While the media industry is said to have been dominated by male artists, few of their female counterparts shave been struggling over the past couple of decades, to get the recognition and appreciation that they rightly deserve. Patriarchy has made it difficult for female actors and directors from the industry, so much so, that the disparity exists, not just in the wage being provided to them but also in terms of opportunities being given to them.
Women directors of Bollywood are finally marking their presence, across all genres within mainstream Bollywood. Despite the changing times, female directors often get neglected, of their hard work and talent that comes from behind the cameras. Here’s a list of a few of the most influential female directors who’ve delivered some of the best masterpieces, reinventing Indian cinema, one film at a time!
1. MIRA NAIR
Mira is an Indian-American film director, known for working across the globe, started her career as a theatre performer at the age of 20, before she moved to Cambridge. There her journey as a documentary filmmaker began, as she delivered some award-winning masterpieces such as the Salaam Bombay, her feature debut that earned her the ‘Camera d’or’ and was nominated by the Academy awards for best foreign-language film. Apart from Salaam Bombay, Nair has delivered other classics such as the Monsoon Wedding, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, The Namesake and more!
2. ZOYA AKHTAR
Zoya is one of the few female directors from India, who doesn’t need any introduction and her films speak for themselves. After delivering masterstroke movies like Luck by chance, Zindagi na milegi dobaara, and Dil dhakadne do, Zoya is now for making films that appeal a wide range of audiences. Her style of bringing vid colours and life to her characters, and her way of storytelling are beyond compelling and unbiased. A few of her classics include Gully Boy, Lust stories, Talaash and Dil Chahta hai.
3. GAURI SHINDE
Gauri Shinde is known to make films that provide audiences with a fresh perspective, and new viewpoints, making her films extremely polar among classes. Her iconic films like English Vinglish and Dear Zindagi focuses on life issues of characters, that seem rather relatable. From a mother trying to fit in her own family, to giving impetus to mental health and banishing the stigma surrounding therapy, Shinde’s films are indeed, thought-provoking. Her hit projects include Padman, Shamitabh and others.
4. Ashwini Iyer Tiwari
A writer and filmmaker by profession, Ashwini made her directorial debut in 2016, with Nil Battey Sannata. After quitting a high paying advertising job, Ashish I thought of pursuing her dream of filmmaking and her efforts did turn out to be fruitful after Nil Battey Sananta helped her get her first Filmfare award for a best directorial debut. Ashwini, often receives appreciation for her understanding of relationships that she portrays in her movies and her way of simplifying complex topics. Many of her films include Bareilly ki barfi, Half the sky and Panga.