Famous Indian Directors

Find out more about the greatest Indian Directors, including Sooraj Barjatya, Aditya Chopra, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Rohit Shetty and Ram Gopal Varma

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Indian Directors

 1 S. S. Rajamouli

S. S. Rajamouli
5
Famous As: Film director
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.

 2 Raj Kapoor

Raj Kapoor
4
Famous As: Actor, Film producer
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.

 3 Satyajit Ray

Satyajit Ray
4
Famous As: Indian filmmaker
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. 

Recommended Lists:

 4 M Night Shyamalan

M Night Shyamalan
4
Famous As: Film Director
Birthdate: August 6, 1970
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Mahé, Puducherry, India

M Night Shyamalan is a filmmaker who is known for making original films with twist endings and supernatural plots. Born in India to a doctor couple, he moved to USA with his parents when he was a baby. He was expected to pursue medicine like his parents, but he chose a different path and became a filmmaker, finding success in his chosen profession.  

 5 Kader Khan

Kader Khan
4
Famous As: actor, screenwriter,
Birthdate: October 22, 1937
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kabul, Afghanistan
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.

 6 Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Sanjay Leela Bhansali
4
Famous As: Film director, Film producer, Music director, Television producer, Composer, Screenwriter
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.

 7 Priyadarshan

Priyadarshan
4
Famous As: Film director, Screenwriter, Film producer
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.

You May Like

 8 Mani Ratnam

Mani Ratnam
4
Famous As: Film producer, Film director, Actor, Screenwriter
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.

 9 Rajkumar Hirani

Rajkumar Hirani
4
Famous As: Film director, Screenwriter, Film editor
Birthdate: November 22, 1962
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Nagpur, Maharastra, 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.  

 10 Yash Chopra

Yash Chopra
4
Famous As: Film director, Screenwriter, Film producer, Artist
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.

 11 Aditya Chopra

Aditya Chopra
4
Famous As: Film director, Screenwriter, Film producer
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.

 12 Anurag Kashyap

Anurag Kashyap
4
Famous As: Film director, Film producer, Actor, Screenwriter, Film editor
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.

 13 Ajay Devgn

Ajay Devgn
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 2, 1969
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New Delhi, India

Ajay Devgn, a two-time National Award winner, has also been honored with the Padma Shri. The son of stuntman Veeru Devgan, he began his career with the blockbuster hit Phool Aur Kaante. He later delivered stellar performances in films such as Dilwale and Zakhm, and now owns a production company.

 14 Mahesh Bhatt

Mahesh Bhatt
4
Famous As: Director
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.

 15 Sajid Nadiadwala

Sajid Nadiadwala
4
Famous As: film producer
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.

 16 Savitri

Savitri
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 6, 1936
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chirravuru, Guntur district, Madras Presidency
Died: December 26, 1981

One of the greatest actors in Telugu and Tamil cinema, Savitri earned the titled of the "First Female Superstar of South Indian cinema" from her fans. The Rashtrapati Award- and Nandi Award-winning actor had also secretly married Tamil actor Gemini Ganesan, who was already married and involved in another affair.

 17 Shekhar Kapur

Shekhar Kapur
3
Famous As: Actor, Film director, Accountant, Blogger, Film producer, Model
Birthdate: December 6, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lahore

 18 Ekta Kapoor

Ekta Kapoor
3
Famous As: Producer
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.

 19 N. T. Rama Rao

N. T. Rama Rao
4
Famous As: Actor
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.

 20 Konkona Sen Sharma

Konkona Sen Sharma
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 3, 1979
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Delhi, 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.

 21 Farhan Akhtar

Farhan Akhtar
4
Famous As: actor, film director, film producer, screenwriter, singer, lyricist, songwriter
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.

 22 Dinesh D'Souza

Dinesh D'Souza
3
Famous As: Conservationists
Birthdate: April 25, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Born to Goan Christians in Bombay, Dinesh D'Souza later moved to the U.S. for higher studies. The Indian-American right-wing filmmaker and writer is known for his anti-Obama documentary 2016: Obama's America. Convicted of illegal campaign contribution, he was later pardoned by Trump. He was also associated with an adultery scandal.

