Lagaan is a 2001 epic sports-drama film, directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, produced by Aamir Khan and Mansoor Khan, and written by Gowariker and Abbas Tyrewala. Aamir Khan stars along with debutant Gracy Singh, with British actors Rachel Shelley and Paul Blackthorne playing supporting roles.
The film is set in the Victorian period of India’s colonial British Raj. The story revolves around a small village whose inhabitants, burdened by high taxes, find themselves in an extraordinary situation as an arrogant officer challenges them to a game of cricket as a wager to avoid the taxes. The narrative spins around this situation as the villagers face the arduous task of learning the alien game and playing for a result that will change their village’s destiny.
Lagaan received critical acclaim and awards at international film festivals, as well as many Indian film awards. It became the third Indian film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film after Mother India (1957) and Salaam Bombay! (1988). It was one of the biggest box office hits of 2001. In 2010, the film was ranked №55 in Empire magazines “The 100 Best Films of World Cinema”. In 2011, it was listed in Time magazine’s special “The All-TIME 25 Best Sports Movies”.
The film was screened retrospective as the Closing Film on August 18, 2016 at the Independence Day Film Festival jointly presented by the Indian Directorate of Film Festivals and Ministry of Defence, commemorating 70th Indian Independence Day.