BEST INDIAN FILM DIRECTORS

by Alby-Film-Buff | created - 15 Jan 2020 | updated - 2 months ago | Public

1. Satyajit Ray

Writer | Pather Panchali

Satyajit Ray was born in Calcutta on May 2, 1921. His father, Late Sukumar Ray was an eminent poet and writer in the history of Bengali literature. In 1940, after receiving his degree in science and economics from Calcutta University, he attended Tagore's Viswa-Bharati University. His first movie ...

2. Hrishikesh Mukherjee

Director | Anand

By no means is he any glamorous director, yet Hrishikesh Mukherjee is one of the most popular and beloved filmmakers in Indian cinema. His magic lay not in the glamor or largeness so often associated with cinema, but in its simplicity and warmth.

He began his career in Bombay, 1951, as an editor and...

3. C.V. Sridhar

Director | Nazrana

Daughter named Sripriya ( not the actress) married to Krishnan, doctor .

4. P. Padmarajan

Writer | Oridathoru Phayalwan

P. Padmarajan was an Indian author, screenwriter, and film director who was known for his landmark works in Malayalam literature and Malayalam cinema. Padmarajan was the founder of a new school of film making in Malayalam, along with Bharathan, in the 1980s, which created films that were widely ...

5. K. Viswanath

Director | Sruthilayalu

K. Viswanath was born on February 19, 1930 in Peddapulivarru, Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh, India as Kaasinathuni Viswanath. He is a director and writer, known for Sruthilayalu (1987), Sagara Sangamam (1983) and Sankarabharanam (1980).

6. A. Bhimsingh

Director | Joroo Ka Ghulam

A. Bhimsingh was born on July 15, 1924 in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India. He was a director and writer, known for Joroo Ka Ghulam (1972), Sadhu Aur Shaitaan (1968) and Pavamanippu (1961). He was married to Sukumari. He died on January 16, 1978 in Madras, Tamil Nadu, India.

7. K. Balachander

Writer | Ek Duuje Ke Liye

K. Balachander was born on July 9, 1930 in Nannilam, Madras Presidency, British India as Kailasam Balachander. He was a writer and producer, known for Ek Duuje Ke Liye (1981), Thaneer Thaneer (1981) and Apoorva Raagangal (1975). He was married to Rajam. He died on December 23, 2014 in Chennai, ...

8. Guru Dutt

Actor | Pyaasa

Considered to be a man ahead of his time, Guru Dutt was one of the greatest icons of commercial Indian cinema. Although he made less than ten films, they are believed to be the best to come from Bollywood's Golden Age, known both for their ability to reach out to the common man and for their ...

9. Ritwik Ghatak

Director | Meghe Dhaka Tara

Ritwik Ghatak was born on November 4, 1925 in Dacca, Bengal Presidency, British India as Ritwik Kumar Ghatak. He was a director and writer, known for The Cloud-Capped Star (1960), Madhumati (1958) and Reason, Debate and a Story (1974). He was married to Surama Ghatak. He died on February 6, 1976 in...

10. Adoor Gopalakrishnan

Director | Mathilukal

Adoor Gopalakrishnan is India's most acclaimed contemporary filmmaker. Born in 1941 in Kerala, a state in south India, he belongs to a family with strong links to the performing arts, especially Kathakali, a highly-stylised form of dance drama. From the age of eight Adoor began acting for the stage...

11. Yash Chopra

Producer | Veer-Zaara

Labeled the eternal romantic and with one of the best musical senses in the business, Yash Chopra is arguably India's most successful director of romantic films. Although he made action-oriented films like the ever-popular Deewaar (1975), it is in tackling love and its various aspects that he has ...

12. Bharathiraja

Director | Karuththamma

The die-hard romantic Bharathiraja was born in Alli Nagaram, a small, sylvan village near Theni as Chinnasamy on 17 July 1941. He was the fifth child to his parents, Periya Maya Thevar and Meenatchiammaal alias Karuthammaal. His childhood passions were deer hunting and literature. As a full-blooded...

13. Balu Mahendra

Cinematographer | Moondram Pirai

Balu Mahendra was born on May 20, 1939 in Sri Lanka as Benjamin Mahendra. He was a cinematographer and director, known for Moondram Pirai (1982), Veedu (1988) and Yaathra (1985). He died on February 13, 2014 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

14. J. Mahendran

Writer | Mullum Malarum

J. Mahendran was born on July 25, 1939 in Ilaiyangudi, Madras Presidency, British India. He was a writer and actor, known for Mullum Malarum (1978), Nenjathai Killathe (1980) and Uthiri Pookkal (1979). He died in April 2019 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

15. Shyam Benegal

Director | Ankur

Shyam Benegal was born on December 14, 1934 in Tirumalagiri, Hyderabad State, British India. He is a director and writer, known for Ankur: The Seedling (1974), Trikal (Past, Present, Future) (1985) and Junoon (1979).

