I am quite sure that most of us have grown up watching films made by these great directors. But quite interestingly, not many people are aware of the fact that apart from making feature films, these directors have also made some of the most iconic documentaries.
Here is a list of some of the famous directors and the documentaries that they have made.
1. Sikkim – Satyajit Ray
Without doubt Satyajit Ray remains one of the finest directors India has ever produced. Interestingly, not many people know that Ray has even made some really exciting documentaries.
Through this documentary Ray painted the real picture of then Sikkim. The Indian government thought that the film was promoting Sikkim and decided to ban it.
The ban was lifted years after Ray’s death. Apart from this controversial documentary, Ray also made a documentary on Rabindranath Tagore and one on famous Bengali author and his father, Sukumar Ray. All his documentaries have received rave reviews.
2. Faces After The Storm – Prakash Jha
Prakash Jha made this documentary years before he made hard-hitting political and social dramas like Gangajaal and Rajneeti. This documentary, made in a true Prakash Jha style, dealt with the issue of communal violence in Bihar.
It won the Filmfare award for the Best Documentary of the year – 1983. The documentary also won a National Award the same year.
3. Sonal – Prakash Jha
This documentary deals with the life and struggle of famous dancer Sonal Mansingh. The documentary showed her zest and passion for dance and how this passion inspired her to achieve great success.
It was awarded the Golden Lotus – Best Documentary 2002 (National Award).
4. Satyajit Ray, Filmmaker – Shyam Benegal
Shyam Benegal is one of the most respected filmmakers in India. He is often considered as the uncrowned prince of Indian parallel cinema. Apart from features, Benegal has made countless documentaries. Many considered this one as one of his best documentaries.
The documentary was also awarded the prestigious National Award. Apart form it, Nehru, a documentary he made on our former prime minister is also worth watching.
5. Love In India – Qaushiq Mukherjee
He is often considered as one of the most brave and mercurial directors we have today. He achieved fame with the controversial Bengali film Gandu. His films often flirt with subjects that are considered a taboo in our society. This documentary tries to explore the concept of sex in a conservative society like India.
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6. Inshallah, Football – Ashvin Kumar
Ashvin Kumar is the youngest Indian whose work has been nominated for the Oscars. His films and documentaries often revolve around sensitive and controversial topics.
This sensitive documentary deals with the life of a Kashmiri kid, who dreams to play football in Brazil and how the politics in Kashmir influences his life. The documentary also won the prestigious National Award.
7. Children Of A Desired Sex – Mira Nair
Mira Nair is one of the few directors of Indian origin who has received fame and recognition even outside the country. This documentary deals with the serious issue of female feticide. It also throws light on the controversial topic of abortion.
8. India Cabaret – Mira Nair
This is another acclaimed documentary by Mira Nair, which each and every one should watch. The film shows how the society stereotypes a woman. It shows how some society quickly brands a woman as immoral.
9. Jeevan Smriti – Rituparno Ghosh
Through this documentary famous director Rituparno Ghosh shows us the important moments and memories from the life of Rabindranath Tagore.
10. Ustad Allauddin Khan – Ritwik Ghatak
Many people consider Ritwik Ghatak as one of the best directors our country has ever produced. It deals with the life of legendary sarodi Ustad Allauddin Khan. He also taught the famous Ravi Shankar.
11. The Forgotten Army – Kabir Khan
The New York and Ek Tha Tiger director has not only made big budget feature films but he has also made a hard hitting short film and a documentary too. This documentary was based on Subhas Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army and praised by each and everybody. This documentary also happens to be the first thing he ever directed.
12. Through Eyes Of A Painter – M.F. Husain
Not many people know that the famous painter was also a great connoisseur of films. This 18 minute documentary, was praised by each and everyone at home and abroad. The film went on to win the prestigious golden bear at the famous Berlin International film festival.
13. An Encounter With Faces – Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Today he might be more famous for producing films like Munnabhai and 3 idiots, but one can’t deny the fact that he is also an extremely talented director. This documentary is about Mumbai street children. The documentary received a number of awards both at home and abroad.
These documentaries show us why these directors became such great pioneers of art and cinema.