Punjabi Films Flashback

Punjabi cinema is extremely cultural as it not only celebrates Punjabi heritage and traditions of family and hard work but also reinforces them. An abundance of song and dance is essential in a Punjabi film, much like traditional Bollywood films, and is used to show a sense of utopia instead of the more flashy scenes in Bollywood. Punjabi films are unique because of their location in India which is a main focus in the majority of their films, showing a more rural and natural version of India. Known for its authentic portrayals of characters looks and personalities, Punjabi cinema is growing in India as well as in itself, as the industry grows from a regional to transnational base.

Check out CulturalPulse’s shortlist of the best Punjabi films over the past 70 years below.

60's & 70's

Nanak Naam Jahaz Hai (1969)

Genre: Drama
IMDB Rating: 7.7
Director:Ram Maheshwari
Stars: David Abraham, Som Dutt, Gajanan Jagirdar, I.S. Johar
Synopsis: Gurumukh Singh, his wife, and younger brother, Prem, live a fairly harmoniously lifestyle in 1947 India. Both brothers open a contracting business and prosper. See full summary »

Nanak Dukhiya Sub Sansar (1970)

Genre: Action, Drama
IMDB Rating: 8.3
Director: Dara Singh
Stars: Dara Sing, Balraj Sahni, Prithviraj Kapoor, Pran
Synopsis: Porthwar-based Santram is killed while fleeing from Muslims during the religious riots of 1948 following the partition of Pakistan from India. His wife, Tagpyariye, manages to flee along … See full summary »

Kankan De Ohle (1970)

Genre: Drama, Romance
IMDB Rating: 7.5
Director: Omi Bedi
Stars: Ravindra Kapoor, Indira, Jeevan, Uma Dutt
Synopsis: Chaudhary takes on the identity of a bandit in order to save the marriage of his friend’s daughter and is jailed. The villagers takes him to be wrong and throws out his wife and son out of … See full summary »

Sawa Lakh Se Ek Ladaun (1976)

Genre: Action, Drama, War
IMDB Rating: 7.6
Director: Dara Singh
Stars: Dara Singh, Randhawa, Rajesh Khanna, Navin Nischol
Synopsis: Sathpura-based Kartar, changes his religion from Hindu to Sikh, enrolls as a rebel to fight the oppressive Mughal rule, goes missing even on his wedding day, and ends up getting married in … See full summary »

80's & 90's

Chaan Pardesee (1980)

Genre: Drama
IMDB Rating: 8.1
Director: Chitraarth
Stars: Raj Babbar, Rama Vij, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Amrish Puri
Synopsis: In a small town in the state of Punjab, India, lives a honest farm worker, Harnek Singh alias Nek, who works hard for his employer, Jagirdar Joginder Singh. Nek is in love with village… See full summary »

Ucha Dar Bebe Nanak Da (1985)

Genre: Drama, Musical
IMDB Rating: 8.1
Director: K. Pappu
Stars: Gurdas Maan, Priti Sapru, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Tanuja
Synopsis: Gurdit is thrown out of his village after engaging in a fight with a powerful family. He loses his voice too before he can return triumphantly to the village. See full summary »

Long Da Lishkara (1986)

Genre: Drama, Romance
IMDB Rating: 7.9
Director: Harpal Tiwana
Stars: Raj Babbar, Om Puri, Gurdas Maan, Nina Tiwana
Synopsis: A man (Raj Babbar) must decide between true love or his family’s reputation when he falls in love with a servant. See full summary »

Qurbani Jatt Di (1990)

Genre: Action, Drama, Romance
IMDB Rating: 7.8
Director: Priti Sapru
Stars: Dharmendra, Gurdas Maan, Priti Sapru, Raj Babbar
Synopsis: After Sarpanch Sucha Singh attempts to stop Joginder Dhiba, who is the brother of his sister-in-law, Jeeto, from sexually molesting Kamli, a physical confrontation ensues, resulting in the … See full summary »

Shaheed-E-Mohobbat: Boota Singh (1999)

