National Film Development Corporation films premiering online

...and if you're nice, I'll let you watch them for free.

Okay, you can watch at least five of them for free anyway. Follow this link to and sign up, at which point you'll get the standard three free rentals for all new account plus a bonus five. (If you already have an account, you'll still get five more free rentals just for participating in this special promotion of Indian films.)

If you're new to NFDC films, like I am, here are the NFDC website and some information about Jaman's collection of NFDC movies. And because I don't know diddly about this arm of Indian cinema other than Ray, let me just copy and paste from the press release so that you get the right information:

Jaman and India’s National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) Sign Partnership to Premiere 30 Films Online

Definitive works of Indian Cinema from Notable Directors including Satyajit Ray, Shyam Benegal and Mrinal Sen to premiere on

San Mateo, California, May 31, 2007 –, the leading online community for world cinema announced a 30 film distribution deal with the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC). The NFDC is India’s foremost film institution, known for producing some of the most notable films in Indian cinema.

Under the agreement, the films of India’s most internationally acclaimed directors will be available for download for the first time ever. Jaman will deliver these feature-length films in hi-def, directly to viewers around the world. The collection includes 3 films from Satyajit Ray, regarded as one of the most important filmmakers in the history of cinema....

The long-term Jaman and NFDC deal will kick off with 30 worldwide premieres, including the following titles:

    • Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron - Kundan Shah, director
    • Agantuk - Satyajit Ray, director
    • Mammo - Shyam Benegal, director
    • Main Zinda Hoon - Sudhir Mishra, director
    • Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro - Saeed Mirza, director
    • Antareen - Mrinal Sen, director
    • Mirch Masala - Ketan Mehta, director
    • Arimpara - Murali Nair, director
    • Yugant - Aparna Sen, director
    • Party - Govind Nihalani, director
    • Tahadar Katha - Buddhadev Dasgupta, director
    • Tok Jhal Misti - Basu Chatterjee, director
....About NFDC
The National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) is the Indian government’s primary agency dedicated to promoting excellence in Cinema. Over the years the NFDC has provided a wide range of services essential to the growth of Indian cinema. The NFDC (and its predecessor the Film Finance Corporation) has funded / produced over 300 films. These widely acclaimed films have won many national and international awards.
So far I've only watched Massey Saheb, about an Indian clerk during the British Raj, which I chose because when I was in grad school in Toronto I lived in a place called Massey College, endowed by the tractor/actor/government uppity-up family, and it had a delightfully Anglophile culture to it, and I wondered if the name of the character in the movie was making a reference to that family (though why it would be I have no idea - perhaps a branch of the Canadian Masseys was in India). I look forward to seeing more.

Or, you know, just hang out with me and bash Kudrat (press play to see the awesome engagement party song).


Impressionist said…
Hi Beth

Most of them in the list are "Arty", non-mainstream movies. Out of them I highly recommend the following

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron - Kundan Shah, director
Mirch Masala - Ketan Mehta, director


Filmi Geek said…
They are "arty," because that is what NFDC is for - funding films that are out of the mainstream. :-)

I second the *Jaane bhi do yaaro* recommendation. *Pestonjee* should be seen by any Naseeruddin Shah fan. The Satyajit Ray films, like *Ghare-baire*, are also excellent.
akshayefan said…
Curiously for such high-minded arty movies, they are also shameless copies of western works of art:

Party is a rip-off of Mrs.Dalloway

MirchMasala is a rip-off of Monna Vanna.

The rest of them though are government funded advertisements for state socialism.
Mammo is an amazing film - makes you realise what a brilliant actress Farida Jalal is, and that she's actually quite capable of doing pretty good cinema, not just play the mother/ayah/ friend in Yash Chopra productions.

Mirch Masala is a must watch - some fantastic actors, and Smita Patil stole the show!

What did you think of Arundhati Sahib in Massey Sahib?!
All - thanks for the recommendations! While I've heard of (or seen) many of the actors in these movies, I know nothing about the works themselves.

I'm intrigued by akshayefan's assertions - what do others say?

TBS - Now that you mention it, I wonder what kind of impression her character is supposed to leave. If I recall she's not on screen very much and talks even less. Not that you have to speak to communicate, obviously; she even uses the actions of hiding her face effectively. Her eventual kindness towards Massey is sweet, and when her mistake leads to his capture, I was honestly a little distressed. So overall, I thought she was effective in a very contained character.
parallel cinema said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
parallel cinema said…

"Party is a rip-off of Mrs.Dalloway"

party was released in 1984 and Mrs.Dalloway in 1997 ?????????????

Off all peoples you are accusing govind nihalani for plagarism... almost all his off beat movies are based on books or plays by famous indian writers like "Vijay Tendulkar", "Maheshwata Devi" etc...

"The rest of them though are government funded advertisements for state socialism".

Don't you think this is such a fleeting statement.One must have seen all the art movies to comment like this,or should be able to understand assamese, manipuri, oriya, malayalam and all other indian languages to watch all the movies from those part to comment about it.

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