As the Indian film industry evolves, women filmmakers and screenwriters are increasingly making their mark with their unique and thought-provoking work. These talented individuals are changing the narrative and challenging traditional gender roles, one excellent script at a time. Here are some of the best female directors and screenwriters in Bollywood:
Monga, the founder of Sikhya Productions, is known for producing content-driven films such as "The Lunchbox," "Masaan," "Gangs of Wasseypur," "Pagglait," "Haraamkhor," and "Soorarai Pottru." She was also the executive producer of the Academy Award-winning short documentary "Period." Monga is a co-founder of the film group Indian Women Rising and has been awarded France's second-highest civilian honor, the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters, for her outstanding work empowering women and contributions to international cinema.
Akhtar's films are known for revolutionizing character development in Bollywood, with her male characters often defying stereotypes and challenging patriarchy. She studied cinema at New York University and began her career as an assistant to directors such as Mira Nair and Dev Benegal. Her directorial debut, "Luck By Chance," explored the harsh realities of the film industry. Her most well-known films include "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara" and "Dil Dhadakne Do," and she co-wrote and directed the popular online series "Made in Heaven."
Nair is one of India's first female directors and is known for her realistic filmmaking, multi-layered characters, and emotionally compelling stories. She began her career as a documentary filmmaker before making feature pictures. Her notable works include "Salaam Bombay," "Monsoon Wedding," "The Namesake," "Mississippi Masala," and "Queen of Katwe." Her most recent project was the British miniseries "A Suitable Boy," based on Vikram Seth's novel of the same name.
The daughter of famed filmmaker and songwriter Gulzar and actress Rakhi Gulzar, Meghna began her career as a poet and freelance writer. She made her directorial debut with "Filhaal" in 2002 and later directed the crime drama "Talvar" and the patriotic thriller "Raazi," which starred Alia Bhatt as an Indian spy. "Raazi" became one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time and earned Gulzar the Filmfare Award for Best Director. Her most recent film, "Chhapaak," was based on the life of acid-attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal.
Chaturvedi is known for bringing difficult subjects into mainstream Bollywood cinema. Her debut as a screenwriter came with the 2012 blockbuster "Vicky Donor," a film about sperm donation. She also wrote "Piku," a story about an elderly Bengali man suffering from constipation, and the heart-wrenching drama "October," for which she received National Film Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Dialogues. Her most recent script was for "Gulabo Sitabo," starring Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana.