Famous Indian Directors

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Find out more about the greatest Indian Directors, including Sooraj Barjatya, Aditya Chopra, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Rohit Shetty and Ram Gopal Varma
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 1 
Satyajit Ray
(Indian filmmaker)
Satyajit Ray
6
Birthdate: May 2, 1921
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Died: April 23, 1992

Satyajit Ray was an Indian film director, music composer, and writer. Considered one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, Ray became the first Indian to be honored with an Academy Honorary Award in 1992. Apart from Indian filmmakers, international directors like Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Francis Ford Coppola, Wes Anderson, and Christopher Nolan have been influenced by Satyajit Ray. 

 2 
S. S. Rajamouli
(Film director)
S. S. Rajamouli
9
Birthdate: October 10, 1973
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Raichur,Karnataka, India

S. S. Rajamouli is an Indian film director best known for his work in the Telugu film industry. Rajamouli is credited with directing one of the most successful and popular Indian films of all time, Baahubali. In 2016, S. S. Rajamouli was honored with the prestigious Padma Shri Award for his contribution to Indian cinema.

 3 
Farhan Akhtar
(Actor & Director)
Farhan Akhtar
7
Birthdate: January 9, 1974
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Born to legendary screenwriter and poet Javed Akhtar and actor and screenwriter Honey Irani, Farhan Akhtar was destined to be part of the film industry. His debut directorial venture Dil Chahta Hai won him a National Award, following which he delivered stunning performances in films such as Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.

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 4 
Raj Kapoor
(Actor Known for His Films, ‘Awaara’, ‘Boot Polish’ and Referred as 'The Greatest Showman of Indian Cinema')
Raj Kapoor
5
Birthdate: December 14, 1924
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Died: June 2, 1988

Raj Kapoor was an Indian film actor, producer, and director best remembered for his contribution to the Hindi film industry. The recipient of 11 Filmfare Awards and three National Film Awards, Raj Kapoor is regarded as one of the greatest Indian actors of all time. In 1987, he was honored with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India's highest honor in cinema.

 5 
Anurag Kashyap
(Film director, Film producer, Actor, Screenwriter, Film editor)
Anurag Kashyap
5
Birthdate: September 10, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India

Anurag Kashyap is an Indian filmmaker, writer, editor, and actor. Best known for his contribution to the Hindi film industry, Kashyap has been credited with directing critically acclaimed films like Raman Raghav 2.0 and Gangs of Wasseypur. He is also credited with co-founding Good Bad Films. Over the years, Anurag Kashyap has received several prestigious awards like Filmfare Awards.

 6 
Kader Khan
(Former actor who appeared in over 300 Bollywood films, prolific screenwriter for Bollywood films in the period 1970s to 1999 and wrote dialogues for 200 films)
Kader Khan
5
Birthdate: October 22, 1937
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Pishin, Pakistan
Died: December 31, 2018

Kader Khan was an Indian actor, comedian, screenwriter, and film director. After starting his career as a professor of civil engineering, Kader Khan went on to become a prolific screenwriter for Hindi movies and ended up writing dialogues for 200 movies as well. In 2019, he was honored posthumously with the Padma Shri.

 7 
Ekta Kapoor
(Producer)
Ekta Kapoor
5
Birthdate: June 7, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: India

The daughter of yesteryear actor Jeetendra, Ekta Kapoor has revolutionized the Hindi tele-serial scene with her daily soaps. Known for her fascination with the letter “K”, the Padma Shri-winning Balaji Telefilms founder has produced iconic soaps such as Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and films such as Ragini MMS.

 8 
Pooja Bhatt
(Daughter of acclaimed Bollywood director Mahesh Bhatt and star of several popular Bollywood films)
Pooja Bhatt
3
Birthdate: February 24, 1972
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bombay, Maharashtra, India
 9 
Mani Ratnam
(Film producer, Film director, Actor, Screenwriter)
Mani Ratnam
6
Birthdate: June 2, 1956
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India

Six-time National Award-winning Indian director Mani Ratnam was born to a film distributor father and left his consulting job to enter films in his younger days. Known for iconic films such as Roja, Bombay, and Guru, he specializes in topics related to socio-political issues and terrorism. He has also won a Padma Shri.

