The Mani Ratnam directed Nayagan is undoubtedly one of the best gangster films ever made in India. But the Time Magazine listed the Kamal Hassan starrer among the 100 greatest films ever. The list was compiled by respected movie critics Richard Schickel and Richard Corliss in 2005.
It generated significant attention, receiving 7.8 million hits in its first week alone.
K Balachander, the director who has an uncanny knack of creating stars, first met Rajnikant at the film institute, where he was a student.
Balachander glanced at the dark young man and crisply asked him to meet him in his office the next day. When Rajnikant walked into his office gingerly, Balachander informed him he was going to act in his next film. Overwhelmed by the unexpected offer from a big director, Rajnikant just could not believe his ears. Later, Balachander confided in his close friend and associate Ananthu, "There is a fire in the young man's eyes. One day he will take Tamil Nadu by storm." How true the prediction turned out! Kamal Hassan has the distinction of being the actor with the most number of films submitted by India in contest for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Divya Spandana is considered to be the `golden girl' in the Kannada film industry as she has the success rate of close to 90 per cent in her career. Her luck, however, did not follow her to Tamil cinema, where her first film Kuthu bombed at the box office. Bangarada Manushya (1970) is the first Kannada film to have run for over two years, at the State Theatre in Bangalore. Kishan Shrikanth, aged nine is the youngest director in the world to have directed a movie. He directed the Kannada film C/o Footpath, about an orphaned boy.
In June 2006, Malayalam cinema made history with the release of its first-ever digital film, Moonnamathoral. While the digital format may not be new in the film world, what the distributors of this movie did different was to beam the film through satellite into the smaller and more distant theatres in the state. Mohanlal's 2008 film Akashagopuram, directed by P Kumaran was the most expensive Malayalam film ever, budgeted at about Rs 10 crore. The film, which was shot entirely in London, is adapted from Henrik Ibsen's play The Master Builder. Despite all the hype, however, the film played for barely two weeks in halls. Chemmeen (1965) directed by Ramu Karyat was the first South Indian film to bag the President's Golden Lotus Award for the best film. It is based on the famous novel of the same name by Malayalam writer Takazhi Shivashanakara Pillai. Actor Mohanlal has singlehandedly distributed more films in his home state of Kerala than the NFDC did.
These are usually films belonging to the parallel cinema genre, such as Santosh Sivan's The Terrorist.