The Sentinel

10 Indian Films That Won Awards At Cannes Film Festival Over The Years

May 18, 2022
A Night Of Knowing Nothing (2021)
Payal Kapadia's documentary clinched the Oeil d'Or for the Best Documentary at Cannes 2021. The film gives a deeper insight into student life in Indian universities, where a a film school student going by the name of L writes letters to her estranged lover who has been kicked out of the college and whose family does not want him to be with L as she belongs to a lower caste.
Masaan (2015)
Neeraj Ghaywan's touching film featuring Richa Chadha, Vicky Kaushal and Shweta Tripathi bagged two prizes at Cannes 2015- FIPRESCI, International Jury of Film Critics prize and Promising Future prize in the Un Certain Regard section. The film was set in a small town in India and it depicted the sad reality of societal pressures, caste system and modernization amidst a conservative society.
The Lunchbox
Ritesh Batra's peculiar love story of a lonely bachelor and an equally lonely and discontent wife struck a chord with its viewers. The film stars Irrfan Khan and Nimrat Kaur in the lead role and had won the Critics Week Viewers Choice Awards.
Marana Simhasana (1999)
Directed by Mirali Narayan, the Malayalam film won the prestigious Camera d'Or. It is a deeply haunting film on class divide prevailing in society and it is based on a sad story of an innocent farmer who was wrongly convicted and jailed for a murder he had not committed. He had been sentenced to electrocution and it happened to be the first in his state.
Salaam Bombay (1988)
Mira Nair's film portrays the underbelly of Bombay and earned her the Camera d'Or. The film is set in the by lanes of Bombay, now Mumbai, and it revolved around the story of a rag picker and a prostitute of a brothel who develops an uncanny bond with each other
Kharij (1983)
The Bengali film by Mrinal Sen won the Special Jury Prize at Cannes 1983 and it featured Anjan Dutta and Mamata Shankar in the lead roles. The film narrated the story of a middle-class family whose child servant, Palan was found dead in their kitchen and the family made efforts to pacify his grieving father. The family was guilty of neglecting him and they had to face their inner demons.
Pather Panchali (1956)
Directed by legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray, the cult classic happened to be his first feature film and it bagged the prestigious Palm d'Or for best Human Document. The film narrates the story of a young boy Apu and his elder sister Durga and it is set amidst the harsh village life of their poor family. This film is considered as one of the classics of Indian cinema and is greatly revered till date.
Boot Polish (1954)
It happened to be the only Indian film to have won accolades at Cannes film festival for its actors. Child actor Naaz won the special distinction prize at Cannes in 1954. The film was directed by Prakash Arora and produced by Raj Kapoor and it narrated the story of two orphaned kids who were forced to beg on the streets of Bombay by their aunt following their mother's demise.
Do Bigha Zameen (1954)
Bimal Roy's classic 'Do Bigha Zameen' won the Prix Internationale Award in Cannes in 1954. The film depicts the real story of a family who were compelled to come to the city to do odd work after the land fails to yield harvest. Its lead actor Balraj Sahni delivered a mind-blowing performance in the film and he pulled rickshaws in real life on the streets of Calcutta to get into the skin of the character.
Neecha Nagar (1946)
Chetan Anand's film bagged the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film (Best Film) award at the first Cannes Film Festival in 1946. Ironically, this film was never released in India. The film depicts the story of class divide in India and it featured Kamini Kaushal, Rafiq Anwar and Zohra Sehgal among others.