Genre: Biography, Drama, Musical
IMDB Rating: 7.9
Director: Shamim Ara
Stars: Gurdas Maan, Divya Dutta, Gurkirtan, Raghuvir Yadav
Synopsis: The film is set in 1947. The exodus has begun after Partition. A Sikh ex-military man in his thirties finds a 16-year-old Muslim girl alone in a nearby village and brings her home. But the … See full summary »

00's

Shaheed Uddham Singh: Alais Ram Mohammad Singh Azad (2000)

Genre: Biography, Drama, Musical
IMDB Rating: 7.2
Director: Chitraarth
Stars: Raj Babbar, Gurdas Maan, Shatrughan Sinha, Amrish Puri
Synopsis: Udham Singh was born and brought in a Sikh family in Punjab, India, during the time when the British ruled India. Enraged at the massacre of over 2000 men, women, and children at the hands … See full summary »

Des Hoyaa Pardes (2004)

Genre: Drama
IMDB Rating: 7.2
Director: Manoj Punj
Stars: Gurdas Maan, Juhi Chawla, Divya Dutta, Parmeet Sethi
Synopsis: In 1984, the former Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards, and since then the Sikhs have been a target of violent backlashes by radicals … See full summary »

Asa Nu Maan Watna Da: In Search of Our Roots (2004)

Genre: Drama, Romance
IMDB Rating: 6.6
Director: Manmohan Singh
Stars: Harbhajan Mann, Kimi Verma, Neeru Bajwa, Kanwaljit Singh
Synopsis: Calgary-based businessman Kanwaljit Singh Tilon sends money home to his brother, Deep, to invest in some property. Now with his wife; son, Mehr; and medical-student daughter, Aman; he … See full summary »

Yaraan Naal Baharaan (2005)

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
IMDB Rating: 6.9
Director: Manmohan Singh
Stars: Jimmy Sheirgill, Juhi Babbar, Raj Babbar, Gavie Chahal
Synopsis: A story of Navdeep and Harman, two young college students who fall in love, making their life so different and beautiful… and difficult. See full summary »

Waris Shah: Ishq Daa Waaris (2006)

Genre: Drama, History
IMDB Rating: 6.9
Director: Manoj Punj
Stars: Gurdas Maan, Juhi Chawla, Sushant Singh, Divya Dutta
Synopsis: When the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb bans music in India because he believes it turns people away from God, musicians go underground. See full summary »

Dil Apna Punjabi (2006)

Genre: Drama
IMDB Rating: 6.8
Director: Manmohan Singh
Stars: Harbhajan Mann, Neeru Bajwa, Mahek Chahal, Gurpreet Ghuggi
Synopsis: Unemployed slacker/trouble-maker, Kanwal Singh Sidhu, is in love with Ladi Kaur, the eldest daughter of Professor Kang Singh. He finds his life turned upside down when not only Professor … See full summary »

Mere Pind: My Home (2008)

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Musical
IMDB Rating: 6.8
Director: Manmohan Singh
Stars: Harbhajan Mann, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Kimi Verma, Rana Ranbir
Synopsis: Kamalpur-based Bhullar family make a lot of sacrifices to get their daughter and eldest son married; as well as ensure their youngest, Himmat, gets a good education in Patiala’s Punjabi … See full summary »

Tere Mere Ki Rishta (2009)

Genre: Drama, Romance
IMDB Rating: 7
Director: Navaniat Singh
Stars: Raj Babbar, Jitendra Bhardwaj, Binnu Dhillon, Gurpreet Ghuggi
Synopsis: Canada-based Meet, along with his pushy mom, Natasha, travel to Punjab, India, in order to attend the wedding of his cousin, Harman Kaur. It is here he rather dramatically meets with … See full summary »

Heer Ranjha: A True Love Story (2009)

Genre: Romance
IMDB Rating: 6.7
Director: Ksshitij Chaudhary
Stars: Harbhajan Mann, Neeru Bajwa, Jasbir Jassi, Mickey Duhra
Synopsis: You mention any good usual love story and it will have all the usual emotions of love, longing, pain, quest and sacrifice. But the moment you mention Heer Ranjha, the word ‘eternal’ is pre … See full summary »

