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Updated by Rajashri Venkatesh on Apr 24, 2016
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India's Greatest Film Directors

Over the 100 years of Indian cinema has created some of the finest directors that have shaped the face of bollywood and brought it to such a respectable position in global entertainment industry. Here is a list of such amazing bollywood directors and their contribution to Indian cinema

Mani Ratnam

Gopala Ratnam Subramaniam commonly known as Mani Ratnam, is an Indian film director, screenwriter and producer who predominantly works in Tamil cinema, based in Chennai. Widely regarded as one of the leading directors in Indian cinema. Anjali released in 1990, story of a mentally disabled child, was submitted by India for the Academy Award consideration in the category of Best Foreign Language Film. He is well known for his "terrorism trilogy" consisting of Roja (1992), Bombay (1995) and Dil Se.. (1998). Ratnam is widely credited with having revolutionised the Tamil film industry and altering the profile of Indian cinema.

Raj Kapoor

In 1964, he produced, directed and starred in the romantic musical Sangam alongside Rajendra Kumar and Vyjayantimala which was his first film in colour. This was his last major success as a leading actor as his later films like Around the World (1966) and Sapnon Ka Saudagar (1968) with younger starlets Rajshree and Hema Malini were box office flops. In 1965 he was a member of the jury at the 4th Moscow International Film Festival.

Satyajit Ray

Satyajit Ray was an Indian filmmaker, regarded as one of the greatest auteurs of world cinema. Ray was born in the city of Calcutta into a Bengali family prominent in the world of arts and literature. Starting his career as a commercial artist, Ray was drawn into independent filmmaking after meeting French filmmaker Jean Renoir and viewing Vittorio De Sica's Italian neorealist 1948 film Bicycle Thieves during a visit to London.

Hrishikesh Mukherjee

Hrishikesh Mukherjee was a famous Indian film director known for a number of films, including Satyakam, Chupke Chupke, Anupama, Anand, Abhimaan, Guddi, Gol Maal, Aashirwad, Bawarchi, Kissi Se Na Kehna and Namak Haraam. He also remained the chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and of the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC),.[5] The Government of India honoured him with the Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 1999 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2001. He received the NTR National Award in 2001.

Bimal Roy

Bimal Roy was an Indian film director. He is particularly noted for his realistic and socialistic films like Do Bigha Zamin, Parineeta, Biraj Bahu, Madhumati, Sujata, and Bandini, making him an important director of Hindi cinema. Inspired by Italian neo-realistic cinema, he made Do Bigha Zameen after watching Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves (1948).His work is particularly known for his mise en scène which he employed to portray realism. He won a number of awards throughout his career, including eleven Filmfare Awards, two National Film Awards, and the International Prize of the Cannes Film Festival. Madhumati won 9 Filmfare Awards in 1958, a record held for 37 years.

Guru Dutt

Vasanth Kumar Shivashankar Padukone, better known as Guru Dutt , was an Indian film director, producer and actor. He made 1950s and 1960s classics such as Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool , Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam and Chaudhvin Ka Chand. In particular, Pyaasa and Kaagaz Ke Phool are now included among the greatest films of all time, both by Time magazine's "All-TIME" 100 best movies and by the Sight & Sound critics' and directors' poll, where Dutt himself is included among the greatest film directors of all time. He is sometimes referred to as "India's Orson Welles". In 2010, he was included among CNN's "top 25 Asian actors of all time"

Manmohan Desai

Manmohan Desai was known for his family-centered, action-song-and-dance films which catered to the tastes of the Indian masses and through which he achieved great success. His movies defined a new genre called masala films. His best known super-hit movies were Amar Akbar Anthony and Dharam Veer.He had a string of hits with Amitabh Bachchan in the 70s and early 80s which helped cement Bachchan's status as a superstar of Indian cinema. He worked with Amitabh on Amar Akbar Anthony, Parvarish, Suhaag, Naseeb, Desh Premee, Coolie, Mard and Ganga Jamuna Saraswati; all but the last were box office successes. He was one of the directors who had a special working relationship with Amitabh Bachchan, the others being Yash Chopra, Prakash Mehra, Ramesh Sippy, and Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Of these, only Yash Chopra went on to make hits beyond the 1980s.

Shyam Benegal

Shyam Benegal is an Indian director and screenwriter. With his first four feature films Ankur (1973), Nishant (1975), Manthan (1976) and Bhumika (1977) he created a new genre, which has now come to be called the "middle cinema" in India. He has expressed dislike of the term, preferring his work to be called New or Alternate cinema. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1976 and the Padma Bhushan in 1991. On 8 August 2007, Benegal was awarded the highest award in Indian cinema for lifetime achievement, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2005. He has won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi seven times.

Yash Chopra

Yash Raj Chopra was an Indian film director, script writer and film producer, predominantly working in Hindi cinema. Yash Chopra began his career as an assistant director to I. S. Johar and elder brother, B.R. Chopra. He made his directorial debut with Dhool Ka Phool in 1959, a melodrama about illegitimacy, and followed it with the social drama Dharmputra

Ashutosh Gowariker

Ashutosh Gowariker is an Indian film director, actor, writer and producer. He is known for directing the films Lagaan (2001), Swades (2004), Jodhaa Akbar (2008), What's Your Raashee (2009) and Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey (2010). His 2001 film Lagaan was nominated for an Academy Award and European Film Award, and has won a number of other awards, including a National Film Award, five Filmfare Awards, and seven international film festival awards. He also became a voting member for the Academy Awards in 2005