The Gujarati film industry has seen an evolution over time. Production houses are investing in more content-driven films on the big screen for their Gujarati audience. Remade in Hindi for a nationwide audience, many of these films earned recognition globally. Dhollywood of Gujarat has made a comfortable position in the list of the best film industry in the country when compared to the other regional cinema. Here is everything you need to know about the top ten directors in Dhollywood changing the face of Gujarati Cinema!
1. Abhishek Shah
Well-known for his 2019 historical-drama film Hellaro, Abhishek Shah is a famous writer, producer, and director in the Gujarati film industry. Hellaro became the first Gujarati film in the history of Indian cinema to win the National Award for Best Feature Film (Swarna Kamal). With a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism, Shah pursued theatre at a very young age. He has been with the theatre for the past 19 years. Eventually, Shah emerged as a prominent name on Ahmedabad Theatre Circuit with his socially concerned plays. He received numerous awards for the plays he wrote and directed.
2. Mikhil Musale
Mikhil Musale made his debut in the Gujarati film industry with his 2016 thriller-drama film Wrong Side Raju. At the 64th National Film Awards, the film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Gujarati. He made his Bollywood debut with the Hindi film Made in China in 2019, starring Rajkumar Rao, Mouni Roy, and Boman Irani. Mikhil founded the film distribution and production company CineMan Productions with Anish Shah and Abhishek Jain.
3. Anish Shah
Well-known for his 2012 Gujarati drama film Kevi Rite Jaish, Anish Shah is a famous director in the Gujarati film industry. Along with two of his other friends, Jay Shah and Kuldip Patel, he founded his own film production house November Films. Dhunki and Aavartan are his recent Gujarati film releases.
4. Sandeep Patel
A multi-talented Gujarati artist who is an actor, writer, producer, and filmmaker, Sandeep Patel is one of the leading directors of Gujarati cinema. Along with films, Sandeep also directed many TV serials like Moti Baa and Niharika, which received a huge fan following. His recent 2017 Gujarati film release is Love Ne Bhavai starring Aarohi Patel, Malhar Thakar, and Pratik Gandhi in the lead roles. Patel announced his next untitled project with Malhar Thakar and Aarohi Patel, which is yet to be released.
5. Krishnadev Yagnik
Yagnik made his debut in the Gujarati film industry in 2015 with the comedy film Chhello Divas. The film was a box-office hit and was also critically acclaimed. At the International Gujarati Film Festival, Krishnadev received the best director award for the film Karsandas Pay & Use in 2018. Naadi Dosh and Raado are his recent Gujarati film releases.
6. Viral Shah
A famous film director in the Gujarati film industry, Viral Shah started his career by writing for TV shows, serials, and films. He is also a well-known dubbing artist who has been doing the work for over 15 years. Breakthrough success came to the director in 2020 with the film Gol Keri which became a box-office hit.
Dhwani-Gautam made his directorial debut in the Gujarati film industry with the film Romance Complicated in 2015. Before starting his career in filmmaking, Gautam worked as a radio jockey in New Delhi. He also directed many television shows like Jeevti Vaarta and Mr. D Show. His recent Gujarati film releases are The Story of Patel Vs. Patrick, Kesariya, and Love Atrangi.
8. Abhishek Jain
A well-known director in the Gujarati film industry Abhishek Jain was born and brought up in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He assisted Subhash Ghai and Sanjay Leela Bhansali in his initial days. After that, he founded a film production company CineMan Productions, with Mikhil Musale and Anish Shah in 2010. Jain made his directorial debut with the Gujarati drama film Kevi Rite Jaish in 2012. The Gujarati Innovation Society awarded him the Trend Setter Award for the success of this film.
9. Divyang Thakkar
Thakkar started his career in the Gujarati film industry by acting in films. He is well-known for playing the lead character of Harish Patel in the 2012 Gujarati comedy film Kevi Rite Jaish. The film became successful at the box office and was also critically acclaimed. Thakkar made his recent directorial debut in the Gujarati film industry with the film Tu Rajee Re in 2022. He made his Bollywood debut this year with the film Jayeshbhai Jordaar, starring Ranveer Singh in the lead role. Yash Raj Films produced the film.
10. Manish Saini
A famous director in the Gujarati film industry, Saini is an alumnus of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. In 2017, he made his debut with the Gujarati children’s film Dhh, which received the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Gujarati at the 65th National Film Awards. His next movie, Gandhi & Co, won the award for Best Children Film at IGFF (International Gujarati Film Festival) in 2022.