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Updated by Soubin Nath on Nov 24, 2014
Headline for Amazing Indian Female Filmmakers
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Soubin Nath Soubin Nath
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Amazing Indian Female Filmmakers

In this male dominant world, women have always tried best to set their mark in their respective fields and in return have earned tremendous respect. But, unfortunately, they are not as well know and popular as their counterpart. The same is the case in our film industry. We recognise film directors from Raj Kapoor to Amir Khan, but how many of us really know any women film directors of Bollywood? Well not to worry, here is a list of some brilliant women filmmakers of Bollywood.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/

Fatima Begum (1892-1983)

Fatima Begum was one of the early superstars in Indian cinema and India's first female film director. Fatima Begum was born into an Urdu Muslim family in India. Fatima Begum was supposedly married to Nawab Sidi Ibrahim Muhammad Yakut Khan III of Sachin State.
She began her career on the Urdu stage, shifted to films and debuted in Ardeshir Irani's silent film, Veer Abhimanyu (1922). In 1926, she established Fatima Films which later became known as Victoria-Fatima Films in 1928. She was an actress at Kohinoor Studios and Imperial Studios, while writing, directing, producing, and acting in her own films at Fatima Films. In 1926, when she directed Bulbul-e-Paristan, she became the first female director of Indian cinema. Leaning towards direction, Fatima continued acting till her last film in 1938, Duniya Kya Hai?.
Fatima Begum was fair skinned and wore dark make-up that suited the sepia/black & white images on the screen. Most of the roles required wigs for the heroes as well as the heroines.

2

Arunthathi Devi (1925-1990)

Arunthathi Devi (1925-1990)

Arundhati Devi (1925–1990) was an Indian actress, film director and writer. She was also known as Arundhati Debi, as Arundhati Mukherjee and as Arundhati Mukhopadhyay.
Her first film as a director was Chhuti (1967) which won a Certificate of Merit at the 1967 National Awards. However her most popular film as a director is Padi Pishir Barmi Baksho (1972) – based on the popular children's novel by Leela Majumdar.
She could be considered as one of pioneer of Indian female filmmakers but resources are not available about her professional life and films.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arundhati_Devi

3

Aparna Sen (1945- ____)

Aparna Sen (1945- ____)

Aparna Sen is an Indian-Bengali filmmaker, screenwriter and actress who predominantly works in the cinema of West Bengal. She is the winner of three National Film Awards and eight international film festival awards.
In 1981, Sen made her debut as a film director with 36 Chowringhee Lane. She also wrote its screenplay. The film, about an aged Anglo-Indian teacher living in Calcutta, won positive reviews from critics. For her debut feature, Sen won the Best Director award at the Indian National Film Awards. 36 Chowringhee Lane also won the Grand Prix (the Golden Eagle) at the Manila International Film Festival.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aparna_Sen

4

Kalpana Lajmi (1954- ___)

Kalpana Lajmi (1954- ___)

Kalpana Lajmi is an Indian film director, producer and screenwriter. Lajmi is an independent filmmaker working more on realistic, low-budget films, which are known in India as parallel cinema. Her films are often woman-oriented films. She had been for a longtime manager with famous Assamese/Hindi/Bengali/English singer/lyricist/writer/film-maker Dr. Bhupen Hazarika. Kalpana Lajmi is daughter of painter Lalita Lajmi and niece of filmmaker Guru Dutt.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalpana_Lajmi

5

Deepa Metha (1950- ___)

Deepa Metha (1950- ___)

Deepa Mehta is an Indo-Canadian film director and screenwriter, most known for her Elements Trilogy, Fire (1996), Earth (1998), and Water (2005); among which Earth was sent by India as its official entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and Water was Canada's official entry for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, making it only the second non-French-language Canadian film to put forth for consideration in that category (the first being Zacharias Kunuk's 2001 Inuktitut-language feature, Atanarjuat), and the first to receive an Oscar nomination. She also co-founded Hamilton-Mehta Productions, with her husband, producer David Hamilton in 1996. She was awarded a Genie Award in 2003 for the screenplay of Bollywood/Hollywood.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepa_Mehta

