Women technicians are hard to come by in the film industry, but times have improved. A few women stood out, gave their all, and entertained us. Whether in the art house, regional cinema, or mainstream Bollywood, women filmmakers are upending the status quo in the enormously diverse terrain of Indian cinema, which spans myriad genres and almost a dozen languages. Here is a list of the top 10 female directors who have played a significant role in bringing about a change in the Indian film industry.
Superhits including "Bela Shese," "Praktan," and "Posto" was created by Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad. The film "Icche" (2011), one of Bengal's most critically lauded hits, was the duo's debut feature. Since then, they have benefited from the box office, consistently making money. In 1978, Nandita co-directed the children's puppet short "Agadoom-Bagadoom," which served as the launch pad for her professional career. In the same movie, she also performed as a glove puppet operator. All established and aspiring filmmakers have found inspiration from her incredible success story.
Satarupa Sanyal has been a steadfast supporter of adding feminist social stances in her films as a director, producer, performer, poet, and social activist in parallel cinema. Her cinematic prowess was sharpened throughout her seven years as an assistant director and contributing screenplay for renowned director Utpalendu Chakraborty. Then, in 1998, she released her debut movie, "
," which is still regarded as ground-breaking since it depicts a progressive, socialist, humanist perspective on feminism. She was on the Central Board of Film Certification for four years and served on the MIFF section committee jury as well as the Indian Panorama, National Award for Feature Film, and National Award for All India Radio juries.
. Vijay Nirmala
The wife of Telugu Superstar Ghattamaneni Krishna, Vijay Nirmala, is a cinema director, producer, and actress. She has worked on films ranging from "
" (1971) to "Moodu Puvvulu Aaru Kaayalu" (1979), "Prajala Manishi" (1990) to "Yes Nenante Nene" (1994), and "Puttinti Gowravam" (1996). She is one of the most brilliant and adaptable woman filmmakers in the Telugu cinema business. In addition, Vijay Nirmala has a record for having appeared in most films in the Guinness Book of World Records.
4. BV Nandini Reddy
The only female director among the current crop of new-gen directors is BV Nandini Reddy. She has worked as director Vamsi's assistant for several years and made her acting debut in the smash blockbuster Ala Modalaindi with Nani and
. She has directed five movies, and her 2019 smash hit
Samantha Ruth Prabhu
and veteran actress Lakshmi, was one of her best. She also produced two OTT web series for Amazon Prime: Gangstars with Jagapathi Babu and Mana Mugguri Love Story with Navdeep.
In 2017, renowned independent director Rima Das directed the Assamese drama movie Village Rockstars. It was chosen to represent India at the 90th Academy Awards in the category of Best Foreign Language Film. She was the film's producer, writer, director, and director of photography. Additionally, she serves as one of the brand ambassadors for the Share Her Journey initiative, which aims to promote gender equality in film during the Toronto International Film Festival.
Actress and director Aimee Baruah is well-known in the Assamese film community. In 2021, Aimee made her feature film directing debut with Semkhor, an Assamese film. The film was shown as the opening feature film in the Indian Panorama section of the 52nd International Film Festival of India. This Nagaon-born director has been involved with the business for approximately three decades.
The critically acclaimed films Luck by Chance and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara were both directed by Zoya Akhtar. Her distinctive style creates a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience that appeals to a wide spectrum of audiences by fusing creativity, empathy, and personality. Films by Zoya Akhtar are renowned for their emotional balance and infrequent bias against one point of view. Melodrama is rarely used; instead, when a problematic scenario is depicted in the plot, the characters are shown handling it in a manner typical of most real people.
8. Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari
Author and director Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari. After working in advertising for a while, she made her directorial debut in 2016 with the comedy-drama
Nil Battey Sannata
. Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari quit her well-paying job at a top advertising agency to pursue her dream of becoming a filmmaker. She originally took baby steps in this approach by making the short film What's for Breakfast. She then went on to direct her first Bollywood film, Nil Battey Sannata, which was well-received and won her her first Filmfare Award for Best Debut Director. The best characters may be created by Ashwiny, and she has the talent to give them distinct personalities.
9. Aishwarya Rajnikanth
With the release of the Dhanush-starring movie "3," Aishwarya Rajinikanth made her directorial debut in the Kollywood industry. Additionally, she received a nomination for best debut director that year. The movie was a financial hit. Later, she oversaw a few music videos. Aishwarya Rajinikanth is making a comeback as a filmmaker after a ten-year hiatus, despite the fact that she has only directed one feature film.
During her formative years, Madhumita produced a number of short films. One of them received the Singapore Student Award after winning the BBC's "Best of the World" category. She briefly worked for the Pirates of the Caribbean in the USA. The 2008 love romance
, starring Parthipan and , served as her debut movie. The movie ran for 100 days in theaters and took home the 2008 Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Family Film. Kola Kolaya Mundhirika (2010), a comedy movie co-written by
, was her second feature. The bilingual romantic comedy
Moone Moonu Varthai
(2015) in Tamil and Moodu Mukkallo Cheppalante in Telugu are her upcoming endeavors. KD is a drama movie from 2019. She was even awarded the Best Director at the UK Asian Film Festival 2019.