16. Fazil

Writer | Poove Poochudava

Fazil was born in 1953 in Alleppey, Kerala, India. He is a writer and director, known for Poove Poochudava (1985), Manichitrathazhu (1993) and Killer (1992).

17. Bharathan

Director | Prayanam

Bharathan was born on November 14, 1947 in Vadakkancheri, Trichur, Kerala, British India. He was a director and art director, known for Prayanam (1975), Thevar Magan (1992) and Thakara (1980). He was married to K.P.A.C. Lalitha. He died on July 29, 1998 in Madras, Tamil Nadu, India.

18. Mani Ratnam

Writer | Dil Se..

The man who revolutionized Tamil-language cinema, Mani Ratnam is the biggest director in south India and one of the most respected directors in all of India. Each of his films contain its own unique style, with beautifully photographed songs and unique back-lighting. However, his films contain ...

19. Mrinal Sen

Director | Chorus

Sen is one of his nation's most politically active filmakers. After having studied physics at university in Calcutta, Sen worked as a freelance journalist, a salesman of patent medicines and a sound technician in a film studio. In the mid-1940s he joined the Indian People's Theatre Association and ...

21. Ashutosh Gowariker

Writer | Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India

His passion for cinema immediately draws your attention, making you realize that Ashutosh Gowariker would not have been anywhere except behind the camera, however tempting the choice. An actor who took to film direction after almost a decade in front of the camera, Ashutosh has acted in Hindi films...

22. Priyadarshan

Director | Oppam

Priyadarshan was born as Priyadarshan Nair. He is a director and writer, known for Oppam (2016), Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea (2021) and Kanchivaram (2008). He is married to Lizy. They have two children.

23. S. Shankar

Writer | Enthiran

Shankar is an Indian film director and producer who works mainly in Tamil cinema. He started his career as an assistant director to SA Chandrasekar and now he is the highest paid director in the country. He made his debut in Gentleman (1993) and since 2015 he has directed 12 movies. He won the ...

24. Kamal Haasan

Actor | Vishwaroopam

Kamal Haasan was born November 7, 1954 in Paramakudi, Ramanathapuram District, Tamil Nadu. He debuted as a child artiste in the film "Kalathoor Kannamma" (1960). Since then, he has starred in nearly 220 films in the major Indian languages - Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi. He has been a...

25. Vishal Bhardwaj

Composer | Haider

Vishal Bhardwaj is an Indian film director, writer, composer, singer and producer. He has directed ten feature films, produced five and composed music for more than forty. His directorial work includes Makdee, The Blue Umbrella, Kaminey, 7 Khoon Maaf, Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola, Rangoon, Pataakha as...

26. Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Producer | Bajirao Mastani

Sanjay Leela Bhansali is among the most celebrated Film Makers of the Bollywood. Having worked with the biggest stars of Indian Film Industry, Bhansali is the most sought-for director of the Bollywood. He started his career as an assistant director to Vidhu Vinod Chopra. If one has to name his '...

27. Deepa Mehta

Producer | Fire

Deepa Mehta is a transnational artist and a screenwriter, director, and producer whose work has been called "courageous", "provocative" and "breathtaking". Her visually lush and emotionally resonating films have played at every major international film festival; receiving numerous awards and ...

28. Mira Nair

Director | Salaam Bombay!

Accomplished Film Director/Writer/Producer Mira Nair was born in India and educated at Delhi University and at Harvard. She began her film career as an actor and then turned to directing award-winning documentaries, including So Far From India and India Cabaret. Her debut feature film, Salaam ...

29. Rituparno Ghosh

Writer | Raincoat

Rituparno Ghosh is a Bengali film director. He has won 12 National Film Awards in India and several awards at international film festivals abroad. He began directing in advertising. In 1992, he made a low-key film debut with a children's feature titled Hirer Angti (The Diamond Ring). His second ...

30. S.S. Rajamouli

Writer | Bãhubali: The Beginning

S.S. Rajamouli was born on October 10, 1973 in Manvi, Karnataka, India as Koduri Srisaila Sri Rajamouli. He is a writer and producer, known for Baahubali: The Beginning (2015), Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017) and Eega (2012).

31. Anurag Kashyap

Producer | Gangs of Wasseypur

Anurag Singh Kashyap (born 10 September 1972) is an Indian film director, producer and screenwriter. Kashyap made his directorial debut with as yet unreleased Paanch, with Kay Kay Menon as the lead. As a filmmaker, he is known for Black Friday (2004), a controversial and award-winning Hindi film ...

32. Mysskin

Writer | Anjathe

Mysskin is an Indian film director and screenwriter. He made his directorial debut in 2006 with Chithiram Pesuthadi. His other directorials Anjathe and Nandalala received high critical acclaim. He has also proved his acting skills by starring as a mentally challenged person in Nandalala.

Mysskin ...

