realism, Italian neorealism



Realism in Indian cinema dates back to the 1920s and 1930s. One of the earliest examples was Baburao Painter's 1925 silent film classic Savkari Pash (Indian Shylock), about a poor peasant (portrayed by V. Shantaram) who "loses his land to a greedy moneylender and is forced to migrate to the city to become a mill worker.[1] Acclaimed as a realistic breakthrough, its shot of a howling dog near a hut, has become a milestone in the march of Indian cinema." The 1937 Shantaram film Duniya Na Mane (The Unaccepted) also critiqued the treatment of women in Indian society.[2]

Early years

The Parallel Cinema movement began to take shape from the late 1940s to the 1965, by pioneers such as Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Bimal Roy, Mrinal Sen, Tapan Sinha, Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Chetan Anand, Guru Dutt and V. Shantaram. This period is considered part of the 'Golden Age' of Indian cinema.[3][4][5] This cinema borrowed heavily from the Indian literature of the times, hence became an important study of the contemporary Indian society, and is now used by scholars and historians alike to map the changing demographics and socio-economic as well as political temperament of the Indian populace. Right from its inception, Indian cinema has had people who wanted to and did use the medium for more than entertainment. They used it to highlight prevalent issues and sometimes to throw open new issues for the public.

Early examples of Indian cinema's social realist movement include Dharti Ke Lal (1946), a film about the Bengal famine of 1943 directed and written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas,[6] and Neecha Nagar (1946), a film directed by Chetan Anand and written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas that won the Grand Prize at the first Cannes Film Festival.[7] Since then, Indian independent films were frequently in competition for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, with some of them winning major prizes at the festival.

During the 1950s and the 1960s, intellectual filmmakers and story writers became frustrated with musical films. To counter this, they created a genre of films which depicted reality from an artful perspective. Most films made during this period were funded by state governments to promote an authentic art genre from the Indian film fraternity. The most famous Indian "neo-realist" was the Bengali film director Satyajit Ray, followed by Shyam Benegal, Mrinal Sen, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, G. Aravindan and Girish Kasaravalli. Ray's most famous films were Pather Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1956) and The World of Apu (1959), which formed The Apu Trilogy. Produced on a shoestring budget of Rs. 150,000 ($3000),[8][9] the three films won major prizes at the Cannes, Berlin and Venice Film Festivals, and are today frequently listed among the greatest films of all time.[10][11][12][13]

Certain art films have also garnered commercial success, in an industry known for its surrealism or 'fantastical' movies, and successfully combined features of both art and commercial cinema. An early example of this was Bimal Roy's Do Bigha Zamin (1953), which was both a commercial and critical success. The film won the International Prize at the 1954 Cannes Film Festival and paved the way for the Indian New Wave.[14][15][16] Hrishikesh Mukherjee, one of Hindi cinema's most successful filmmakers, was named the pioneer of 'middle cinema', and was renowned for making films that reflected the changing middle-class ethos. According to Encyclopædia Britannica, Mukherjee "carved a middle path between the extravagance of mainstream cinema and the stark realism of art cinema".[17] Renowned Filmmaker Basu Chatterjee also built his plots on middle-class lives and directed films like Piya Ka Ghar, Rajnigandha and Ek Ruka Hua Faisla.[18] Another filmmaker to integrate art and commercial cinema was Guru Dutt, whose film Pyaasa (1957) featured in Time magazine's "All-TIME" 100 best movies list.[19] The most recent example of an impeccable art film becoming commercially successful is Harpreet Sandhu's Canadian Punjabi Film Work Weather Wife; it marks the beginning of Cinema in Punjabi Film Industry.[20]

In the 1960s, the Indian government began financing independent art films based on Indian themes. Many of the directors were graduates of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), in Pune. The Bengali film director Ritwik Ghatak was a professor at the institute and a well-known director. Unlike Ray, however, Ghatak did not gain international fame during his lifetime. For example, Ghatak's Nagarik (1952) was perhaps the earliest example of a Bengali art film, preceding Ray's Pather Panchali by three years, but was not released until after his death in 1977.[21][22] His first commercial release Ajantrik (1958) was also one of the earliest films to portray an inanimate object, in this case an automobile, as a character in the story, many years before the Herbie films.[23] The protagonist of Ajantrik, Bimal, can also be seen as an influence on the cynical cab driver Narasingh (played by Soumitra Chatterjee) in Satyajit Ray's Abhijan (1962).[24]

The Cinema of Karnataka saw its first ray of hope of surrealism in N. Lakshminarayan's directorial debut Naandi (1964). Featuring mainstream actors like Rajkumar, Kalpana and Harini, the film was both a critical and commercial success. Produced by Vadiraj, it set a landmark by being the first ever Kannada film to screen at an International film festival. The movement gained significant momentum in the 1970s and 1980s resulting in numerous national awards and international recognition to Kannada cinema.


