Ancient are those times when only males were directors in B-Town while females had to tag along as mere choreographers. Long gone are the days when women were considered good only for the kitchens. The shift in the century also saw a shift in the mentality of people and today females are sprawled across all spheres and success reads the same for them as so for the males. So, on the month celebrating women, BollyCurry gives you an overview of the most successful female directors of Bollywood.
This lady has not just acclaimed success in India but left her mark across the globe as well. From cinematography to storyline, casting to direction, everything in her movies talks grandeur. Low-budget is not a term that exists in her dictionary. While Farah believes in making it large at work, her personal life is no less with adorable triplets at home who demand mama's attention all the time. Despite that, she knows how to strike that perfect balance between life and work while continuing to give blockbusters such as Om Shanti Om. Farah has also directed Main Hoon Na along with Tees Maar Khan and is currently working on Happy New Year.
Zoya Akhtar, daughter of the famous lyricist Javed Akhtar, entered the directors list by debuting with Luck By Chance in 2009. Though the movie did not sit as well with the audience as expected, Zoya was not one to be let down by it and in 2011, she made a rocking comeback with her movie Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. This time Zoya had the support of not just her father but brother, Farhan Akhtar, as well. Her great sense of humor earned her a star-studded cast comprising Hrithik Roshan, Katrina Kaif and Abhay Deol, who wholeheartedly accepted her offer. With her behind-the-lens talent coupled with her successive scripting, Zoya Akhtar will definitely prove her mettle in the near future.
Reema made her debut in Bollywood with the movie Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd back in 2006. She has been known for her acting, screenplay writing, story writing and now, direction. Recently, her film Talaash with perfectionist Aamir Khan and the lovely ladies, Kareena Kapoor and Rani Mukherjee, was complimented and her hard work definitely seemed to have paid off. Reema, who is criticized for making only dark films, doesn't hesitate to acknowledge the fact, rather proudly accepts it.
Deepa Mehta is very well known for her Elements Trilogy, movies based on the three elements: Earth, Fire and Water. Some of Deepa's acclaimed works include projects with B-Town biggies such as John Abraham, Aamir Khan and also Shabana Azmi. She may be criticized for raising taboo issues but in her defense, she claims she only works for the betterment of the country to bring about awareness. While she lives in Toronto, her high sense of patriotism for her ethnicity is commendable. Her next project, based on a novel Midnight's Children, again centers on an issue common in India that needs to be fanned.
A recent addition to the list is Gauri Shinde who debuted as a director with the heart-warming release, English Vinglish. While her husband has been a director for a while, Gauri ensured she was tough competition to him as she broke all his records of excellence by winning not one or two but five awards! Gauri has definitely been one promising debut as a director in Bollywood.
An Indian director based in New York, Mira Nair is well known worldwide for movies such as Salaam Bombay! and Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love. Though controversial and explicit, Mira has not hesitated to direct stories that may be banned at the time of screening. Leaving behind the controversies, Mira has been declared one of the best directors of Indian Cinema and has received nominations from Filmfare, BAFTA, Golden Globes and Academy Awards as well. She is a woman who stands out from the rest of the crowd.
Other established female directors include Kiran Rao (Dhobi Ghat), Leena Yadav (Shabd and Teen Patti), Pooja Bhatt (Paap, Holiday, Dhokha, Kajrare and Jism 2) and Gurinder Chadda (Bride and Prejudice, The Mistress of Spices and It's a Wonderful Afterlife). This was our two cents to celebrating the month of Women. As always, we would love to hear what you think of the female directors of the film industry.
Writer: Saraa K.
Editors: Tia and Jenifer Y.