Women directors are re-defining Bollywood like never before. From Raazi to Gully Boy to A Death in the Gunj and Dear Zindagi, women are everywhere, delivering classy content and going places like the Oscars. Let’s take a look at some of the most powerful women directors of Bollywood.
- Mira Nair – The lady who put India on the world map with movies like Salaam Bombay! Mississippi Masala, Monsoon Wedding, Kama Sutra and The Namesake. Mira has been awarded the Padma Bhushan for her contribution to Indian cinema in 2012.
- Aparna Sen – This Bengali actress is a Padma Shri winner and a woman who has worn many hats. She was a top-notch commercial actress in Bengali and now a hard-hitting film director. Winner of multiple National Awards, Aparna was the force behind movies like 36 Chowringhee Lane, Mr & Mrs. Iyer, and 15 Park Avenue.
- Zoya Akhtar – When Bollywood runs in your blood, movie-making comes naturally. The same is the case with Zoya Akhtar. She started with Luck By Chance, her insider take on the film industry and struggle of outsiders to make it in this industry. She followed it up with Zindagi Na Milegi Doobara and Dil Dhadkane Do. She struck gold with her 2019 release Gully Boy which is India’s official entry to the Oscars.
- Gauri Shinde – She made her debut as a director with English Vinglish, starring the late Sridevi. In Gauri’s words, this movie was her way to apologize to her mother who couldn’t speak English. Much like her first movie which struck a chord with everyone, her second movie, Dear Zindagi appealed to the millenials. The film showcases the struggles of gen Z and a lesson for their parents.
- Ashwini Iyer Tiwari – Ashwini made her impressive debut with Nil Battey Sannata which won her a Filmfare for best debut. She followed it with a light-hearted romantic comedy, Bareilly Ki Barfi and is now directing Pangaa.
- Farah Khan – The editor turned director has given us some of the best masala Bollywood flicks like Main Hoon Na, Om Shanti Om which launched Deepika Padukone and Happy New Year. Currently, Farah is rumoured to be working on Satte Pe Satta remake starring Hrithik Roshan and Anushka Sharma.
- Meghna Gulzar – Years ago when she debuted as a director, Meghna picked up the controversial topic of surrogacy in 2002. However, her true recognition came from movies like Talvar, Raazi and now the much anticipated Chapaak.
Apart from them, a new breed of women directors like Reema Kagti, Kiran Rao, Shonali Bose, Alankrita Shrivastav, Nandita Das, etc also made their mark in Bollywood.