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