6

Mira Nair (1957- ___)

Mira Nair (1957- ___)

Mira Nair is an Indian film director, actress and producer based in New York. Her production company is Mirabai Films.
Her debut feature film, Salaam Bombay! (1988), won the Golden Camera award at the Cannes Film Festival and was a nominee for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. She used the proceeds of the film to establish an organization for street children, called the Salaam Baalak Trust in India. She often works with longtime creative collaborator screenwriter Sooni Taraporevala, whom she met at Harvard.
She has won a number of awards, including a National Film Award and various international film festival awards, and was a nominee at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, BAFTA Awards and Filmfare Awards. She was also awarded the India Abroad Person of the Year-2007. In 2012 she was awarded India's third highest civilian award the Padma Bhushan by President of India, Pratibha Patil.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mira_Nair

7

Shonali Bose (1965- ___)

Shonali Bose (1965- ___)

Shonali Bose is an Indian film director, screenwriter and producer. She is known for her film Amu which explores the suppressed history of the genocidal attacks on Sikhs in Delhi in 1984.
Her short narrative films The Gendarme Is Here and Undocumented and feature-length documentary Lifting the Veil have screened in festivals and other venues throughout the world.
Amu is her feature film debut which she had written, produced and directed. Amu released in India in January 2005 receiving popular and critical acclaim. It then went on to premier at the Berlin and Toronto Film Festivals amongst many other international festivals. Bose has won 7 national and international awards for Amu including the FIPRESCI Critics Award, National Film Award for Best Feature Film in English and Gollapudi Srinivas Award for best first-time director.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shonali_Bose

8

Nandita Das (1969- ___)

Nandita Das (1969- ___)

Nandita Das is an Indian film actress and director. As a director, she is known for her directorial debut Firaaq (2008), which has won a number of national and international awards. She has been awarded the Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Government of France for her work. Nandita Das was the first Indian to be inducted into their International Women's Forum's hall of fame for her contributions to arts.
In 2008, she completed filming her directorial debut, Firaaq. Firaaq is a work of fiction, based on a thousand true stories and is set a month after the Gujarat riots in 2002.The film won top honours at the Asian Festival of First Films 2008 in Singapore, where it won the awards for "Best Film", "Screenplay / Script", and "Foreign Correspondents Assn. Purple Orchid Award for Best Film". The film has also won awards at other international film festivals.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nandita_Das

9

Geetu Mohandas (1981- ___)

Geetu Mohandas (1981- ___)

Geetu Mohandas is an Indian film actress and director known for her works in Malayalam cinema and Bollywood. In 2013, she directed the socio political film Liar's Dice which has received two National Film Awards, was premiered at Sundance Film Festival,and has been chosen as India's entry for the U.S. 2015 Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars.
Her first directorial venture was Kelkkunnundo which won recognition at several film festivals. Geetu's second directorial venture Liar's Dice received its world premiere at 2013 Mumbai Film Festival and went on to screen at Sundance Film Festival and International Film Festival Rotterdam. It won a special jury award at Sofia International Film Festival.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geetu_Mohandas

10

Anjali Menon

Anjali Menon

Anjali Menon is an Indian film director and screenwriter best known for her work in Malayalam cinema.
She made her directional debut with the feature film Manjadikuru (Lucky Red Seeds) starring Prithviraj, for which she got the FIPRESCI award for the Best Malayalam film at the 2008 International Film Festival of Kerala. In 2009, the film swept the awards at South Asian International Film Festival at New York, winning five Grand Jury Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematographer & Best Emerging Talent. She then directed a short film, "Happy Journey", for the Malayalam anthology film, Kerala Cafe (2009). She won the National Film award for Best dialogue writer, for the film Ustad Hotel (2012). Her latest release is Bangalore Days (2014).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anjali_Menon

  • Born and brought up in Kerala, India. Now in Mumbai, India doing first year of my Masters in Film Studies (M.A)..

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