During the 1970s and the 1980s, parallel cinema entered into the limelight of Hindi cinema to a much wider extent. This was led by such directors as Gulzar, Shyam Benegal, Mani Kaul, Rajinder Singh Bedi, Kantilal Rathod and Saeed Akhtar Mirza, and later on directors like Govind Nihalani, becoming the main directors of this period's Indian art cinema. Mani Kaul's first several films Uski Roti (1971), Ashadh Ka Ek Din (1972), Duvidha (1974), and were critically appreciated and held to high esteem in the international spotlight. Benegal's directorial debut, Ankur (Seeding, 1974) was a major critical success, and was followed by numerous works that created another field in the movement. Kumar Shahani, a student of Ritwik Ghatak, released his first feature Maya Darpan (1972) which became a landmark film of Indian art cinema. These filmmakers tried to promote realism in their own different styles, though many of them often accepted certain conventions of popular cinema.[25] Parallel cinema of this time gave careers to a whole new breed of young actors, including Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil, Amol Palekar, Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Pankaj Kapoor, Deepti Naval, Farooq Shaikh, and even actors from commercial cinema like Hema Malini, Raakhee, Rekha ventured into art cinema.

Adoor Gopalakrishnan extended the Indian New Wave to Malayalam cinema with his maiden feature film Swayamvaram in 1972. Long after the Golden Age of Indian cinema, Malayalam cinema experienced its own 'Golden Age' in the 1980s and early 1990s. Some of the most acclaimed Indian filmmakers at the time were from the Malayalam industry, including Adoor Gopalakrishnan, K. P. Kumaran, G. Aravindan, John Abraham, Padmarajan, Bharathan, T. V. Chandran and Shaji N. Karun.[26] Gopalakrishnan, who is often considered to be Satyajit Ray's spiritual heir,[27] directed some of his most acclaimed films during this period, including Elippathayam (1981) which won the Sutherland Trophy at the London Film Festival, as well as Mathilukal (1989) which won major prizes at the Venice Film Festival.[28] Shaji N. Karun's debut film Piravi (1989) won the Camera d'Or at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival, while his second film Swaham (1994) was in competition for the Palme d'Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival.[29] His third film Vanaprastham (1999) was also selected to Cannes Film Festival, making him the only Indian film maker who could take consecutively three films to Cannes.

K. Balachander, C.V. Sridhar, J. Mahendran, Balu Mahendra, P. Bharathiraja, Mani Ratnam, Kamal Haasan, Bala, Selvaraghavan, Mysskin, Vetrimaaran and Ram have done the same for Tamil cinema, During the domination of commercial cinema in Telugu, Pattabhirami Reddy, K. N. T. Sastry, B. Narsing Rao, and Akkineni Kutumba Rao pioneered Telugu Parallel cinema to international recognition.[30]

Girish Kasaravalli, Girish Karnad and B. V. Karanth led the way for parallel cinema in the Kannada film industry. Many literary stalwarts entered or collaborated with cinema in this period. Some of the other notable filmmakers of this period were P. Lankesh, G. V. Iyer, M. S. Sathyu who were later followed by T. S. Nagabharana, Baraguru Ramachandrappa, Shankar Nag, Chandrashekhara Kambara in the 1980s. Actors like Lokesh, Anant Nag, L. V. Sharada, Vasudeva Rao, Suresh Heblikar, Vaishali Kasaravalli, Arundhati Nag and others rose to fame.

Bhabendra Nath Saikia and Jahnu Barua did it for Assamese cinema, while Aribam Syam Sharma pioneered Parallel Movies in Manipuri cinema.


By the early 1990s, the rising costs involved in film production and the commercialisation of the films had a negative impact on the art films. The fact that investment returns cannot be guaranteed made art films less popular amongst filmmakers. Underworld financing, political and economic turmoil, television, and piracy proved to be fatal threat to parallel cinema, as it declined.