Munde U.K. De (2009)

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
IMDB Rating: 6.7
Director: Manmohan Singh
Stars: Jimmy Sheirgill, Amrinder Gill, Neeru Bajwa, Gurpreet Ghuggi
Synopsis: Tradition and culture prevent a U.K. citizen from getting married to the girl of his choice. See full summary »

10's

Mitti (2010)

Genre: Drama
IMDB Rating: 8.4
Director: Jatinder Mauhar
Stars: Kartar Cheema, Kashish Dhanoyaa, Yaad Garewal, Hardeep Gill
Synopsis: Mitti is a movie about Punjab’s youth and their political arguments. It’s a story about four guys who are best friends and their life changes after an incident takes place. Jeet Brar is a … See full summary »

A Canadian Dream (2011)

Genre: Drama
IMDB Rating: 8.7
Director: Manmord Sidhu
Stars: Preet Cheema, Scot Cooper, Devinder Dillon, Dashmesh Gill
Synopsis: When Amar immigrated to Canada, he brought with him his many hopes and dreams for the future. But little does he know that his future is to bring an unexpected change. After Amar is kicked … See full summary »

Carry On Jatta (2012)

Genre: Comedy
IMDB Rating: 8.3
Director: Smeep Kang
Stars: Gippy Grewal, Mahie Gill, Gurpreet Ghuggi, Binnu Dhillon
Synopsis: Jass falls in love with Mahie who wants to marry an orphan, so he lies to her and tells her he has no family, and finds himself in hilarious situations when he has to hide the truth once they get married. See full summary »

Nanak Shah Fakir (2014)

Genre: Drama
IMDB Rating: 8.8
Director: Arif Zakaria
Stars: Arif Zakaria, Puneet Sikka, Adil Hussain, Anurag Arora
Synopsis: Nanak Shah Fakir is a biographical film on the life and teachings of the first Sikh guru, Guru Nanak Dev. See full summary »

WWW: Work Weather Wife (2014)

Genre: Romance
IMDB Rating: 8.7
Director: Harpreet Sandhu
Stars: Harpreet Sandhu, Reema Nagra, Harrajan Sandhu, Simran Sandhu
Synopsis: Vick tricks his way into fragile family of Dimple and CJ. This film outlines major community issue of Honour Killings. CJ being a worker class doesn’t have time for daily routine around the house and Vick outsmarts CJ on a scam. See full summary »

Punjab 1984 (2014)

Genre: Drama, Family, History
IMDB Rating: 8.5
Director: Anurag Singh
Stars: Diljit Dosanjh, Kiron Kher, Pavan Malhotra, Sonam Bajwa
Synopsis: The story of a mother and her search for her missing son. See full summary »

Eh Janam Tumhare Lekh (2014)

Genre: Biography
IMDB Rating: 8.5
Director: Harjit Singh
Stars: Pavan Malhotra, Arjuna Bhalla, Sudhanshu Aggarwal, Arvinder Bhatt
Synopsis: This film is a journey of one man “Bhagat Puran Singh” who treaded a difficult and exhausting path. See full summary »

Angrej (2015)

Genre: Comedy, Romance
IMDB Rating: 8.5
Director: Simerjit Singh
Stars: Amrinder Gill, Sargun Mehta, Aditi Sharma, Ammy Virk
Synopsis: A thoughtful young man struggles to find a woman to marry. See full summary »

Ardaas (2016)

Genre: Drama
IMDB Rating: 8.4
Director: Gippy Grewal
Stars: Gurpreet Ghuggi, Ammy Virk, Rana Ranbir, Gippy Grewal
Synopsis: A story about how people in a village deal with everyday problems in Punjab and learn how to live. See full summary »

Qismat (2018)

Genre: Drama, Romance
IMDB Rating: 8.8
Director: Jagdeep Sidhu
Stars: Ammy Virk, Sargun Mehta, Guggu Gill, Mandeep Mani
Synopsis: The film follows a man who falls in love whilst studying in Chandigarh, despite his marriage being arranged to another woman. See full summary »