Which Indian Film Is the Best?

Indian film films were the first film to be awarded an Oscar.

There are now more than 100 such films, but not every film has won. 

Indie cinema, though, is thriving, and many of the films that made it to the Oscars have been nominated for best foreign film, best director and best actor. 

Here’s our guide to the best Indian films of all time. 

(The Independent is a non-profit organisation and does not endorse the views of its writers.) 


Bajrangi Bhaijaan (1986) This film was one of the first Indian films to be nominated for an Oscar and it’s still considered one of our most influential films. 

The story revolves around the relationship between a father and son who become lovers in the same house. 

Bajrangin Bhaijan is also the first indian romantic comedy to win an Oscar (although its also the film with the most awards). 

The film has a cult following and many people have watched it on multiple screens and replayed it again and again. 

It’s one of only four films to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. 


Aap Ki Baat (1999) Aap Ki Bar is a movie that has become a classic for many Indian filmmakers.

It’s a love story about a boy and a girl who meet in a street and eventually get married. 

AAP Ki Bar, the second film of Indian director Prakash Karamchand, was also nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards in 2002. 


Bapu Kalyan (1996) Bapu is a film that was directed by a man and was a huge hit in the country.

It won the Academy award for Best Film at the 1998 Oscars. 

Its one of three films to make the cut in the Oscar pantheon, along with Pulp Fiction and Taxi Driver. 


Arundhati Roy’s Nausicaa (2001) Nausicaas, a film about a couple of sisters living in rural India, is considered the first feminist film to win a best foreign language Oscar. 

Roy’s Nausea won the best foreign-language Oscar in 2005, while the film also won Best Actress for Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at the 2003 Oscars.


Bollywood: Mankajar (2002) Mankajars first film won an Oscar in 2002, and it is considered one the most influential Hindi films ever made.

The film was directed and co-written by Roy. 

Manks best film, Bollywood, was released in 2005 and has since won four Oscars.

It has since been nominated in six other Oscars for best film. 


Mahabharat (1992) Mahabharata, a historical drama set in the Hindu religion, was one that received a lot of attention from critics and audiences. 

Mahabbadharat won an Academy Award at the 2000 Oscars for Best Picture, but it is also considered one more classic Indian film. 


Bipasha (1996-1997) The movie Bipashal (which means love) was the first movie to win Best Picture at the 2001 Oscars.

Bijay Chatterjee, a former actor, was the lead actor and the film is regarded as one of Rajinikanth’s best performances. 

This was also the year Bipasodha, a romantic comedy, won Best Picture. 


Nanaam (1994) Another Bollywood film, Nanaan, won a Golden Globe at the 2002 Oscars.

This is the second best Indian film to ever win an Academy award. 


The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 4th Dimension (1996)-Buckaroo Banz is an animated film that is set in an alternate dimension and has been praised for its storytelling and its use of colour. 

In the animated film, a girl named Nana has to be transported to the other dimension where she meets her friend. 


The Princess Diaries (1994) This was one the first films that earned a Golden Globes nomination for best actor and best screenplay. 

Princess Diaries won Best Director for Meryl Streep at the 1996 Oscars and won a BAFTA for Best Animated Film at 2004 Oscars.


Aamir Khan’s Aamna – the Movie (1997) The film Aamam (the Movie) is considered a classic of Hindi cinema.

The movie was nominated for three Oscars and has won four more. 


Dhanush (1997-1998) Dhanush, a feature film, is the first feature film to have won an Oscars.

The director was Aamaben Khan and it won the Best Foreign Language Oscar in 1997. 


Ram Jethmalani’s Ramji (2003)

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