Other major reasons for decline

One of the major reasons for the decline of the parallel cinema in India is that the F.F.C. or the National Film Development Corporation of India did not seriously look into the distribution or exhibition of these films. The mainstream exhibition system did not pick up these films because these films did not have the so-called 'entertainment value' that they were looking for. There was a talk of building small theatres for such film, but there was no serious attempt made to realise this alternative mode of exhibition. Thus, it left to a few Film Societies to screen these film; that too on a single screening basis. The advent of television and its popularity saw the film society movement decline. Gradually, the government reduced the patronage of such films, for they had only unseen films to be shown on their balance sheets.

The Parallel Cinema in its true sense was always on the fringes of the mainstream cinema. Since most of the parallel cinema rejected the regressive worldview that was largely embodied the mainstream cinema they never found acceptance in the mainstream production, distribution and exhibition system. With an absence of an alternative exhibition system or an art house circuit as it is called in the west, many of the off beat films made by present generation film makers like Sushant Mishra, Himanshu Khatua, Ashish Avikunthak, Murali Nair, Amitabh Chakraborty, Paresh Kamdar, Priya Krishnaswamy, Vipin Vijay, Ramchandra PN, Ashwini Mallik, Anand Subramanian, Sanjivan Lal, Amit Dutta, Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni, Gurvinder Singh, Bela Negi have never had a large audience.


The term "parallel cinema" has started being applied to off-beat films produced in Bollywood, where art films have begun experiencing a resurgence. This led to the emergence of a distinct genre known as Mumbai noir,[31] urban films reflecting social problems in the city of Mumbai.[32] The introduction of Mumbai noir was marked by Ram Gopal Varma's Satya (1998). However the Mumbai noir is a genre that is not considered artistic in ambition even though it concentrates on realistic portrayal of the Mumbai underworld; these are generally commercial films.

Other modern examples of art films produced in India which are classified as part of the parallel cinema genre include Rituparno Ghosh's Utsab (2000) and Dahan (1997), Mani Ratnam's Yuva (2004), Nagesh Kukunoor's 3 Deewarein (2003) and Dor (2006), Manish Jha's Matrubhoomi (2004), Sudhir Mishra's Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (2005), Jahnu Barua's Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara (2005), Pan Nalin's Valley of Flowers (2006), Onir's My Brother… Nikhil (2005) and Bas Ek Pal (2006), Anurag Kashyap's Black Friday (2007), Vikramaditya Motwane's Udaan (2009), Kiran Rao's Dhobi Ghat (2010), Amit Dutta's Sonchidi (2011), and the latest sensation Anand Gandhi's Ship of Theseus (2013).

Independent films spoken in Indian English are also occasionally produced; examples include Revathi's Mitr, My Friend (2002), Aparna Sen's Mr. and Mrs. Iyer (2002) and 15 Park Avenue (2006), Homi Adajania's Being Cyrus (2006), Rituparno Ghosh's The Last Lear (2007), and Sooni Taraporevala's Little Zizou (2009).

Other Indian art film directors active today include Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Aparna Sen, Gautam Ghose, Sandip Ray (Satyajit Ray's son), Kaushik Ganguly, Suman Mukhopadhyay and Kamaleshwar Mukherjee in Bengali cinema; Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Shaji N. Karun, T. V. Chandran, M.P. Sukumaran Nair, Shyamaprasad,Dr. Biju and Sanal Kumar Sasidharan in Malayalam cinema; Kumar Shahani, Ketan Mehta, Govind Nihalani, Shyam Benegal, Amit Dutta, Manish Jha, Ashim Ahluwalia, Anurag Kashyap, Anand Gandhi, and Deepa Mehta in Hindi Cinema; Mani Ratnam and Bala in Tamil, Rajnesh Domalpalli and Narasimha Nandi in Telugu cinema, Jahnu Barua in Hindi cinema and Assamese Cinema, Amol Palekar and Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni in Marathi Cinema.

