8 Indian Female Directors Who Dealt With Bold Themes In Their Movies

Deepa Mehta

Indian film industry still has men at the top and does not encourage female competitors. Despite of all the gender bias and taboos in the industry, there are astounding women film makers who has directed some of the bravest films ever made in Indian cinema. Kamasutra, Fire, Rudaali, Mr and Mrs Iyer etc are few films that broke all conventional beliefs that surrounded gender roles, sexual orientation and romance.

Here are 8 Indian Female Directors Who Dealt With Bold Themes In Their Movies :

1) Mira Nair

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Mira Nair

Mira Nair started off her career by directing the film Jama Street Masjid Journal in 1979 and became popular with her fifth directorial Salaam Bombay. The director who is garnered with various international and National Awards was the talk of the town when she released Kamasutra- A Tale Of love in 1996, for explicitly showing sex and nudity on screen. Mira Nair’s Best works include Salaam Bombay, Kamasutra, The Monsoon Wedding, Mississippi Masala and The Namesake.

2) Deepa Mehta

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Deepa Mehta

Deepa Mehta is known for her Elements TrilogyFire, Water and Earth. The director dealt with the theme of homosexuality in her film Fire, which was released in 1996. The film was released at a time when homosexuality was a taboo and received a lot of criticisms for explicitly showing intimate scenes of two women- Nandita Das and Shabana Azmi.

3) Aparna Sen

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Aparna Sen

The five time National Award Winning Bengali director Aparna Sen is the maker of Mr and Mrs Iyer, one of the classic movies in Indian cinema. The film starring Kongona Sen Sharma and Rahul Bose portrays the special bond that develops between two strangers during a journey. The film also deals with themes of communal riots and infidelity. Some of her popular films are The Jewelry Box, The Japanese Wife and 36 Chowringhee Lane.

4) Geetu Mohandas

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Geetu Mohandas

Actor cum director Geetu Mohandas is the maker of Liar’s Dice, which was India’s official entry for The Oscars in 2015. Geetu makes no compromises when it comes to her films and has won National Awards twice in her film journey. Her latest Malayalam film ‘Moothon’, is all set to release in 2018.

5) Kalpana Lajmi

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Kalpana Lajmi

Kalpana Lajmi is popular for her film Rudaali, which was an adaptation of Mahashwetha Devi’s classic novel. The film that portrayed the tragic life of a woman who ends up as a ‘Rudaali’, also narrates her bravery and unwillingness to give up in life despite losing everyone who were dear to her. Two of her actresses bagged the National Film Awards under her directorial hand.

6) Nandita Das

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Nandita Das

Nandita Das is popular as an actress who has bagged several National and State Awards. The extremely talented director has also directed movies that has traveled across borders. Her film Firaaq, which was made in Hindi, Urdu and Gujarati deals with hate, violence and deep rooted issues. The film released in 2008 starring Naseeruddin Shah and Tisca Chopra was critically acclaimed all over the world.

7) Revathi

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Revathi has won National Award thrice in various categories and two among those three, were for her directorial ventures Mitr, My Friend and Red Building Where The Sun Sets. Mitr dealt with a typical Indian house wive’s monotonous life and portrays the story of a woman who found her identity and meaning of life through a friend whom she met online. 

8) Gauri Shinde

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Gauri Shinde


Gauri Shinde has directed two Hindi films till date and both have won the hearts of family as well as young audience. Her first film English Vinglish marked the second coming of actress Sridevi. Both her films had female protagonists who goes through a transformation, only to find better meaning and peace in their life.