While women represent a very low percentage in every aspect of filmmaking in Indian cinema, there are some who are fighting against odds to claim their place behind the camera. Here is a list of upcoming films by Indian directors this year.
The history of Indian cinema reflects numerous examples of iconic female directors like Aparna Sen and Mira Nair, or the more recent ones like Farah Khan, Zoya Akhtar, Gauri Shindey and Nandita Das, amongst many others.
However, from scriptwriting and direction to handling the camera, males still dominate mainstream filmmaking in the Indian cinema. Nevertheless, there are women filmmakers who are constantly challenging the status quo, be it at regional or mainstream cinema.
Here are some upcoming films by Indian female directors to look forward to.
Gold by Reema Kagti
After working as an assistant director with directors including Farhan Akhtar, Ashutosh Gowariker, and Mira Nair, Reema Kagti made her directorial debut in 2007 with the film Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd., followed by Talaash (2012).
The director is back, yet again with a mainstream commercial film. Gold is a sports drama starring actors Akshay Kumar, Kunal Kapoor and Mouni Roy in the lead.
A fictional story set on the backdrop of true events about India winning its first gold medal in field hockey as a free nation in the 1948 summer Olympics, the film is expected to release on August 15 this year.
Manto by Nandita Das
Known for her performances in feature films like Fire (1996) and Earth (1998), actress turned director Nandita Das, made her directorial debut with the film Firaaq in 2008.
Her upcoming film Manto, based on the life of the Indo-Pakistani writer Saadat Hasan Manto, is set to release in December 2018.
The film starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Rasika Dugal and Javed Akhtar, was a part of the ‘Un certain regard’ in Cannes this year and the director believes that the stories of writer Saadat Hasan Manto are still relevant in the current times.
“It is a male dominated industry and it is said one has to elbow one’s way into it if you are a woman. Often the discrimination and prejudice surface in subtle ways, and that’s why it is more difficult to negotiate through them. After all, the film industry is only a reflection of society, so the challenges in dealing with the gender disparity are the same as they are in society,” Das told MIG.
Rajma Chawal by Leena Yadav
With actor Rishi Kapoor in the lead, director Leena Yadav is coming up with another social drama Rajma Chawal. Slated to release on August 31 this year, the film was shot in the interiors of Chandni Chowk in Delhi.
Yadav started her career in the television industry and gradually moved on to making feature films. Her first international feature film Parched premiered at Toronto International Film Festival in 2015.
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga by Shelly Chopra Dhar
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga is an upcoming Bollywood film directed by Shelly Chopra Dhar. Dhar’s directorial debut is a story of an unhappily married woman who discovers her father’s infidelity with her co-worker, and stars Anil Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Juhi Chawla and Rajkumar Rao.
The film that will revive Anil Kapoor’s 1942 song ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’, is expected to release on October 12, 2018.
5 Weddings by Namrata Singh Gujral
Directed by Indo-American director Namrata Singh Gujral, 5 Weddings is set in the United States and India. The film features Nargis Fakhri and Rajkummar Rao in the lead, explores the journey of an American journalist who travels to India for a magazine feature on the multiple Indian wedding ceremonies. The film not only deals with weddings but also the community of transgender. 5 Weddings had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival this year and will release on September 21, 2018.