Aamir Khan, with his production studio, introduced his own brand of social cinema in the early 21st century, blurring the distinction between commercial masala films and realistic parallel cinema, combining the entertainment and production values of the former with the believable narratives and strong messages of the latter. He has helped introduce parallel cinema to mainstream audiences, with his films earning both commercial success and critical acclaim, in India and overseas.[33]

Global discourse

Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray, Acknowledged master of parallel cinema

During the formative period of Indian parallel cinema in the 1940s and 1950s, the movement was influenced by Italian cinema and French cinema, particularly by Italian neorealism as well as French poetic realism. Satyajit Ray particularly cited Italian filmmaker Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves (1948) and French filmmaker Jean Renoir's The River (1951), which he assisted, as influences on his debut film Pather Panchali (1955), alongside influences from Bengali literature and classical Indian theatre.[34] Bimal Roy's Do Bigha Zamin (1953) was also influenced by De Sica's Bicycle Thieves. The Indian New Wave also began around the same time as the French New Wave and the Japanese New Wave.

Ever since Chetan Anand's Neecha Nagar won the Grand Prize at the inaugural Cannes Film Festival in 1946,[35] Indian parallel cinema films frequently appeared in international fora and film festivals for the next several decades.[36] This allowed Indian independent filmmakers to reach a global audience. The most influential among them was Satyajit Ray, whose films became successful among European, American and Asian audiences.[37] His work subsequently had a worldwide impact, with filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese,[38] James Ivory,[39] Abbas Kiarostami, Elia Kazan, François Truffaut,[40] Carlos Saura,[41] Isao Takahata[42] and Wes Anderson[43] being influenced by his cinematic style, and many others such as Akira Kurosawa praising his work.[44] The "youthful coming-of-age dramas that have flooded art houses since the mid-fifties owe a tremendous debt to the Apu trilogy" (1955–1959).[45] Ray's film Kanchenjungha (1962) introduced a narrative structure that resembles later hyperlink cinema.[46] Ray's 1967 script for a film to be called The Alien, which was eventually cancelled, is widely believed to have been the inspiration for Steven Spielberg's ET (1982).[47][48][49] Ira Sachs' Forty Shades of Blue (2005) was a loose remake of Charulata, and in Gregory Nava's My Family (1995), the final scene is duplicated from the final scene of The World of Apu (1959). Similar references to Ray films are found in recent works such as Sacred Evil (2006),[50] the Elements trilogy of Deepa Mehta, and in films of Jean-Luc Godard.[51]

Another prominent filmmaker is Mrinal Sen, whose films have been well known for their Marxist views. During his career, Mrinal Sen's film have received awards from almost all major film festivals, including Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Moscow, Karlovy Vary, Montreal, Chicago, and Cairo. Retrospectives of his films have been shown in almost all major cities of the world.[52]

Another Bengali independent filmmaker, Ritwik Ghatak, began reaching a global audience long after his death; beginning in the 1990s, a project to restore Ghatak's films was undertaken, and international exhibitions (and subsequent DVD releases) have belatedly generated an increasingly global audience. Alongside Ray's films, Ghatak's films have also appeared in several all-time greatest film polls. A number of Satyajit Ray films appeared in the Sight & Sound Critics' Poll, including The Apu Trilogy (ranked No. 4 in 1992 if votes are combined),[53] The Music Room (ranked No. 27 in 1992), Charulata (ranked No. 41 in 1992)[54] and Days and Nights in the Forest (ranked No. 81 in 1982).[55] The 2002 Sight & Sound critics' and directors' poll also included the Guru Dutt films Pyaasa and Kaagaz Ke Phool (both tied at #160), and the Ritwik Ghatak films Meghe Dhaka Tara (ranked #231) and Komal Gandhar (ranked #346).[56] In 1998, the critics' poll conducted by the Asian film magazine Cinemaya included The Apu Trilogy (ranked No. 1 if votes are combined), Ray's Charulata and The Music Room (both tied at #11), and Ghatak's Subarnarekha (also tied at #11).[57] In 1999, The Village Voice top 250 "Best Film of the Century" critics' poll also included The Apu Trilogy (ranked No. 5 if votes are combined).[11] The Apu Trilogy, Pyaasa and Mani Ratnam's Nayakan were also included in Time magazine's "All-TIME" 100 best movies list in 2005.[19] In 1992, the Sight & Sound Critics' Poll ranked Ray at No. 7 in its list of "Top 10 Directors" of all time,[58] while Dutt was ranked No. 73 in the 2002 Sight & Sound greatest directors poll.[59]

