Diffr Blog

Top 10 Directors in India

Top 10 Directors in India
Creative Job Platform Find Jobs
Download diffr app
Diffr Logo
Creative Job Platform - Find Jobs
Follow Us On

Indian film has made significant progress in 2023 when compared to previous years. From RRR winning an Oscar to two women proving that there are no limits to dreams, young directors making the most violent films and controversies, and senior-most directors and actors making a strong comeback to the big screen, 2023 has been a successful year. 

Related : Top 10 Richest Actor In India : Updated List

In this blog, we are going to talk about 10 such directors who did well in Indian cinema and kept you entertained. 

1. S.S. Rajamouli

SS-Rajamouli - Top 10 Directors in India
Source : bollywoodprime.net

His action blockbuster “Baahubali: The Beginning” became the highest-grossing Indian film in history and the second-most-grossing Indian film to date in India. The digitally shot picture won multiple awards and received praise from critics both domestically and abroad. 

His most recent film, “RRR”, has eclipsed the box office milestones set with “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion”. The plot revolves around the lives of two Indian rebels, Alluri Sitaram Raju and Komaram Bheem. NTR Jr, Alia Bhatt, Ram Charan, and Ajay Devgn star in the Rs. 400 crore film. 

Rajamouli has received numerous accolades, including three National Film Awards, four Filmfare Awards South, and five state Nandi Awards. Baahubali: The Beginning also made history by becoming the first Telugu film to win Best Feature Film at the 63rd National Film Awards. His RRR has also created history by becoming the first Indian feature film to win an Oscar. The film’s ‘Naatu Naatu’ soundtrack by MM Keeravani was awarded the Best Original Song Award at the 95th Academy Awards. 

Read More : Filmmaking techniques

2. Anurag Kashyap

anurag-kashyap Top 10 Directors in India
Source : indiatoday.in

After penning a television serial, Kashyap received his big break as a co-writer in Ram Gopal Varma’s murder thriller Satya (1998) and made his debut film as a director. The film was Paanch, but unfortunately got hold in the cinemas because of censorship concerns, but eventually got released in the year 2007 which got positive reviews. 

He had major hits, including a short film- Mumbai Cutting, a film called That Girl in Yellow Boots (2011) and the box office hit movie series “Gangs of Wasseypur” in the year 2012, a crime film. Other films and series during the period 2013-2020 were The Lunchbox, Lootera, Ugly, NH10, Raman Raghav, Mukkabaaz, Sacred Games, Choked, and many others, and these were produced or directed in which Kashyap played a significant role and some of them were produced from different production houses which Kashyap eventually co-founded. 

3. Karan Johar

Director in india
Source : internet

Informally known as KJo in the Hindi film industry was born initially as Rahul Kumar Johar on the 25th of May, 1972, Karan Johar is an Indian filmmaker, director, and TV personality who predominantly works in Hindi movies. Through Dharma Productions, he has established the careers of several accomplished actors and performers. In addition to receiving multiple National Film Awards and Filmfare Awards, Karan was also bestowed with the fourth-highest civilian accolade in India—the “Padma Shri”—by the Indian government in 2020. 

With the release of his smash successful film “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” in 1998, Karan made his directorial debut and was awarded the National Film Award for Best Popular Film for entertaining as well as the Filmfare Award for Best Director and Best Screenplay. 

He received his 2nd Filmfare Award for Best Director for the social drama movie “My Name Is Khan” in the year 2010.  

4. Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Sanjay_Leela_Bhansali - Top 10 Directors in India
Source : en.wikipedia.org

One of Bollywood’s most renowned filmmakers is Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Being the most sought-after director in Bollywood, Bhansali has collaborated with the biggest names in the industry. He began his career working as Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s assistant director.  

Bhansali started as Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s assistant, helping with the production of Kareeb and Parinda, 1942: A Love Story. Following his outstanding “Khamoshi: The Musical” debut, he went on to make some great films, including Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas, Black, and Guzaarish. Even if Guzaarish was influenced by “The Sea Inside” in Spanish, it is still one of his greatest pieces. 

5. Rajkumar Hirani

Top 10 Directors in India
Source :wikipedia.org

Hirani made his debut as a director and gave Bollywood industry a gem “Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.”, a comedy movie in the year 2003, with an outstanding star cast of Sanjay Dutt, Boman Irani, Jimmy Sheirgill, Gracy Singh, Sunil Dutt, and Arshad Warsi. It was about the nominal protagonist (acted by Sanjay Dutt), a goon heading to a medical school who is supported by his buddy (Circuit, acted by Warsi). 

Hirani’s second directorial endeavour was 3 Idiots (2009), again a comedy film yet a whole different thought and experience with the stars Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi, R. Madhavan, Boman Irani, and Kareena Kapoor Khan. He later directed the movie Sanju released in the year 2018. The film depicts the life of Bollywood actor/star Sanjay Dutt (one of Hirani’s fairly close collaborators). Upon release, it primarily garnered excellent reviews from reviewers and was appreciated for Ranbir Kapoor’s work; others condemned its image-cleansing of its main character.  

