While none would question the brilliance of the selected Indian classics like Satyajit Ray's Apu Trilogy, Guru Dutt's Pyaasa and Mani Ratnam's Nayakan, rediff.com decided to ask Indian filmmakers, artistes, technicians and critics what they felt were the best Indian films of all time.
Today, we feature Adoor Gopalakrishnan, widely acknowledged as one of India's greatest directors.
"I have made a list of India's best filmmakers and then chosen their best films. You will see the names of all the major filmmakers in my list," Adoor tells Shobha Warrier.
I choose this film for being India's first and the only accomplished Indian film by a very major artist. And that's its real importance.
Director: Satyajit Ray
This is Ketan Mehta's very best film (in Gujarati). It was very fresh in the way he used folklore.
Director: Ketan Mehta
I like Aparajito for other reasons, for its very special feel, keen observation of human relationships, etc.
Director: Satyajit Ray
Meghe Dekhe Tara
It is a very innovative film. It also depicts Ghatak's passion for cinema and theatre. Ghatak's is a different voice from Ray's in terms of sound and visuals. It is a very significant film in the history of Indian cinema.
Director: Ritwick Ghatak
Ek Din Pratidin
I feel this is Mrinal Sen's best film. There are some other favourites too but I prefer Ek Din Pratidin to his other films. It is very different from Ray's or Ghatak's films. And, the film asks a very important question about life.
Director: Mrinal Sen
It heralded a new voice in Hindi cinema because Hindi is otherwise associated with out and out commercial films. This was an Ankur in Hindi cinema's new wave movement.
Director: Shyam Benegal
Samskara is the first and the most important film made in Kannada. This film is not selected based on the director; it is the story that is the most important element in the film. It is said there were more than one person behind the making of this film, and that it was a group activity. I have no way of verifying it but I see it as a very, very significant film. Basically, it is U R Ananthamurthy's story that is the most interesting aspect of the film.
Director: Pattabhirama Reddy
Madumati, made in the commercial genre, really haunts. Even after several years, I can still watch and enjoy it. That's the most important quality of the film.
Director: Bimal Roy
Girish Kasaravalli is a very important filmmaker. What I liked about this Kannada film was the way it talked about the transition in Indian society. It's very well made.
Director: Girish Kasaravalli
Nirad Mahapatra has made only this one feature film (in Oriya) but it's a very outstanding work.
Director: Nirad Mahapatra
I have to add this in the list, as the 11th film, because Sathyu is a very important filmmaker in the history of Indian films. And Garam Hawa is his best.
Director: M S Sathyu