Through his first film Pather Panchali (1955) Satyajit Ray became the pioneer of a genre of films latter known as the 'Indian Parallel Cinema'. Even though Ritwik Ghatak made his first film Nagarik in 1952, he became well known by his film Ajantrik (1958) and became a strong presence in parallel cinema. Mrinal Sen made his first film Raatbhor in 1955.
The first film society was founded in Bombay in 1943 and Satyajit Ray founded a film society in Calcutta in 1947. By the beginning of 1970s there existed above 150 film societies all over India. Through these societies people could see the best of Indian cinema and also they got access to the best of foreign cinema. The first International Film Festival of India was held in Bombay, Madras and Calcutta by the Films Division in 1952. Western classics like De Sica's Bicycle Thieves shown in the film festival created waves among young filmmakers who were frustrated with the mindless song-dance dramas made in India. The Film Training Institute of India (FTII - presently Film and Television Institute of India) was set up in Pune in 1961 and the National Film Archives of India (NFAI) was established in 1964. The Film Finance Corporation (FFC) was set up by the Government in 1960, with the objective of giving loans to directors who wanted to make feature films outside the commercial circuit. All these factors lead Indian Cinema to a revolutionary change, a new genre of Indian films arrived, which are often termed as the 'New Wave Indian Cinema' or the 'New Indian Cinema'.
Indian New Wave
Mrinal Sen's Bhuvan Shome (1969) and Mani Kaul's Uski Roti (1969), both sponsored by State owned Film Finance Corporation (FFC), inspired by the French nouvelle vague, set new film sensibility and cinematic language in India. This movement was labelled as the 'New Indian Cinema' or the 'New Wave Indian Cinema'. FTII graduates Kumar Shahani, Mani Kaul, Saeed Mirza, Shyam Benegal and Ketan Mehta were the important names of New Wave Indian Cinema in Hindi. Mani Kaul's Ashad Ka Ek Din (1971) and Duvidha (1973), Kumar Shahni's Maya Darpan (1972) and Shyam Benegal's Ankur (1973) played important role in this new movement in Hindi during the 1970s. M S Sathyu's Garam Hawa (1973) Govind Nihilani who entered film industry as Shyam Benegal's cameraman made his directorial debut through Aakrosh (1980) he continued making socio-political films like Party (1984), Tamas (1987) and Drishti (1990). Saeed Mizra made notable political films like Arvind Desai ki Ajeeb Dastan (1978), Albert Pinto ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai (1980), Mohan Joshi Haazir Ho! (1984) and Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro (1989).
Adoor Gopalakrishnan through his first film Swayamvaram (1972) extended the New Wave Cinema to Malayalam cinema. Aravindan through his first film Uttarayanam (1974) strengthened the movement. John Abraham, K R Mohanan and P A Backer were strong presence of the new Malayalam cinema.
Kannada was the other film industry in South India, which took over the cinema movement in South India. B V Karanth, Girish Karnad and Girish Kasaravalli spearheaded the Kannada parallel cinema. Girish Kasaravalli, graduated from the Pune Film Institute, directed his first film, Ghata Shradha in 1977, which won the National award for best film.
In Assamise, Janu Barua made his first film Aparoopa (1982). His Halodhia Choraye Baodhan Kali (1987), which achieved international recognition, dealt with social problems of rural Assam. Bhubendra Nath Sikia made his first film Sandhyarag (1977) followed by Agnisnaan (1985), Kolahal (1988), Sarothi (1991) and Abarthan (1993).