6. Imtiaz Ali

Source : facebook

As a Director, Imtiaz forayed into the film industry with the romantic drama Socha Na Tha, starring then-debutants Abhay Deol and Ayesha Takia. In 2007, he directed the Kareena Kapoor Khan and Shahid Kapoor starrer Jab We Met. For Jab We Met, Imtiaz received a Filmfare nomination for Best Director. He next helmed another romantic comedy drama Love Aaj Kal. Starring Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone in lead roles and Rishi Kapoor in a supporting role, the movie established Imtiaz Ali as the Yash Chopra of contemporary cinema.

In 2011, Imtiaz Ali directed the romance drama Rockstar. The film, starring Ranbir Kapoor and Nargis Fakhri, was particularly appreciated for its magnificent music, composed by A.R. Rahman. Rockstar garnered mixed to good reviews, and Imtiaz was nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Director. He then directed Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda in the drama flick Highway. Alia Bhatt received glowing accolades for her compassionate and sincere performance as Veera, receiving the Best Actress (Critics Choice) Award at the Filmfare Awards.

Imtiaz’s next directorial endeavor, Tamasha, starring ex-flames Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor, garnered mixed to positive reviews at the box office, with some critics entirely dismissing the picture. 

In 2017, he directed Jab Harry Met Sejal, starring Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma, and Evelyn Sharma.

7. Maneesh Sharma

Source : rottentomatoes.com

Hailing from Delhi, Maneesh Sharma is an Indian film director, screenwriter, and producer, working in the Hindi film industry. He is known for his directorial prowess in Bollywood films such as Band Baja Baraat and Ladies Vs Ricky Behl.

He worked as an assistant director for popular Hindi films under the Yash Raj Films banner such as Fanaa, Ajaa Nachale, and Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, after which Maneesh made his directorial debut in the 2010 feature film Band Baja Baraat, for which he won an award for Best Debut Director. He has also directed films like Shuddh Desi Romance and Fan.

Sharma is also a film producer, known for the feature film Dum Laga Ke Haisha, which won the award for Best Feature Film in the Hindi language. He has also produced films like Meri Pyaari Bindu, Hichki and Sui Dhaga – Made in India.

8. Siddharth Anand

Sid_Anand_on_set - Top 10 Directors in India
Source : wikipedia.org

Siddharth Anand made his directorial debut with Yash Raj Films` romantic comedy-drama Salaam Namaste (2005), starring Saif Ali Khan and Preity Zinta in lead roles. 

He next wrote and directed the sports family drama Ta Ra Rum Pum (2007). The film opened to mixed reviews from critics but emerged as a moderate commercial success. He also directed the romantic comedy Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008), starring Ranbir Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Deepika Padukone, and Minissha Lamba in lead roles. 

Anand made his directorial debut in 2014 with the action-comedy Bang Bang, which starred Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif.

He followed Bang Bang with the action film War (2019), which was part of the YRF Spy Universe and the first film to be shot in the Arctic Circle. It became the highest-grossing Indian picture of the year and the 17th highest-grossing Indian film in history. After receiving great feedback from War, Anand decided to turn the film into a franchise, which prompted Aditya Chopra and Anand to start constructing the YRF Spy Universe. Anand has previously developed two projects and plans to build one more, Tiger vs Pathaan. 

His seventh film was the action-thriller Pathaan (2023), starring Shah Rukh Khan, Padukone and John Abraham in lead roles, and also a part of the same universe. 

He then directed the aerial action film Fighter (2024), which served as the first film in a planned aerial action franchise. Anand forayed into production with Fighter (2024) and founded Marflix, a production house dedicated to action films in India.

9. Atlee Kumar

Atlee Kumar- Top 10 Directors in India
Source :instagram.com/atlee47

In 2013, Atlee made his directorial debut with Raja Rani, a romantic drama film starring Arya and Nayanthara. The film went on to be a tremendous critical and economic success, earning Atlee the Vijay Award for Best Debut Director. His next film, Theri (2016), was an action family drama starring Vijay, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, and Amy Jackson. Theri was a huge hit, grossing over 250 crore INR at the international box office. The film was also dubbed into Telugu and released under the title Police.

After establishing his own production company, A for Apple Productions, Atlee worked with Fox Star Studios to make the horror comedy picture Sangili Bungili Kadhava Thorae (2017). Bigil is included on his 2019 release. He then made the eerie horror-thriller Andhaghaaram (2020). He then wrote and directed Shah Rukh Khan’s Jawan (2023).

10. Sandeep Reddy Vanga

Sandeep Reddy Vanga -
Source :wikipedia.org

Sandeep Reddy Vanga is an Indian director who made his feature debut in 2017 with the Telugu film Arjun Reddy, which starred Shalini Pandey and Vijay Devarakonda. Sandeep created the short film It Isn’t Goodbye in 2008. His 2019 release includes a Bollywood version of Arjun Reddy, dubbed Kabir Singh, which stars Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani. Cine1 Studios and T-Series co-produced the film. He then directed Ranbir Kapoor’s Animal (2023) and its sequel, Animal Park (2024).

Many Indian film fans can’t stop gushing over Tarantino and Speilberg. And, while the West has many wonderful things to offer, one cannot ignore the works of Indian directors entirely; in fact, one must not, because we have had so many excellent filmmakers grace our screens with their expertise and talent. Whether it’s Anurag Kashyap or Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Indian cinema has as much to offer as Western cinema.

Share This Post

You Might be Interested