After all the polite applauses are politely applauded, and all the golden trophies are arranged on mantelpieces to gather dust for another year, one thing is becoming more and more clear: the most mainstream, celebrated films are not necessarily the best. This wasn’t always the case, but Hollywood’s annual binge of self-congratulation is no longer the be all and end all when it comes to the marking of a great film. Those produced outside the major studios, not to mention premièred at smaller film festivals with less widespread theatrical releases, a lack of awards and reduced budgets, can be just as captivating.

Smaller films are doing it for themselves, and sometimes these humble revelations can be even more exciting than the latest blockbuster. We’re not just talking about independent films though, since 17 of those happened to win Oscars this year. Instead, we’re talking about those films that no one’s really heard much about, let alone seen; movies that we think should have a bit more exposure in comparison.

More to the point, just how many times do we need to hear that The Amazing Spider-Man, Twilight and The Hunger Games are pretty awesome and you should check them out? (Though yes, the pairing of Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield was pretty sweet).

We know many of you readers are obscure film buffs and indie-flick enthusiasts, so don’t get too cross if you do happen to have seen any of the following. Rather, take it as Portable’s own guide to some of the most hidden, underrated and unassuming cinematic gems of 2012. And if you’ve not seen them, get on it! You may just be pleasantly surprised.