In an industry that has been dominated by men both in front of and behind the camera from decades, women have steadily been making an impact with their achievements in filmmaking recently. Over the last few years, mainstream Hindi cinema has witnessed a slew of films directed by women – Alankrita Shrivastava (Lipstick Under My Burkha), Gauri Shinde (English Vinglish), Anusha Rizvi (Peepli Live), and Konkona Sen Sharma (A Death in the Gunj) – that have achieved commercial success and received critical acclaim. In Hollywood, too, Greta Gerwig and Patty Jenkins raised the bar for filmmaking with Lady Bird and Wonder Woman, respectively. #DSSCRecommends the following upcoming Hindi films by female directors in 2018-19 that come close on the heels of their previous hits. So go ahead and mark your calendars!
Meghna Gulzar | Raazi
After her critically acclaimed take on the Arushi Talwar murder case, Talvar (2015), Meghna Gulzar returns behind the camera with the espionage thriller Raazi, an adaptation of Harinder Sikka’s novel, Calling Sehmat. Co-produced by Karan Johar, the film stars Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal in lead roles, and is set against the backdrop of the 1971 India-Pakistan War, in which Bhatt plays Sehmat, a Kashmiri spy married to Iqbal (Kaushal), a Pakistani military officer. The film, Gulzar’s fifth directorial venture, is set to release on May 11, 2018.
Nandita Das | Manto
With the independence of India as its historical setting, Nandita Das’s second feature film explores the life of Indian-Pakistani writer, Saadat Hasan Manto. The film stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the titular role, Rasika Duggal as his wife Safiya, Rajshree Deshpande as the Urdu author and screenwriter Ismat Chugtai, and Tahir Raj Bhasin as the actor Shyam. Manto will also feature Rishi Kapoor and Paresh Rawal in crucial roles. Das also wrote and directed a short film, titled In Defence of Freedom, as a prelude to Manto. The video, uploaded on YouTube in March 2017, features Siddiqui addressing a classroom full of students on his idea of freedom of expression.
Reema Kagti | Gold
Another period drama on this list is Reema Kagti’s third outing as a director, after Talaash and Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. Produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani, and starring Akshay Kumar, the film blends fiction with the true events surrounding the backdrop of India winning its first Olympic Gold Medal in hockey in the 1948 Summer Olympics. It also features Kunal Kapoor as the legendary hockey player, Dhyan Chand. The film is expected to hit theatres on August 15, 2018.
Zoya Akhtar | Gully Boy
Zoya Akhtar returns with her second collaboration with Ranveer Singh after Dil Dhadakne Do. Also starring Alia Bhatt and Kalki Koechlin, the film focuses on the street rappers of Mumbai, Divine and Naezy. To enrich this musical that dwells on the struggles, hopes, ambitions and emotional journeys of these characters from Dharavi, the score has been composed by Rishi Rich and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, and Ranveer Singh will be seen rapping in his role. The film will be released on February 14, 2019.
Here’s to hoping for more from these wonder women. See you at the movies!