While Bollywood more than often shies away from making ‘women-centric’ films with the excuse that they aren’t profitable. Regional movies are destroying the stereotypes and making groundbreaking cinema with female leads, that do well critically and are box-office hits. 

Here are some of our favourites:

1. Uyare

Starring Parvathy Thiruvothu in the lead role, this Malayalam-language film follows the journey of an aviation student who survives an acid attack, which puts her career at risk. This film grossed ₹9.4 crore worldwide and was the third highest-grossing Malayalam film of 2019 in the United States. 

2. Magalir Mattum

With an impressive cast of Jyothika, Urvashi, Bhanupriya, and Saranya Ponvannan in the lead roles. This film tells the journey of three school friends, who reunite after 38 years and sheds light on how much their lives have changed. 

3. Take Off 

Another Malayalam-language film starring Parvathy Thiruvothu, this blockbuster hit also had Fahadh Faasil and Kunchacko Boban in prominent roles. The film was partly inspired by the real events that took place in Iraq in 2014, when a group of nurses were taken captive in a hospital. The film grossed ₹25 crore at the box office and collected $853,101 from UAE, $21,248 from the UK box office and $9,918 from New Zealand. 

4. Kanaa

This Tamil-language sports film follows the journey of a woman who wants to become an international cricketer and make her father proud. 

5. 22 Female Kottayam 

Called one of the defining movies of the Malayalam New Wave, the film stars Rima Kallingal and Fahadh Faasil in lead roles. It follows the journey of a 22-year-old nurse and how she gets her revenge on those who raped her. One of the low budget hits of 2012, the film made ₹5.2 crore at the box office. 

6. Anandi Gopal

This Marathi-language biographical film follows the life of Anandi Gopal Joshi, one of the first Indian female doctors of western medicine in India. 

7. Rajkahini

A Bengali-language crime film, Rajkahini is a film about 11 women in a brothel on the border of two nations during the partition of Bengal. This film was later remade in Hindi as Begum Jaan.

8. The Great Indian Kitchen

Already dubbed one of the best films of 2021, this Malayalam-language movie tells the story of a newly-wed woman who refuses to be a submissive wife. 

9. Nathicharami

This Kannada-language film stars Sruthi Hariharan and Sanchari Vijay in lead roles and sheds light on how women are expected to hide their desires and wants from society. 

10. Nude

This Marathi-language film follows the story of a struggling mother as she takes up nude modelling to earn money for her son’s education. 

How many of these have you watched?