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Recently, Time magazine announced its list of the 100 greatest films of all time, and the eclectic selection includes five Indian films.

While none would question the brilliance of the selected Indian classics like Satyajit Ray's Apu Trilogy, Guru Dutt's Pyaasa and Mani Ratnam's Nayakan, decided to ask Indian filmmakers, artistes, technicians and critics what they felt were the best Indian films of all time.

Today, we feature P C Sreeram, one of India's most celebrated cinematographers.

"I have not included any South Indian films because I have a very long list of films made in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam," he told Shobha Warrier.

Sreeram, was the cinematographer on Mani Ratnam's Nayakan, one of the Indian films included in the Time list of best films.

Mohanlal's list | Theodore Bhaskaran's list | Vipul Shah's list | Subhash Ghai's list

Pather Panchali

A text book classic.

Director: Satyajit Ray


One should see it for Uday Shankar's excellent choreography. I saw it in the archives of the Pune film institute (the Film and Television Institute of India), and was zapped. Kalpana was the first Indian film to win an international award. It is said when Uday Shankar shot the film at Gemini studios in Chennai, nobody knew what he was doing.

Director: Uday Shankar

27 Down

Another film I watched as a student at the Pune film institute. I was very impressed with it.

Director: Avtar Kaul


I like it mainly for Smita Patil's stunning performance.

Director: Shyam Benegal [Images]

Sholay [Images]

The ultimate commercial film.

Director: Ramesh Sippy

36 Chowringhee Lane

It comes back to me after so many years. I like the whole feel, the way Jennifer Kapoor acted, the way it was photographed.

Director: Aparna Sen [Images]


I saw no pretensions in it. It is an abstract film and has an uncanny way of telling a story.

Director: M F Husain [Images]

Lagaan [Images]

One of the best British Raj films made by an Indian.

Director: Ashutosh Gowariker

Mr & Mrs Iyer

Without showing violence, Aparna Sen showed a very violent incident. It is much stronger than showing blood and violence.

Director: Aparna Sen


A highly inspiring film.

Director: Sanjay Sawant

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