20 Honorable Mentions which set Benchmarks for Indian Cinema:

The Wrestlers (1899) – The First Indian documentary film.

Harishchandra Sakharam Bhatwadekar
The movie showed a wrestling match at the Hanging Gardens in Mumbai then Bombay.
Harishchandra Sakharam Bhatwadekar became the First Indian to make a motion picture in India.

Nala Damayanti (1920) – India’s first International Co-production.

Nala Damayanti
Producer Ardeshir Irani joined hands with Italy to making it the First Indo-Italian production in the history of Indian cinema.

Fatma Begum (1926) – First female director of Bollywood.

Fatma Begum
She directed Bulbul-e-Paristan, 1926 and got this honor.

Alam Ara (1931) – First Indian Sound Film.

Alam Ara
It was the beginning of film music in the Cinema of India
The First Song of the Indian cinema – “De de khuda ke naam per”, was from the same movie.

Ayodhyecha Raja (1932) – First Indian film to be released in two languages.

Ayodhyecha Raja (


The First Marathi Talkie by V. Shantaram, which was also released in Hindi.

Indrasabha (1932)

Holds the world record for the most number of songs, over 70, in any musical movie ever made.

Sairandhri (1933) – First Indian Colour Film and First Original Soundtrack Disc.

The film was shot on Agfa B&W 35-mm negative. The prints were made in Germany by Bipack color printing process.

Seeta (1934) – First Indian talkie film to premiere at International Film Festival.

It was premiered at 2nd Venice International Film Festival in 1934.
The movie won an Honorary Diploma. Debaki Bose became First Indian director to receive an International Award.

Dhoop Chhaon (1935) – First Playback Song.

Rai Chand Boral
Music Director, Rai Chand Boral was the first to use the systematic technique of playback singing in the film
Before, the actors would sing live on the set. The live performance was recorded just like dialogues.

Sant Tukaram (1936) – First Indian film to receive international recognition.

Sant Tukaram Movie
Sant Tukaram (1936) – First Indian film to receive international recognition.First Indian film to run in a single theatre for more than a year.
First Indian entry to get a screening at an international film festival, Venice Film Festival in 1937.

Kisan Kanya (1937) – First Colour Film of India (Completely made in India.)

kisan kanya
The film was made with the Cinecolor process. Producer, Ardeshir Irani obtained the process rights from an American company.

Naujawan (1937) – First talkie film without songs.

After 1931s sensation Alam Ara, songs became an indispensable part of Hindi films.
Whereas, Aspi Irani directed Naujawan became India’s first song-less talkie film. It was a fast-paced thriller, hence no songs were included in the film.

Neecha Nagar (1946) – First Indian film to win the Palme d`Or (Best Film) Award at Cannes Film Festival

Neecha Nagar
It was for the first and last time, any Indian movie won such an honor at Cannes.

Hanste Aansoo (1950) – First Indian film to receive an A-certificate.

Hanste Aansoo


The movie received A-certificate: ‘only for adults’, after the amendment of the original Indian Cinematograph Act (1918) in December 1949.

Sangam (1964) – The First film to be shot abroad.

Many parts of the film were shot in Venice, Paris, and Switzerland.

Bhanu Athaiya (1983) – First Indian to win an Oscar.

Bhanu Athaiya
She shared the Oscar with John Mollo for their work in the 1982 film, Gandhi.

My Dear Kuttichathan (1984) – First 3D film.

My Dear Kuttichathan
This Malayalam film was dubbed and released in Hindi as Chhota Chetan in 1998.

1942: A Love Story (1994)

1942: A Love Story (1994)
First Indian film to use Dolby Stereo.

Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006)

Lage Raho Munna Bhai

First Indian film to be screened at the United Nations.

Bittoo Boss (2012)

Bittoo Boss
The first film in India to get a ‘PG’ certificate.
A PG certificate allows children of any age to watch the movie under Parental Guidance.

Writer: Siddhesh Parab

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