33. Rajkumar Hirani

Writer | PK

Rajkumar Hirani is an Indian film director and editor. Hirani has directed five Hindi films, including Munna Bhai M.B.B.S., Lage Raho Munnabhai, 3 Idiots, PK and Sanju, and all of which have been commercial and critical successes. Most of which have won several awards, including the national awards...

34. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

Producer | Rang De Basanti

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is a director, writer and producer who established Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Pictures (Romp) in India. Romp has cultivated in them an attitude to pioneer the way for the new wave and new age cinema from India, by identifying talent (writers & directors) from India and telling ...

35. Karan Johar

Writer | Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

A close friend of Shahrukh Khan, he assisted Yash Chopra's Yash Raj Films during the early days of of his career, making his directorial debut with the mega-hit Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998). He also had a popular chat show named Koffee with Karan (2004) The success of "KKHH" made him one of the most ...

36. Vetrimaaran

Writer | Visaaranai

Vetrimaaran is a writer and director, known for Visaaranai (2015), Aadukalam (2011) and Vada Chennai (2018).

37. Zoya Akhtar

Writer | Gully Boy

Zoya Akhtar hails from one of the most talented film families in the country. After completing a diploma in filmmaking from NYU, she assisted directors like Mira Nair, Tony Gerber, and Dev Benegal, before turning Writer-Director in her own right.

She has directed movies like the critically acclaimed ...

38. Ram

Director | Peranbu

Ram is a director and writer, known for Peranbu (2018), Thanga Meengal (2013) and Taramani (2017).

39. K. Selvaraghavan

Director | Ayirathil Oruvan

K. Selvaraghavan was born on March 5, 1975 in Madras, Tamil Nadu, India. He is a director and writer, known for Ayirathil Oruvan (2010), Mayakkam Enna (2011) and Kaadhal Konden (2003). He has been married to Gitanjali since 2011. He was previously married to Sonia Agarwal.

40. Imtiaz Ali

Writer | Jab We Met

Imtiaz Ali is an Indian film director, actor and writer. In 2005, he made his directorial debut with the film Socha Na Tha. However, it was his second film Jab We Met (2007) that brought him success and fame. His 2009 film Love Aaj Kal gained much critical success, and was declared a super hit at ...

41. Neeraj Pandey

Writer | A Wednesday

Neeraj Pandey (born 17 December 1973) is an acclaimed Indian film director, producer and screenwriter. In his first movie A Wednesday, his work was largely praised by audiences as well as the critics. A Wednesday also won many awards in different categories. His second film Special 26 (2013) was ...

42. Lijo Jose Pellissery

Director | Ee. Ma. Yau

Lijo Jose Pellissery is a director and actor, known for R.I.P. (2018), Jallikattu (2019) and Double Barrel (2015).

43. Gautham Vasudev Menon

Director | Vaaranam Aayiram

Gautham Vasudev Menon (born 25 February 1973), also known as GVM, is an Indian film director, screenwriter and producer who predominantly works in Tamil cinema. He has also directed Telugu and Hindi films, which are remakes of his own Tamil films. Many of his films have been critically acclaimed, ...

44. Jeethu Joseph

Writer | Drishyam

Jeethu Joseph is an Indian film director, screenwriter, and producer who predominantly works in Malayalam cinema. He has also worked in a few Tamil and Bollywood films. Jeethu made his directional debut with the 2007 police procedural film Detective and later went on to direct five successful films...

45. Karthik Subbaraj

Director | Pizza

Karthik Subbaraj is an Indian film director. He started his career working as a software engineer in Bangalore working for Infosys. During this period he got interested in film making. He learnt the basics of film making, during a one-day workshop run by Sanjay Nambiar. He made a short film "...

46. Anubhav Sinha

Director | Article 15

Anubhav Sinha was born on June 22, 1965 in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. He is a director and writer, known for Article 15 (2019), Mulk (2018) and Thappad (2020).

47. Dileesh Pothan

Actor | Maheshinte Prathikaaram

Dileesh Pothan is an actor and assistant director, known for Maheshinte Prathikaaram (2016), Thondi Muthalum Driksakshiyum (2017) and Joji (2021).

48. Anjali Menon

Writer | Bangalore Days

Anjali Menon is an Indian film director and screenwriter. Born in Calicut, Kerala, Anjali grew up in Dubai. She did her high school education in Calicut and graduated with a degree in commerce from Providence Women's College, Calicut. She did post-graduation work in communication studies, ...

49. Pa. Ranjith

Director | Madras

Pa. Ranjith is an exciting prospect in the new age of Tamil film directors. His debut film was a cult romantic comedy film Attakathi, which had positive reviews and his next film was Madras (2014), which showcased the life of North Madras people and their daily life. It was a blockbuster. The neat ...

51. Lokesh Kanagaraj

Director | Master

Lokesh Kanagaraj is a director and writer, known for Master (2021), Kaithi (2019) and Maanagaram (2017).



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