10 Indian Female Directors Who Left Their Mark on Indian Cinema


While India houses some of the best male directors of all time that have created movies that are etched into our brains, there are also some female directors that have not shied away from the big screen. With their work, they have proved that they deserve a place in the Indian film Industry. Most of these women, have given us out-of-the-box, modern-day hits that fit no norm of conventionality. Yes, these women have paved their own path in Indian cinema, the path less trodden, to be recognized as the best. Let’s take a look at 10 valuable Indian female directors who have changed the way we think with their movies.

1. Zoya Akhtar

Belonging to a family of the cinematic elite, Zoya Akhtar is one of the most celebrated directors in the Indian Film Industry. Having completed her film-making degree from NYU and assisted many other famous directors, she is known for narrating the most reflective movies to the Indian audience. Movies like Zindagi Na Milegi Dobaara, Gullyboy, and Luck by chance are the most intriguing and realistic movies in Bollywood that have won people’s hearts.

Source:  Instagram

2. Meghna Gulzar

Meghna Gulzar, the daughter of another prominent director is known for directing the most gripping movies that manage to stir a whirlwind of emotions in her audience. Movies like Raazi and Chhapaak have been widely appreciated and Meghna Gulzar’s direction has done justice to the stories both movies have aimed to convey. Not to forget Talvar, the movie on the murder case of Aarushi Talvar. The cinematography of the movie was unparalleled all thanks to the director.

Source: Wikipedia

3. Mira Nair

Mira Nair is an Indian-origin filmmaker who is known for making films on Indian culture and society for international audiences. She is one of the most admirable directors in India with movies like Salaam Bombay!, Mississippi Masala, The Namesake and The Queen of Katwe. She is known for making ethnocentric movies that cater to the international audience.

Source: Wikipedia

4. Gauri Shinde

Gauri Shinde is again a renowned Indian female director who gained popularity with her directorial debut English Vinglish. She also won a Filmfare Award for Best Debut Director for the film. She is also the director of Dear Zindagi a movie which was watched and continues to be watched by many. Her movies are known to resonate well with the audience and that’s what the purpose of movies is, right? To tell us that we are not alone in this?

Source: Wikipedia

5. Farah Khan 

Farah Khan is a multitalented genius that knows how Bollywood works and has laid the foundation of 2000s Bollywood along with Karan Johar. She has directed some of the greatest cult classics like Om Shanti Om, and Mai Hoon Na. Starting off as a choreographer in the early stages of her career, she proved to be a director of the highest order with the way her movies became a household regular. Even today, we find ourselves going back to these movies that are actually timeless and iconic.

Source: Instagram


6. Kiran Rao

The former wife of Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao has had more ventures as a producer than as a director but the movies directed by her have certainly left a much deeper and more memorable mark. Out of these, Dhobi ghat is the most celebrated one. Dhobi ghat stood out to its audience as an art film that beautifully captured the aspirations of people from completely unrelated backgrounds.

Source: Wikipedia

7. Rima Das

Rima Das is an Indian Assamese director that is known to bring out her cultural roots through her movies. Her creativity is beyond compare and it is this creativity that has made rima Das such a cherished Indian female director. She is best known for her movie The Village Rockstars which went on to win the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Assamese. Another movie directed by her, Bulbul Can Sing was exceptional in the message that it conveyed in such a simple way.

Source: Wikipedia

8. Nitya Mehra

Nitya Mehra has been an assistant director for some of the most historic movies produced by Indian cinema. Life of Pi, Lakshya and Mira Nair’s The Namesake were all made with her help. Some of her own directorial creations include Made in Heaven and Baar Baar Dekho both of which had an amazing response from the audience.

Source: Instagram

9. Shonali Bose 

Shonali Bose got a strong start in the Indian Film Industry with her film Amu which dealt with the genocidal attacks on Sikhs in 1984. She later went on to direct modern movies such as Margarita with a straw and The Sky is Pink which were known for their commendable storytelling. Both movies sent out strong messages to their audiences and this was possible only due to their marvellous direction.

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10. Ashwini Iyer Tiwari 

Ashwini Iyer Tiwari is the director of the very underrated movie Nil Battey Sanatta. She is known for making movies that leave a lasting impact on you. Another such movie would be Bareilly ki Barfi which was also a commercial hit. Her movies represent a nuanced view of a typical Indian household in the most realistic way possible and that’s probably why they are so loved by her audiences.

Source: Instagram

With The elephant whisperers just having won an Oscar, Indian female directors and producers have made India proud with all their work. The work of the above-mentioned Indian female directors also gives us a different worldview from the one that is always represented and that isn’t something a lot of people can do!

Also read:  15 Best Indian Directors Of All Time In The History Of Indian Cinema

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