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  • (left to right) Akshara Hasan, R Balki and Gauri ShindeVarinder Chawla

  • Farah KhanVarinder Chawla

  • Zoya AkhtarVarinder Chawla

  • Mira NairReuters

  • ‘Talvar’ director Meghna GulzarPR handout

International Women’s Day is observed March 8 every year to celebrate the achievements of women across the globe. This day is dedicated to all the female figures of the society, be it a mother, daughter, sister or wife.

However, the Indian entertainment industry never required a particular day to show a woman’s strength and courage. Over the years, it has made many women-centric films that have left male-centric movies behind.

Actresses like Deepika Padukone, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra have also impressed in their action avatars by performing some high-octane action sequences as well.

Read more: Bolywood actresses who mesmerised as action heroes on-screen

As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, here are some of significant women figures who have helmed the cameras effectively, making their mark in the male-dominated film fraternity.

Take a look at the top five female directors who made it big in Bollywood:

Gauri Shinde

She made her directorial debut with “English Vinglish” that starred Sridevi in the lead. The film garnered immense appreciation from all quarters and even fetched international recognitions. An ad-filmmaker-turned-Bollywood director, Gauri, portrayed a typical Indian wife’s incapability in speaking English in her debut film, which got her almost all awards of the season. Currently, she is coming up with another interesting project that stars Alia Bhatt in the lead role.

Farah Khan

One of the popular choreographers, Farah, took a huge leap when she set foot in the world of filmmaking. She surprised viewers with her directorial skills in “Main Hoon Na,” “Om Shanti Om,” “Tees Maar Khan” and “Happy New Year.” Though the last two films didn’t impress viewers, the doting mother of triplets is still known as one of the hard-working directors.

Zoya Akhtar

Unlike the Akhtars, Zoya chose the path of becoming a director. Though brother Farhan Akhtar has also entertained viewers with his directorials, Zoya’s direction has produced some interesting and creative stories. Her first film “Luck By Chance” received critical accolades and then, she mesmerised the audience with her blockbuster film “Zindegi Na Milegi Dobara.” She has also written the screenplay and story of “Talaash” and even directed a short film celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema. Last year, Zoya again impressed the viewers with another interesting story – “Dil Dhadakne Do.”

Mira Nair

Mira’s debut film “Salaam Bombay” was honoured at the Cannes Film Festival and was further nominated for Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film Category. Over the years, she has delivered amazing movies like “Monsoon Wedding,” “The Namesake,” “Amelia,” “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” and “The Bengali Detective.” The BAFTA awardee is currently working on “Queen of Katwe,” which is expected to be released this year.

Meghna Gulzar

The daughter of famous lyricist and poet Gulzar, Meghna, has made it big in the industry with her last directorial “Talvar.” The 2015 release that starred Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma and Neeraj Kabi received critical accolades and positive response from the audience. Meghna won several awards for this film, which turned out to be a box office hit. She has also made films like “Filhaal,” “Just Married” and “Dus Kahaniyaan.”

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