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Neecha Nagar (Hindi: नीचा नगर Nīcā nagar, English: Lowly City) is a 1946 Hindi-Urdu film, directed by Chetan Anand, written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas and Hayatullah Ansari, and produced by Rashid Anwar. It was a pioneering effort in social realism in Indian cinema and paved the way for many such parallel cinema films by other directors, many of them also written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas. It starred Chetan Anand's wife Uma Anand, with Rafiq Ahmed, Kamini Kaushal, Rafi Peer, Hamid Butt, and Zohra Sehgal.

Neecha Nagar
Neecha Nagar, 1946.jpg
Directed byChetan Anand
Produced byRashid Anwar
A. Halim
Written byKhwaja Ahmad Abbas
Story byHayatullah Ansari
StarringRafiq Ahmed
Uma Anand
Kamini Kaushal
Rafi Peer
Hamid Butt
Zohra Sehgal
Music byRavi Shankar
CinematographyBidyapati Ghosh
India Pictures
Release date
  • 1946 (1946)
Running time
122 minutes
CountryBritish India
Neecha Nagar

Neecha Nagar became the first Indian film to gain recognition at the Cannes Film Festival, after it shared the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film (Best Film) award at the first Cannes Film Festival in 1946 with eleven of the eighteen entered feature films.[1] It's the only Indian film to be ever awarded a Palme d'Or.


It was based on a Hindi story, Neecha Nagar, written by Hayatullah Ansari, which in turn was inspired by Russian writer Maxim Gorky’s The Lower Depths. It took an expressionist look at the gulf between the rich and poor in society.[2][3]

Neecha Nagar is the debut film of actress Kamini Kaushal and for Ravi Shankar as a music director.





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