The cinematographer Subrata Mitra, who made his debut with Ray's The Apu Trilogy, also had an importance influence on cinematography across the world. One of his most important techniques was bounce lighting, to recreate the effect of daylight on sets. He pioneered the technique while filming Aparajito (1956), the second part of The Apu Trilogy.[60] Some of the experimental techniques which Satyajit Ray pioneered include photo-negative flashbacks and X-ray digressions while filming Pratidwandi (1972).[61]
















See also


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External links

29th Filmfare Awards

The 29th Filmfare Awards were held in 1982. Films belonging to the Parallel Cinema and Indian New Wave won most of the awards on the nights, signalling a trend where filmmakers and audiences were moving towards more meaningful cinema.

31st Filmfare Awards

The 31st Filmfare Awards were held in 1984, with the Indian New Wave at its peak. The biggest winner was a film belonging to the Parallel Cinema genre, Ardh Satya, a hard-hitting look at the corruption prevalent in the system and the politician-police-criminal nexus.

Shabana Azmi set a record that still is not equalled, becoming the only actor or actress to receive 4 nominations for the Best Actor or Actress Award, with 4 nominations for the Best Actress Award in 1984.

32nd Filmfare Awards

The 32nd Filmfare Awards were held in 1985. Sai Paranjpye's Sparsh walked away with the big prizes. The film's release was delayed by almost 4 years. Anupam Kher won the Best Actor award for his first film, Saaransh. Anil Kapoor also won his first Filmfare Award this year. This year, the trend backed away from Parallel Cinema as more commercial films won awards.


Awaargi is a 1990 Bollywood drama film directed by Mahesh Bhatt starring Anil Kapoor, Govinda and Meenakshi Sheshadri in lead roles. The film is considered to have featured Anil Kapoor's and Meenakshi Sheshadri's best performances. Over the years it has gained immense critical praise and is considered a classic now.Like several other 1980s films by Mahesh Bhatt, Awaargi, containing serious and realistic content, belongs to the arthouse cinematic genre, known in India as parallel cinema. On its release, it received critical acclaim.

Cinema of India

The cinema of India consists of films produced in the nation of India. Cinema is immensely popular in India, with as many as 1,600 films produced in various languages every year. Indian cinema produces more films watched by more people than any other country; in 2011, over 3.5 billion tickets were sold across India, 900,000 more than Hollywood. Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad are the major centres of film production in India.

As of 2013, India ranked first in terms of annual film output, followed by Nigeria, Hollywood and China. In 2012, India produced 1,602 feature films. The Indian film industry reached overall revenues of $1.86 billion (₹93 billion) in 2011. In 2015, India had a total box office gross of US$2.1 billion, third largest in the world.

Indian cinema is a global enterprise. Its films have a following throughout Southern Asia and across Europe, North America, Asia, the Greater Middle East, Eastern Africa, China and elsewhere, reaching in over 90 countries. Biopics including Dangal became transnational blockbusters grossing over $300 million worldwide.Global enterprises such as 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures and Warner Bros. invested in the industry along with Indian enterprises such as AVM Productions, Prasad's Group, Sun Pictures, PVP Cinemas, Zee, UTV, Suresh Productions, Eros International, Ayngaran International, Pyramid Saimira, Aascar Films and Adlabs. By 2003 as many as 30 film production companies had been listed in the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE).The overall revenue of Indian cinema reached US$1.3 billion in 2000. The industry is segmented by language. The Hindi language film industry is known as Bollywood, the largest sector, representing 43% of box office revenue. Combined Tamil and Telugu film industries revenues represent 36%. The South Indian film industry encompasses five film cultures: Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Tulu. Another prominent film culture is Bengali cinema, which was largely associated with the parallel cinema movement, in contrast to the masala films more prominent in Bollywood and Telugu films at the time.

Millions of Indians overseas watch Indian films, accounting for some 12% of revenues. Music rights alone account for 4–5% of net revenues.

Jeevan Dhaara

Jeevan Dhaara is a 1982 Indian Bollywood film directed by Tatineni Rama Rao. The film is a remake of the 1974 Tamil film Aval Oru Thodar Kathai. The film stars Rekha, Raj Babbar, Amol Palekar, Sulochana Latkar, Simple Kapadia and Rakesh Roshan. The movie belongs to Art Cinema genre, also known as Parallel Cinema. Rekha received a nomination for Filmfare Best Actress Award, the only nomination for the film. She is credited with the film's box office success.

