Raising The Bar: Zoya Akhtar to Gauri Shinde, meet famous women creators on International Women’s Day

Women’s Day 2023: Whether you’re a long-time fan or just discovering these women creators for the first time, prepare to be inspired, entertained, and moved by their incredible work.

Zoya Akhtar, Archies, gauri Shinde, Alankrita Shrivastava, best directors, best filmmakers, women's day, women entrepreneurs, bollywood
Meet the best filmmakers we have in Bollywood

With International Women’s Day around the corner, it’s time to focus our attention on the exceptional female creators who are challenging norms, demolishing obstacles, and expressing themselves with courage and conviction. From writers to filmmakers, these creators are using their creativity to change the world and inspire others. Each of them brings something unique to the table, whether it’s their boldness, their vulnerability, or their raw talent. With each brilliant script, they are breaking stereotypes and creating new paths. So, this Women’s Day (March 8), let’s lift their voices and support their art. Whether you’re a long-time fan or just discovering these women creators for the first time, prepare to be inspired, entertained, and moved by their incredible work.

Zoya Akhtar

Zoya Akhtar’s contributions to women-centric roles in cinema are truly commendable, and she has been a director and writer to watch out for since her debut film, Luck By Chance. With each subsequent release, she has presented stories that captivate audiences and characters that unravel in intriguing ways. From Safeena to Ayesha, Laila, and Farah, all the female characters in her films have been strong, independent, and inspiring for women in the real world. Akhtar has a unique ability to infuse her characters with a sense of ownership and agency, empowering them to fight for their rights and embrace a never-give-up attitude. This marks a significant departure from the female characters written by male writers earlier, who often lacked this strength and resilience.

Priyanka Rao

The story of a humble girl hailing from Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, who had dedicated over three years of her life to the education sector, is an inspiring one. Seeking to broaden her horizons, she decided to pursue a Ph.D., and it was around this time that a friend who happened to be an author for Pocket FM, suggested she explore her writing talents. Intrigued by the idea, she took a leap of faith and left her job in October 2022 to become a full-time writer for Pocket FM. With a natural inclination towards the romance genre, she has since penned two highly successful shows, namely “Andhadhun Ishq” and “The Return.”

Gauri Shinde

Gauri Shinde began her career in advertising, but later forayed into writing and filmmaking and became a cinematic force to reckon with. She made a remarkable impact in cinema with just two movies, namely English Vinglish and Dear Zindagi. Her narratives were characterized by a distinct viewpoint and authentic storytelling that resonated with audiences. Shinde successfully highlighted characters and themes that had been overlooked by mainstream Bollywood films. Despite outstanding performances by the cast in both movies, the story remained the true star of the show.

Nandita Das

Nandita Das, a renowned figure in contemporary Indian cinema, has transitioned from an accomplished actor with more than 40 film credits in ten different languages to a successful director. Her directorial debut, Firaaq, was released in 2008. In 2018, her film Manto, featuring the talented Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the writer and playwright Saadat Hasan Manto, was screened at the Cannes Film Festival. Das has twice served on the Cannes jury and is the first Indian to be inducted into the International Hall of Fame of the International Women’s Forum. Her forthcoming movie features comedian Kapil Sharma in the role of a food delivery executive.

Mandakini Dwivedi

Mandakini is a promising young writer who hails from the town of Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh. After commencing her career as a teacher and counselor with a government organization, fate had a different plan in store for her when the pandemic struck. It was during this challenging period that Mandakini discovered a contest on Pocket FM and decided to take a shot at it. Her exceptional writing skills impressed everyone, and she was offered a writer’s position at Pocket FM, where she has been creating captivating content for over 1.5 years now. Mandakini’s writing talents shine in the genres of thrillers and dramas, and she has garnered a loyal following with two popular shows in those categories which include the highly successful audio series ‘Amrapali’

Anvita Dutt

Despite being more renowned as a lyricist and dialogue writer, Anvita Dutt’s films were anything but conventional. Shaandaar and Phillauri and Queen were unique and refreshing love stories that stood out in an industry that produces countless romantic films. Even today, Queen remains one of the most impactful and memorable films in Indian cinema, particularly for its strong female perspective, and is considered a turning point in Indian cinema for its female-led storyline. Anvita’s ability to craft narratives that differ from the norm showcases her prowess as a storyteller.

Alankrita Shrivastava

Alankrita Shrivastava, one of the many talented Indian women filmmakers and screenwriters, has made impressive strides in her career in a relatively short amount of time. Despite her directorial debut Turning 30 not making waves at the box office, Alankrita certainly knocked it out of the park with her film, Lipstick Under My Burkha. She has demonstrated her talent with a range of successful projects, including Made In Heaven, Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare, Bombay Begums, and Modern Love: Mumbai, among others. What sets these films and shows apart is the exceptional portrayal of women characters who are career-driven, sexually liberated, and fiercely independent. As a writer, she showcased her exceptional talent by expertly interweaving a range of diverse stories with a central theme of gender-based limitations on self-expression. The result was a masterfully crafted story that highlighted her excellence as a storyteller.

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First published on: 05-03-2023 at 10:00 IST
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