 10 
Kamal Haasan
(Actor, Director & Producer, Who Primarily Works in Tamil Cinema)
Kamal Haasan
4
Birthdate: November 7, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paramakudi, Tamil Nadu, India

Kamal Haasan is an Indian film actor, director, producer, screenwriter, dancer, lyricist, playback singer, politician, and humanitarian. With 19 Filmfare Awards and four National Film Awards under his belt, Haasan is widely regarded as one of the finest Indian actors of all time. Kamal Haasan is credited with influencing a generation of actors and introducing new technologies to Indian cinema.

 11 
Karan Johar
(Actor, Film director, Screenwriter, Film producer)
Karan Johar
6
Birthdate: May 25, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mumbai

Born to Dharma Productions founder and legendary filmmaker Yash Johar, Karan Johar initially worked as an assistant for Yash Raj Films. He soared to fame as a director with the film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and later also gained both popularity and criticism for his talk show Koffee with Karan.

 12 
Mahesh Bhatt
(Indian Film Director Best Known for His Films: 'Arth; 'Saaransh' and 'Daddy')
Mahesh Bhatt
6
Birthdate: September 20, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bombay, State of Bombay, India

Mahesh Bhatt is an Indian filmmaker and screenwriter best known for his contribution to the Hindi film industry. Widely regarded as one of the most popular film directors in India, Bhatt has received critical acclaim for many of his films like Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke and Tamanna. Mahesh Bhatt is also credited with mentoring many actors like Anupam Kher.

 13 
Sanjay Leela Bhansali
(Film director, Film producer, Music director, Television producer, Composer, Screenwriter)
Sanjay Leela Bhansali
4
Birthdate: February 24, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Known for epic romantic and historic drama films such as Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas, and Bajirao Mastani, Sanjay Leela Bhansali is an Indian director recognized for his signature opulent sets and star-studded cast. The five-time National Film Award winner also has a Padma Shri in his kitty.

 14 
Aamir Khan
(Actor)
Aamir Khan
0
Birthdate: March 14, 1965
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Considered one of India’s most influential and best actors of all time, Aamir Khan is known for his interesting choice of films, which are well-crafted, entertaining and commercially successful. They mostly have a social message and are appreciated both by critics and the people. Sarfarosh, Lagaan, Rang De Basanti, 3 Idiots, PK and Dangal are some of his acclaimed films.

 15 
N. T. Rama Rao
(Indian Actor, Filmmaker and Politician Who Served as the Chief Misnister of Andhra Pradesh)
N. T. Rama Rao
4
Birthdate: May 28, 1923
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nimmakuru, Andhra Pradesh, India
Died: January 18, 1996

N. T. Rama Rao was an Indian actor, director, editor, producer, and politician. One of the most celebrated and popular Telugu actors of all time, Rao is best remembered for playing Hindu deities like Krishna. He was also an influential politician; he served as Andhra Pradesh's chief minister for seven years.

 16 
Sunny Deol
(Actor who has won two National Film Awards and two Filmfare Awards)
Sunny Deol
3
Birthdate: October 19, 1956
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Punjab, India
 17 
Prithviraj Kapoor
(Actor Who Is Also Considered to Be One of the Founding Figures of Hindi Cinema)
Prithviraj Kapoor
4
Birthdate: November 3, 1906
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Samundri, Pakistan
Died: May 29, 1972

Padma Bhushan- and Dadasaheb Phalke Award-winning legendary actor and filmmaker Prithviraj Kapoor is known to be one of the pioneers of Hindi cinema. The patriarch of the Kapoor family of Bollywood, he also established Prithvi Theatres and later played the iconic role of Akbar in Mughal-e-Azam. He was also a Rajya Sabha MP.

