1946

Neecha Nagar, a Chetan Anand-directed film, based on a Hindi story of the same name, features a wealthy tycoon trying to drive out residents in a bid to usurp their land. Starring Zohra Sehgal and Uma Anand, it was the first Indian film to gain recognition at the festival, winning the Grand Prix. Sadly, it failed to find distributors afterwards, owing to its lack of dance sequences. Anand, in her book The Poetics of Film, said Satyajit Ray wrote to her and her husband, saying the film had inspired him to continue working on his own debut.

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