Kasba (film)

Kasba (English: The Town) is a 1991 Indian drama film written and directed by Kumar Shahani. It is based on the short story "In the Ravine" by the Russian playwright Anton Chekhov. The movie is an important work in the Indian Parallel Cinema movement which started in the early 1970s. It is one of the last films to be part of the movement as it died out by the early 1990s.

Kosli cinema

The first ever Sambalpuri movie released was Bhukha or Bhuka. It was released in the year 1989 and was directed by Sabyasachi Mohapatra. It was also the first film from Odisha to get an International Jury Award at the Gijon International Film Festival. The second film in Sambalpuri language is Ulugulan (revolution), which was released in 2008,Directed by Mahmood Hussain and Produced by Purnabasi Sahu.It's Story based in the first half of the 18th century and depicts the tyrannical rule of the Nagpur rulers.

Now Come to the The Year of 2013 When The 3rd time Sambalpuri Film was Released,Called 'Alar:- The Orphan', Which was also became the 1st ever Commercial Cinema(Previous two was Art/Parallel Cinema) of Saliwood.Story/Screenplay/Produced by:- Manabhanjan Nayak & Directed By:- Litu Mohanty.

Kulbhushan Kharbanda

Kulbhushan Kharbanda (born 21 October 1944) is an Indian actor who works in Hindi and Punjabi films. He is best known for his role as the antagonist Shakaal in Shaan (1980), inspired by the character Blofeld from James Bond movies. Starting off with the Delhi-based theatre group 'Yatrik' in the 1960s, he moved to films with Sai Paranjpye's Jadu Ka Shankh in 1974. He worked in several parallel cinema films before working in the mainstream Hindi film industry. He appeared in Mahesh Bhatt's classic Arth (1982), Ek Chadar Maili Si (1986), and in all three parts of Deepa Mehta's Elements trilogy: Fire (1996), Earth (1998), and Water (2005).After nearly two decades he was seen on the theatre stage at the Padatik Theatre in Kolkata in the production of Atmakatha, directed by Vinay Sharma.

Maya Darpan

Maya Darpan (English: The Illusory Mirror) is a 1972 Indian Hindi film directed by Kumar Shahani. It is a significant work of the Indian Parallel Cinema movement which started during the 1950s with filmmakers Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak. The film was forgotten soon after its release, but was rediscovered and is today considered a landmark work of Indian cinema. The film stars Aditi and Anil Pandya.

Naseeruddin Shah

Naseeruddin Shah is an Indian film and stage actor and director in the Hindi language film industry. He is considered among the finest actors of India and is a prominent figure in Indian parallel cinema. He has won numerous awards in his career, including three National Film Awards, three Filmfare Awards and an award at the Venice Film Festival. The Government of India has honoured him with the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan awards for his contributions to Indian cinema.

Neecha Nagar

Neecha Nagar (Hindi: नीचा नगर Nīcā nagar, English: Lowly City) is a 1946 Hindi-Urdu film, directed by Chetan Anand, written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas and Hayatullah Ansari, and produced by Rashid Anwar. It was a pioneering effort in social realism in Indian cinema and paved the way for many such parallel cinema films by other directors, many of them also written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas. It starred Chetan Anand's wife Uma Anand, with Rafiq Ahmed, Kamini Kaushal, Rafi Peer, Hamid Butt, and Zohra Sehgal.

Neecha Nagar became the first Indian film to gain recognition at the Cannes Film Festival, after it shared the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film (Best Film) award at the first Cannes Film Festival in 1946 with eleven of the eighteen entered feature films. It's the only Indian film to be ever awarded a Palme d'Or.

Pranitha Subhash

Pranitha Subhash is an Indian film actress, model who predominantly appears in Kannada, Telugu and Tamil films. She was raised in Bangalore and pursued a career in modelling before plunging into films. She debuted as an actor in the 2010 Kannada film, Porki, a remake of Telugu film Pokiri, and in the same year starred in the Telugu film, Em Pillo Em Pillado. Her Tamil debut was with the film Udhayan (film) (2011). She went on to appear in several commercially successful Telugu and Tamil films like Baava (2010), Attarintiki Daredi (2013), Massu Engira Masilamani (2015) opposite Suriya and Enakku Vaaitha Adimaigal opposite Jai.