 18 
Ram Gopal Varma
(Film director, Film producer, Screenwriter)
Ram Gopal Varma
3
Birthdate: April 7, 1962
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hyderabad
 19 
Rajkumar Hirani
(Film director, Screenwriter)
Rajkumar Hirani
4
Birthdate: November 20, 1962
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Nagpur, Maharashtra, India

Known for his cult films such as Munna Bhai M.B.B.S., 3 Idiots, and PK, Rajkumar Hirani showed a keen interest in theater and film editing in his early days. He also tried his luck in directing ad films and appeared in an iconic Fevicol ad. He has also won 11 Filmfare Awards.  

 20 
Rohit Shetty
(Director)
Rohit Shetty
3
Birthdate: March 14, 1973
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
 21 
Neena Gupta
(Indian Actress Best Known for Her Work in Both Art-House and Commercial Films)
Neena Gupta
3
Birthdate: June 4, 1959
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kolkatta, West bengal. India

National Award- and Filmfare-winning actor Neena Gupta is best known for films such as Badhaai Ho and Woh Chokri. She had played Priya Kapoor in Saans, a serial directed by her. She has also been in the news for her affair with West Indian cricketer Viv Richards, with whom she had a daughter.

 22 
Aditya Chopra
(Film director, Screenwriter, Film producer)
Aditya Chopra
4
Birthdate: May 21, 1971
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

The elder son of legendary Indian filmmaker Yash Chopra, Aditya Chopra is a talented filmmaker in his own right. Starting his career assisting his father in films such as Lamhe and Chandni, he soared to fame with the blockbuster hit Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge at 23 and later even won the National Award.

 23 
Dhanush
(Actor)
Dhanush
0
Birthdate: February 25, 1983
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
 24 
S. Shankar
(Director)
S. Shankar
0
Birthdate: August 17, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, India
 25 
Sajid Nadiadwala
(film producer)
Sajid Nadiadwala
4
Birthdate: March 18, 1966
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Born into a family of film producers and theater owners in Bombay, Bollywood producer and director Sajid Nadiadwala is the man behind films such as Judwaa, Housefull, and the National Award-winning Chhichhore. He made headlines in 1993, when his then-wife, actor Divya Bharti, fell from their fifth-floor apartment and died.

 26 
Gulzar
(Lyricist)
Gulzar
3
Birthdate: August 18, 1934
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dina, Punjab

Famed Indian lyricist, poet, author, screenwriter, and film director Gulzar has been a major figure in Bollywood for over six decades. He started doing odd jobs as a teenager and eventually entered films, where he made a name for himself as a lyricist and screenwriter. He soon started directing films as well. He is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards.

 27 
Pankaj Kapur
3
Birthdate: May 29, 1954
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ludhiana, Punjab, India
 28 
Jim Sarbh
(Actor)
Jim Sarbh
3
Birthdate: August 27, 1987
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
 29 
Priyadarshan
(Film director, Screenwriter, Film producer)
Priyadarshan
4
Birthdate: January 30, 1957
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Thiruvananthapuram

Though he initially aspired to be a cricketer, Priyadarshan quit cricket to focus on films after an eye injury. The Padma Shri- and National Award-winning filmmaker has delivered countless hits such as Virasat, Kanchivaram, Marakkar, and Hera Pheri. Many of his Malayalam films featured superstar Mohanlal. He has also penned cricket columns.

 30 
Shekhar Kapur
(Actor, Film director, Accountant, Blogger, Film producer, Model)
Shekhar Kapur
3
Birthdate: December 6, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lahore
 31 
Dadasaheb Phalke
(Father of Indian Cinema)
Dadasaheb Phalke
3
Birthdate: April 30, 1870
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tryambakeshwar, Bombay Presidency
Died: February 16, 1944
 32 
Yash Chopra
(Film director, Screenwriter, Film producer, Artist)
Yash Chopra
4
Birthdate: September 27, 1932
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lahore, Pakistan
Died: October 21, 2012

The man who revolutionized the Bollywood romantic film genre, Yash Chopra was a legendary filmmaker who gave Hindi cinema some of its most cult films, such as Kabhi Kabhie, Deewar, Darr, and Lamhe. The Padma Bhushan winner was also honored by the Swiss government for popularizing the country through his films.

