Top 10 Bollywood Directors Working Today.
Bollywood has finally come of age. The epicenter of cinema in India has, for decades been stagnated by larger-than-life storylines, over-the-top performances, and exotic song and dance sequences. For long people thought that all you need to know for becoming a Bollywood actor was to sing and dance. Yes, the early years, up until the 50s, gave us some extraordinary filmmakers and great movies, but the years since have been a slog. So while the mass popularity and financial wealth of Bollywood grew exponentially, regional Indian cinema left Bollywood far behind in the quality of film-making.
But over the last ten years or so, a new generation of filmmakers have made their mark, bringing out stories never told before; making Bollywood truly international, while never losing the Indian Masala. Mainstream cinema became more nuanced and matured, while the parallel cinema movement, which was all but dead, was revived and rejuvenated.
No list is truly perfect, and no list can fully satisfy everyone. We, at the Cinephiles, do not claim to hold the last word on cinema. Every movie is a personal experience; this list is just a compilation of our favorite directors. You may not agree with this list, maybe your favorite director is missing from our list, but we sure can vouch for the fact that each of the below-mentioned filmmakers has enriched the craft of film-making, and left his/her mark on the annals of history. So, without further ado, here goes:
10. Ashutosh Gowariker
The man who took modern Indian cinema internationally, Gowariker makes deeply Indian movies, which helps viewers to connect emotionally. With cult classics like ‘Lagaan: Once upon a time in India’ and ‘Swades: We, The People.
An actor who took to film direction after almost a decade in front of the camera, Ashutosh has also acted in Hindi films, Marathi films, television serials, and commercials. 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.
9. Rajiv Ravi
While Bollywood knows Rajeev Ravi as the cinematographer of Anurag Kashyap’s films, including Gangs of Wasseypur 1 and 2, Dev D and That Girl in Yellow Boots (2010), he has in fact developed a distinctive voice as a director of films in the Malayalam language. These include Annayum Rasoolum (2013), the atmospherically shot Romeo-Juliet tragedy set in the seaside town of Kochi. He followed it up with Njan Steve Lopez (2014), about an innocent teenager who unwittingly gets caught up in crime.
Ravi is also part of a technicians’ group called Collective Phase One, which produces arthouse cinema. Their first film was Kamal K.M.’s I.D. (2012).
8. Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Bhansali has tapped into the Indian fetish for melodrama and grandiose far deeper than other filmmakers. from his debut with ‘Khamoshi’ to his recent ‘Bajirao Mastani’, Bhansali has managed to successfully interweave great romantic storytelling with grand designs and technical finesse.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali is among the most celebrated Film Makers of Bollywood. Having worked with the biggest stars of the Indian Film Industry, Bhansali is the most sought-for director of Bollywood. He started his career as an assistant director to Vidhu Vinod Chopra.
7. S.S. Rajamouli
Koduri Srisaila Sri Rajamouli, professionally known as S. S. Rajamouli, is an Indian film director and screenwriter who works in Telugu cinema.
He worked as an assistant to K. Raghavendra Rao (Legend of Telugu cinema).
His trademark is to Combine historical conflict based on Medieval India with some fantasy legend. Usually, the main characters are introduced with some powerful skill like in Baahubali: The Beginning (2015) and Magadheera (2009). Often using CGI to perform some stunning scene like fighting sequence or beautiful views.
6. S. Shankar
Shankar Shanmugam, a.k.a. S. Shankar or his mononym Shankar, is an Indian filmmaker who works in Tamil cinema. He made his debut as a director in the film Gentleman, for which he won the Filmfare Best Director Award and the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Director.
He made his debut in Gentleman (1993) and since 2015 he has directed 12 movies. He won the CNN-IBN Indian of the Year 2010, in the Entertainment category.
He also directed quality Sci-fi Bollywood movies like I, and ROBOT.
5. Rohit Shetty
Rohit Shetty was born on March 14, 1974, in Bombay, Maharashtra, India. His most notable works are Chennai Express, Golmaal, and Singham. He has been married to Maya Rohit Shetty since May 27, 2005.
Son of the legendary Fight Composer/actor Late Shetty. Started his career at the age of 15 as an assistant director with Kuku Kohli on the film Phool Aur Kaante starring Ajay Devgan and directed his first feature film Zameen as an Independent Director with Devgan in 2003 at the age of 29.
There are lots of action sequences in his movies. He has a penchant for blowing up cars and making lots of jokes and sequels.
He is currently trying to create a cinematic Cop-verse in Bollywood.
4. Vishal Bhardwaj
We are thankful of Polish auteur Krzysztof Kieslowski’s ‘Decalogue’, which inspired Bhardwaj to take up filmmaking.
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 well as the internationally acclaimed Shakespeare Trilogy – Maqbool, Omkara, and Haider (adapted from Macbeth, Othello, and Hamlet, respectively). Prominent films written and produced by him are Ishqiya, Dedh Ishqiya, and Talvar (based on the Noida double murder case).
3. Rajkumar Hirani
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. Among his awards, include 11 Filmfare Awards. He is the founder and owns the production house Rajkumar Hirani Films.
He is considered as one of the best directors of 21st century. He is a good friend of Sanjay Dutt. All of his directorial are critical and commercial successes. Approached Vidhu Vinod Chopra to produce his film “Sanju”.
His movies have poignant scenes blended with a lot of comic relief
His movies like Lage Raho Munnabhai had a strong cultural impact in India, popularising Gandhism. Even his both Aamir Khan starer movies have been raising issues like flaws in our study system & over-dependence of humans on God.
2. Imtiaz Ali
The only reason this bollywood director is higher than Hirani in this list is because of the movie Rockstar. The epic movie Rockstar is a modern classic.
He is the renaissance man of Indian romance, Imtiaz Ali throughout his career has successfully managed to bring unbridled realism and authenticity back to romantic cinema while tackling unconventional stories.
His other Notable works are Jab We Met, Highway, and one of our personal favorite Tamasha.
Anurag Kashyap is the king of indie Indian cinema, with a cult following in India and on international festival juries abroad. He is a restlessly prolific filmmaker, directing, producing, writing and acting in a range of films, including Hindi and Tamil titles and international co-productions, and backing a raft of new voices. Many of his films stylishly anatomise the darker reaches of the human psyche, and he has a taste for brutal violence.
He is hugely inspired by Quentin Tarantino. He oftens tries to mimic Tarantino’s style of movies with his own voice. The best part is he does it so damn well.
The ultimate rebel of Indian cinema, Anurag Kashyap has been the catalyst which proved instrumental in ushering in a new generation of bold and unflinchingly honest filmmakers. Right from his first feature ‘Black Friday’ (his actual debut as a director was in ‘Paanch’, which is still unreleased), Kashyap has brought forth an uncanny freshness to Bollywood.
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Hope you guys will cherish and enjoy the list and comment your favourite directors and movies.
Adios, fellow cinephiles.