In 2012, she starred in a critically acclaimed parallel cinema, Bheema Theeradalli for which she was nominated for Filmfare award for Best Kannada actress and SIIMA award for Best Kannada actress.

Sadhu Meher

Sadhu Meher (born in Odisha) is an Indian actor, director, and producer .He has performed in both Odia and Hindi films.

He primarily began his career in Hindi films like Bhuvan Shome, Ankur and Mrigaya. Later on shifted his interest towards Odia films. He is one of the founders of Parallel Cinema in the mid-1980s.

He won a National Film Award for Best Actor for Ankur.

He was conferred Padma Sri by the Government of India in 2017.

Shabana Azmi

Shabana Azmi (born 18 September 1950) is an Indian actress of film, television and theatre. The daughter of poet Kaifi Azmi and stage actress Shaukat Azmi, she is an alumna of Film and Television Institute of India of Pune. Azmi made her film debut in 1974 and soon became one of the leading actresses of Parallel Cinema, a new-wave movement known for its serious content and neo-realism and received government patronage during the times. Regarded as one of the finest actresses in India, Azmi's performances in films in a variety of genres have generally earned her praise and awards, which include a record of five wins of the National Film Award for Best Actress and several international honours. She has also received five Filmfare Awards, and was honored among "women in cinema" at the 30th International Film Festival of India. In 1988, the Government of India awarded her with Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour of the country.

Azmi has appeared in over 120 Hindi and Bengali films in both mainstream and independent cinema, and since 1988, she has acted in several foreign projects. Several of her films have been cited as a form of progressivism which portrays Indian society, its customs and traditions. In addition to acting, Azmi is a social and women's rights activist. She is the wife of poet and screenwriter Javed Akhtar. She is a Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA). In appreciation of Azmi's life and works, the President of India gave her a nominated (unelected) membership of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament.

Soviet Parallel Cinema

Soviet Parallel Cinema, often referred to simply as Parallel Cinema, was an underground film movement in the Soviet Union in the 1980s. The films made as part of the movement were noted for embracing amateur aesthetics and for "deliberately [refusing] to conform to professional standards."

T. S. Nagabharana

Talakadu Srinivasaiah Nagabharana (born 1953) is an Indian film director, in the Kannada film industry and a pioneer of the parallel cinema. He is one of the few film directors to have straddled the mainstream and parallel cinema worlds. He achieved success both in television and cinema.

He has been the recipient of international, national, state and other awards for 20 of his 34 Kannada movies in the last 40 years. He was nominated as the chairman of Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy (KCA), Bangalore [Government of Karnataka] (State Film Academy).

2018- Kaanoraayana movie


Uttarayanam (English: Throne of Capricorn) is a 1975 Malayalam-language film directed by G. Aravindan and written by Thikkodiyan. Aravindan, who is considered the doyen of Malayalam parallel cinema, debuted with this film. The film, which exposes opportunism and hypocrisy set against the backdrop of the Independence struggle, is inspired by Aravindan's own cartoon series, titled Cheriya Lokavum Valiya Manushyarum (Small World and Big People), which was published in Mathrubhumi for several years.The film is about Ravi, an unemployed young man, who has to face a series of encounters during his search for a job. Ravi reflects on the past struggles of the anti-British freedom fighters he has learned about from his paralyzed father. He eventually meets Gopalan Muthalaly, a leader of Quit India movement, but now a corrupt contractor. Mohandas plays the protagonist and Kunju, Balan K. Nair, Adoor Bhasi, Kunjandi and Sukumaran play other roles. The film garnered wide critical praise and several awards, including five Kerala State Film Awards, upon release. Widely regarded as one of the finest films of Aravindan, it has influenced the parallel cinema movement in Kerala to a great extent.

Welcome to Sajjanpur

Welcome to Sajjanpur is a 2008 Indian Hindi comedy film directed by Shyam Benegal and starring Shreyas Talpade and Amrita Rao in the lead roles. The film is by noted Parallel cinema director, Shyam Benegal, marking his return to comedy after filming Charandas Chor (1975). Even though Benegal is responsible for other films in the parallel cinema genre, this film was one of his mainstream Bollywood films. It was a remake of the 1977 film Palkon Ki Chhaon Mein. The film was both critically and commercially successful.

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