 33 
Dev Anand
(One of the Most Successful Actors in the Indian Film Industry With a Career Spanning Over Six Decades)
Dev Anand
4
Birthdate: September 26, 1923
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Shakargarh, Punjab, India
Died: December 3, 2011

Padma Bhushan- and Dadasaheb Phalke Award-winning actor Dev Anand was known both for his blockbuster films and his Evergreen Hero persona. Apart from performing in successful films such as Guide and Jewel Thief, he also directed the hit Hare Rama Hare Krishna. He also co-established Navketan Films with his brother, Chetan Anand.

 34 
Konkona Sen Sharma
(One of the Leading Indian Actress of Contemporary Parallel Cinema)
Konkona Sen Sharma
3
Birthdate: December 3, 1979
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Calcutta, West Bengal, India

The daughter of legendary actor-director Aparna Sen, Konkona Sen Sharma is a two-time National Award-winning actor. She has impressed audiences with her performances in films such as Mr. and Mrs. Iyer and Wake Up Sid and has also delivered an award-winning directorial venture, A Death in the Gunj.

 35 
Puri Jagannadh
(Film director who directed the Telugu film Pokiri, premiered at the 7th IIFA Film Festival)
Puri Jagannadh
3
Birthdate: September 28, 1966
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Pithapuram, Andhra Pradesh, India
 36 
Ashutosh Gowariker
3
Birthdate: February 15, 1964
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India
 37 
Farah Khan
(Director)
Farah Khan
3
Birthdate: January 9, 1965
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mumbai

Farah Khan was not a stranger to films, being the daughter of a stuntman/filmmaker and a first cousin of actor/director Farhan Akhtar. Initially wanting to be a director, she focused on choreography later. The National Award- and Filmfare-winning choreographer is known for her work in films such as Dabangg and Koi... Mil Gaya.

 38 
Rakesh Roshan
(Producer)
Rakesh Roshan
3
Birthdate: September 6, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bombay, State of Bombay, India
 39 
Trivikram Srinivas
(writer, screenwriter, film director, lyricist, songwriter)
Trivikram Srinivas
3
Birthdate: November 7, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bhimavaram
 40 
Rajiv Kapoor
3
Birthdate: August 25, 1962
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bombay, Maharashtra, India
 41 
Arvind Swamy
(Actor, TV presenter television presenter known for his work in Tamil cinema)
Arvind Swamy
3
Birthdate: June 18, 1970
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chennai , Tamilnadu, India
 42 
Gautham Menon
(Film director, Screenwriter, Film producer)
Gautham Menon
3
Birthdate: February 25, 1973
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ottapalam
Karthik Subbaraj
3
Birthplace: Madurai
 44 
Vetrimaaran
(Film director)
Vetrimaaran
3
Birthdate: September 4, 1975
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cuddalore
 45 
Sohail Khan
3
Birthdate: December 20, 1969
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
 46 
Asha Parekh
(One of the Most Successfull and Leading Actresses of the Indian Cinema in the 1960s and 1970s)
Asha Parekh
3
Birthdate: October 2, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Asha Parekh is an Indian actress best known for her work in the Hindi film industry. Parekh was one of the most successful and highest-paid actresses of the 1960s and 1970s. She is also regarded as one of the most influential Bollywood actresses of all time. In 1992, she was honored with India's fourth-highest civilian award, the Padma Shri.

 47 
Suhasini Mani Ratnam
3
Birthdate: August 15, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paramakudi, Tamil Nadu, India
 48 
Selvaraghavan
(film director, screenwriter)
Selvaraghavan
3
Birthdate: March 5, 1977
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chennai
 49 
Kabir Khan
(author, film director, screenwriter)
Kabir Khan
3
Birthdate: 1971 AD
Birthplace: Hyderabad
 50 
Mira Nair
(Film director and producer)
Mira Nair
3
Birthdate: October 15, 1957
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rourkela, Orissa, India