PIX: 2012 Films That Deserved MORE Love Than They Got
As is the case with most films in India, the big budget projects -- star vehicles to be precise -- eclipse more deserving indie films that are made with a lot of honesty and respect for the craft.
While the juvenile and harebrained Dabanggs and Bol Bachchans of the year raked in the moolah at the box office this year, a handful of independant projects were met with admiration and dignified applause at various film festivals across the world and limited release in India.
Here's looking at the BEST indie films of the year that you might have missed.
A reviewer hailed Ashim Ahluwalia's irreverent yet edgy Miss Lovely as one of the strongest films in the Un Regard category at the Cannes Film Festival this year.
Also screened at the Mumbai Film Festival this year, Miss Lovely was one of the most popular films and ran to a packed house.
Image: A scene from Miss Lovely
Ship Of Theseus
It's slightly difficult to believe that Anand Gandhi, whose first feature length film Ship Of Theseus has been described as 'contemplative and densely layered,' embarked on his writing career with iconic TV soaps like Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi.
Ship Of Theseus has been to three film festivals -- Cannes, Tokyo and Mumbai -- and deals with questions of identity, justice and beauty, among others, by way of its protagonists.
Image: A scene from Ship Of Theseus
Part of Anurag Kashyap's drive to promote exciting new filmmakers, Peddlers marked the directorial debut of Vasan Bala, who has worked as an assistant director on Kashyap's Dev D and Gulaal among other films.
While the response to the film was generally subdued at the Cannes screening, Bala's directorial skills were praised.
Image: A scene from Peddlers
Shahid is a biopic based on the life of lawyer and human rights activist Shahid Azmi, who was assassinated at the age of 32 in 2010.
Filmmaker Hansal Mehta was so moved by Azmi's story that he came out of a self-imposed haitus to tell the compelling tale to the world.
The film has been making waves on the international film circuit.
Image: A scene from Shahid
Set in a small Uttarakhand town, Rajan Khosa's Gattu is yet another film festival favourite this year.
The film tells the heart-warming story of a street kid who, in a bid to procure a kite, enters a school and pretends to be one of the students.
After receiving critical acclaim internationally, the film had a theatrical release in India in April.
Image: A scene from Gattu
The Last Act
When Anurag Kashyap commissions 12 amateur filmmakers to make 10-minute long short films and plans to bind them together with a plot that he's written himself, you've GOT to sit up and take notice.
Released earlier this month, the film had a limited release.
Its quality and critical acclaim notwithstanding, the film deserves a wider audience just for the exciting format.
Image: A scene from The Last Act
Valley of Saints
Debutant director Musa Syeed's Valley Of Saints won the Sundance Film Festival World Dramatic Audience Award and tied for the Alfred P Sloan Prize with the American film Robot & Frank.
Set in Kashmir, the film raises environmental issues surrounding its famous Dal Lake.
Image: A scene from Valley of Saints
Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid
Nila Madhab Panda, who received several awards and critical acclaim for his film I Am Kalam last year, came out with Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid that deals with female foeticide.
Another children's film, Jalpari has received a lot of critical acclaim -- it won the MIP Junior Kids Jury Award at Cannes, received the Audience Choice Award in Minsk International Film Festival in Belarus and was also initially selected as a direct India entry for the Oscars this year.
Image: A scene from Jalpari: The Desert Mermaid
Karan Gour's black-and-white psychological drama Kshay has been one of the most criticaly acclaimed films of the year.
Here's what we said about it upon its release.
Image: A scene from Kshay
Supermen Of Malegaon
There can't be a better film to close this list.
Arguably one of the most memorable films to come out this year, Supermen Of Malegaon leaves an indelible mark on viewers with its story and the characters that inhabit it.
A must watch, if you ask us.
Image: A scene from Supermen Of Malegaon