Documentaries feature different styles of narrative, cinematography and other techniques. These are also categorized according to their nature such as animated documentary, ethnographic film, dance film, nature documentary, political cinema, travel documentary and many more. Although documentary films in India are pivotal in projecting diverse aspects of reality, their funding and distribution still remains challenging. However over time, documentary Films in India have attained better prospects and have carved a distinct niche in the international film arena by bagging prestigious awards in international film festivals. They have also achieved limited release in domestic theatres.
Children of the Pyre
Rajesh S. Jala's documentary film Children of the Pyre depicts the tales of seven children who work as shroud sellers at Mani karnika, India's largest crematorium. The film constitutes 100 hours of footage shot at the crematorium and surrounding sites with candid interviews with children who narrate their life as they gather shrouds from the dead bodies which are brought to the crematorium and resell them to local merchants at nominal amounts. The film won a number of awards including Silver Lotus Award at the 56th National Film Awards, Best Documentary Award at Montreal World Film Festival, 2008 and many others.
A Little Dream
A Little Dream captures the journey of former President Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam from Rameswaram to Rashtrapati Bhavan. The 60 minute documentary was scripted-directed by P. Dhanapal and the depiction reveals story in a story. The film focuses on the subject of significance of education and has been termed as a spark inducer for the younger generation.
Naga Story: The Other Side of Silence
Naga Story: The Other Side of Silence is the creation of the Indian filmmaker Gopal Menon. The film documents the human rights abuses which the Naga people have suffered since years in the independent India. Continuing even in the present times, the Naga political struggle is the oldest nationality movements in South Asia. The movie won the Spirit of the Himalayas First Prize at Netherlands Himalayas Film Festival, Amsterdam, 2004.
One Crazy Ride
One Crazy Ride is a documentary film of India made in 2009, which is based on a 2002 route-charting expedition in India. The film, under the direction of Gaurav Jani, depicts the journey of five enthusiastic bikers across the Himalayas through a virgin route. The film explores many lesser known parts of the country. The film has been screened at a number of film festivals and has been the recipient of several accolades.
The Other Song
The Other Song is another Indian documentary film which portrays the life of Rasoolan Bai, a courtesan. The film features the 1935 gramophone recording of her much renowned semi classical rendition 'Lagat karejwa ma chot'. A grant from India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) aided the production of this film.
Shores of Silence
Shores of Silence is a landmark film directed by Mike Pandey which led to the development of major legislations for the protection of whale sharks worldwide. The film depicts the unnecessary killing and harvesting of whale sharks practiced by poor Indian communities. Government of India, in response to the documentary, declared the whale sharks as endangered species and introduced legislations for banning fishing of whale sharks under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. The film bagged 11 international awards including The Wildscreen Panda, also known as the Green Oscar.
Celluloid Man is a 2013 documentary film based on the life and works of the legendary Indian archivist P.K. Nair, who was also the founder of the National Film Archive of India. The film not only gave a wonderful insight to his contributions, providing him recognition across the country but also has been the recipient of huge appreciations in the international film festivals across the globe. It was premiered at International film festival of India (IFFI), International film festival of Kerala (IFFK) and in few more similar events. The film has walked away with two National Awards in India at the 60th National Film Awards. It also received Nestor The Chronicler Award.
Other Documentary Films in India
Other documentary films in India include Bombay: Our City, Carve Your Destiny, Dams: The Lethal Water Bombs, Ekti Nadir Naam, Final Solution, Gulabi Gang, Indian News Parade, Jyanto Durga, Ocean of Tears, A Pestering Journey, Silent Ghungroos, War and Peace and many others.
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