Published By: Ishani Karmakar

Here are 3 independent films made in India but with a huge impact overseasci

There are many Indian works that may seem unfamiliar to the larger masses in the country but have been hugely successful abroad!

The astounding thing about a nation like India is its vastness and diversity. That often prompts one to think about the depth and magnitude of the cinematic traditions already prevalent in the country. It is totally possible that an independent production that did extremely well overseas didn’t perform as well in the country or that the general audiences in the country weren't aware of it. This reason can be attributed to the fact that Indian audiences have wildly different tastes from European or American audiences. The majority of the Indian population prefers star-driven works with almost no emphasis on story or plot. However, that is changing with the internet and streaming services, and the gap between tastes among the Indian masses and people abroad will decrease sooner rather than later.


Agantuk is the last film by India's greatest cinematic master, Satyajit Ray The motion picture did not do well in its own country but was a major hit overseas because of its deeply philosophical plot. This work received praise from both critics and the public. Another reason for its major success overseas was the theme that Ray decided to explore. Celebrated actor Utpal Dutta played the main character of an anthropologist who after a long absence returns to his native country. However, when he does, his sole remaining family becomes suspicious of his 'true' identity! The film was selected as an official selection at the Cannes Film Festival in 1992.

Monsoon Wedding

Monsoon Wedding, the sole work by a female artist on our list, was quite well-liked internationally. Additionally, the film managed to take home one of the most coveted awards in the field of cinematic arts: the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival. Meera Nair became the only seven women in history to have the Golden Lion and only the second Indian. The film features a bunch of great performances from the heavyweights of the Indian acting world such as Naseeruddin Shah, Vijay Raj, and Tilotomma Shome, just to name a few.

The Rat Trap

The Rat Trap, a film by the master of Malayalam cinema, director Adoor Gopalakrishnan, was extremely well-liked worldwide. Critics and viewers were completely captivated by its beautiful design and distinctive depiction of Indian culture. The film uses visual motifs in a masterful manner. Photographed by Mankada Ravi Verma, the framing in the film clearly shows the dynamics within the family. The motion picture also works because of the masterful performances of the titular characters, Karamana Nair and Sarada.