 23 A.R. Murugadoss

A.R. Murugadoss
3
Birthdate: April 27, 1978
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Attur, Tamil Nadu, India

 24 S. Shankar

S. Shankar
0
Famous As: Director
Birthdate: August 17, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, India

 25 Mahesh Manjrekar

Mahesh Manjrekar
3
Famous As: Director
Birthdate: August 16, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bombay, State of Bombay, India

 26 Dadasaheb Phalke

Dadasaheb Phalke
3
Famous As: Father of Indian Cinema
Birthdate: April 30, 1870
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tryambakeshwar, Bombay Presidency
Died: February 16, 1944

 27 Karan Johar

Karan Johar
4
Famous As: Actor, Film director, Screenwriter, Film producer
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.

 28 Ashutosh Gowariker

Ashutosh Gowariker
3
Famous As: Director
Birthdate: February 15, 1964
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India

 29 Aamir Khan

Aamir Khan
0
Famous As: Actor
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.

 30 Guru Dutt

Guru Dutt
3
Famous As: Actor, Producer, Director, Choreographer
Birthdate: July 9, 1925
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bangalore
Died: October 10, 1964

 31 Gulzar

Gulzar
3
Famous As: Lyricist
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.

 32 Asha Parekh

Asha Parekh
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 2, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British 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.

 33 Manoj Kumar

Manoj Kumar
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 24, 1937
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Abbottabad, Pakistan

 34 Neena Gupta

Neena Gupta
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 4, 1959
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Delhi, 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.

 35 Rohit Shetty

Rohit Shetty
3
Famous As: Director
Birthdate: March 14, 1973
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

 36 Mira Nair

Mira Nair
3
Famous As: Film director and producer
Birthdate: October 15, 1957
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rourkela, Orissa, India

 37 Dev Anand

Dev Anand
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 26, 1923
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gurdaspur, Punjab, British India [now Gurdaspur, 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.

 38 Gemini Ganesan

Gemini Ganesan
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 16, 1919
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Pudukottai, Tamil Nadu, India
Died: March 22, 2005

Legendary actor Gemini Ganesan was also known as the King of Romance in Tamil cinema. The Padma Shri-winning artiste achieved star status with Manam Pola Mangalyam. He was also known for his multiple affairs and marriages. He had eight children, of whom Rekha, later became a star actor.

 39 Pankaj Kapur

Pankaj Kapur
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 29, 1954
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ludhiana, Punjab, India

 40 Prakash Jha

Prakash Jha
3
Famous As: Film producer, Film director, Screenwriter
Birthdate: February 27, 1952
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bettiah, Bihar, India

 41 Ram Gopal Varma

Ram Gopal Varma
3
Famous As: Film director, Film producer, Screenwriter
Birthdate: April 7, 1962
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hyderabad

 42 Amjad Khan

Amjad Khan
3
Famous As: Film actor, director
Birthdate: November 12, 1940
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Peshawar, North-West Frontier Province, British India
Died: July 27, 1992

 43 Farah Khan

Farah Khan
3
Famous As: Director
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.

 44 K. Balachander

K. Balachander
3
Famous As: Film director, Actor, Screenwriter
Birthdate: July 9, 1930
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nannilam, Tamil Nadu, India
Died: December 23, 2014

 45 Jim Sarbh

Jim Sarbh
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 27, 1987
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

 46 Revathi

Revathi
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 8, 1966
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cochin, Kerala, India

Revathi was discovered by director Bharathi Raja when he chanced upon a photo of hers, clicked at a school fashion show and later featured on a magazine cover. The three-time National Award-winning actor is known for movies such as Mitr, My Friend and Thevar Magan. She is also a talented Bharatanatyam dancer.

 47 Amol Palekar

Amol Palekar
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 24, 1944
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India

 48 Rakesh Roshan

Rakesh Roshan
3
Famous As: Producer
Birthdate: September 6, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bombay, State of Bombay, India

 49 Tusshar Kapoor

Tusshar Kapoor
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 20, 1976
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bombay, Maharashtra, India

 50 Feroz Khan

Feroz Khan
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 25, 1939
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bengaluru, India
Died: April 27, 2009