Indian film industry is a predominantly male-centric world where women rarely get opportunities to prove themselves. However, there have been several women directors and technicians who not only proved their talent but also made waves across the country over the years.
As a special tribute on International Women’s Day, here we present a few female directors from the South Indian film industry who are known for their incredible body of work:
Sudha Kongara (Kollywood):
After a couple of lesser known films, Tamil director Sudha Kongara rose to fame with the path-breaking boxing drama, Irudhi Suttru (Saala Khadoos in Hindi and Guru in Telugu). Her next film with Suriya, Soorarai Pottru, received unanimous acclaim from critics and audiences alike. She went on to direct the emotionally moving Thangam from the Netflix anthology film, Paava Kadhaigal. All her movies portray the female leads with a lot of character and self-respect, which is usually rare in most mainstream films helmed by male directors.
Nandini’s debut film, Ala Modalaindi, was a big hit and made her a prominent director in Tollywood. She went on to direct Jabardast, Kalyana Vaibhogame and Samantha’s female-centric fantasy comedy drama, Oh Baby. Nandini made her digital debut with Amazon Prime Video maiden Telugu series, Gangstars, and followed it up with the recently released Netflix anthology film, Pitta Kathalu. Even Nandini’s on-screen female characters are portrayed very strongly and not as mere glamour dolls.
Revathi is an award-winning actress who is equally popular in South and in Bollywood. She is also an acclaimed cinematographer cum director. Mitr My Friend, Salman Khan’s Phir Milenge, Kerala Cafe (Malayalam) and Mumbai Cutting (Hindi) are the critically acclaimed movies she has directed. Revathi is known for handling sensitive human emotions laced with intricate nuances.
V. Priya (Kollywood):
A protege of legendary director Mani Ratnam and his wife Suhasini, Priya made a striking debut as a director with the rom-com, Kanda Naal Mudhal, produced by Prakash Rai. She went on to direct Kannamocchi Yennada, which was produced by sector actress Radhika Sharath Kumar. Priya’s movies reflect the aspirations and mindset of the modern youth.
Anjali’s Bangalore Days, Kerala Cafe, Ustad Hotel and Koode have been huge critical and commercial successes. Especially, Bangalore Days has numerous fans even in North India. Like most other women filmmakers, Anjali too delves deep into the psyche of her characters, both female and male.
A popular Malayalam actress, Geethu Mohandas turned director with the national award-winning film, Liar’s Dice. The film was shown at several international film festivals. Her recent film, Moothon, also won accolades at various international film fests, including Sundance.
Apart from the above mentioned filmmakers, Srividya Basava, Shri Ranjani, Chinua and Sanjana Reddy from Tollywood, Gayatri Pushkar, Halitha Shameem, Madhumita Sundararaman, Lakshmi Ramakrishnan, Kiruthiga Udhayanidhi, Aishwarya Dhanush and Soundarya Rajinikanth and Suhasini Mani Ratnam from Kollywood, Roopa Rao and Suman Kittur from Sandalwood are some of the women filmmakers who have earned laurels for their work.
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