Regional movies have made immense contributions to the glorious history of Indian cinema. There are films that have set new standards and even changed the course of the industry. Let’s look at some rare gems from the South that are still celebrated as game-changers in Indian cinema.
The first Tamil noir film has acquired cult status today, but was a commercial failure when released. One of the reasons was the absence of songs, dances and stunt sequences — a shocking rarity in those days.
This epic mythological film was the first Telugu movie to be remastered and coloured. Mayabazar is also remembered for its stand-out special effects, including an illusion of moonlight and video calling. This was amazing considering technicians had no access to sophisticated technology at that time.
Chemmeen is the first Malayalam film to win an honour at an international festival — the Certificate of Merit at the Chicago International Film Festival. The movie, based on Kerala’s fishing communities, also won the President’s Gold Medal for Best Feature Film.
The first Kannada new-age film, Ghatashraddha focuses on the suppression of women through the eyes of a young boy. Serious content, a slow narrative technique and creative use of sound helped it make its mark in the new-age cinema category.
This Malayalam fantasy film was India’s first 3D movie and all equipment used in it had to be imported. The cult classic had footage explaining the use of 3D glasses because they were believed to spread conjunctivitis!