Year after year, the crux of International Women’s Day has been women empowerment, encouraging them to break barriers and explore the unexplored. Such has been the journey of those who dared to execute their vision on the silver screen. Here’s our rundown of the leading filmmakers in Bollywood who not only gave blockbusters but also a new perspective to Indian cinema.
Gully Boy starring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt has been one of the most successful films of Zoya Akhtar after Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. The flick based on real life rappers Divine and Naezy was indeed an original attempt which received positive reviews from the audience. Zoya has also worked as a writer and assistant director for hits like Talaash and Dil Chahta Hai respectively.
If you haven’t seen the Alia Bhatt starrer, Raazi, you may fail to appreciate the filmmaking skills of renowned lyricist and poet Gulzar’s daughter Meghna. She has revamped the standards of filmmaking with real topics in the said film and others such as Talvar. Her upcoming film Chhapaak starring Deepika Padukone is based on real life acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal.
Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari
Ashwiny has donned the filmmaker’s hat for films like Nil Battey Sannata, Bareilly Ki Barfi and now the upcoming Kangana Ranaut starrer Panga. She is the wife of Dangal director Nitish Tiwari. Her films revolve around small town narratives and often tries to put reality unfiltered onscreen.
Alankrita is an independent Indian filmmaker who made her debut with Turning 30!!!, however, it was the critically acclaimed Lipstick Under My Burkha that gave her the recognition she deserved. A film that revolves around the lives of four women featuring Aahana Kumra, Konkona Sen Sharma, Plabita Borthakur and Ratna Pathak Shah was a favourite among movie buffs. Her upcoming film Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare also revolves around women in lead featuring Konkona Sen Sharma and Bhumi Pednekar.
Nandita Das is an all-rounder. She has starred in all kinds of films across the globe. Be it regional cinema or mainstream flicks, she is one powerful woman who has been true to her profession. Her recent achievement was as the filmmaker for Manto, which is the biographical drama film about the famous Urdu author Saadat Hasan Manto.
Reema has worked as an assistant director for films like Lagaan and Dil Chahta Hai. As a director she made her debut with the multi-starrer Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. She further received recognition for her film Talaash: The Answer Lies Within featuring Aamir Khan which was also a hit. Her last seen flick was the Akshay Kumar starrer Gold.
With only two films (English Vinglish, Dear Zindagi) in her career as a director, Gauri Shinde is an extraordinary woman. She made her debut with English Vinglish which was the late actress Sridevi’s comeback onscreen. The film is still considered as one of the top celluloids with a woman in the lead.
National Film Award winner Shonali Bose has done few films which include Margarita with a Straw that is a mandatory name in Indian films that executed same sex relationship on the big screen. Her upcoming film is called The Sky Is Pink starring Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar and Zaira Wasim.
Aparna Sen is a National Awarding winning actor, filmmaker and screenwriter who is popularly known for her work in Bengali cinema. She made her directorial debut with 36 Chowringhee Lane, produced by Shashi Kapoor. She achieved consistent success with path-breaking films like Sati, Mr. and Mrs. Iyer, 15 Park Avenue and The Japanese Wife to name a few.
Best known for her film on elements trilogy – Fire, Earth, and Water, Deepa has used worked with narratives that touch upon topics ranging from homosexuality to patriarchy, to communal strife, to misogyny, to ill-treatment of widows. She has received numerous awards and accolades over the years including an Oscar nomination.