The face of Indian cinema is changing, slowly but surely. And behind this change is an army of great scriptwriters who are pushing limits and giving us some unique plot lines. Among them are these awesome female story writers and scriptwriters who're the reason we still go to the movies.
1. Kanika Dhillon
It took 3 years for Kanika's love saga Manmarziyaan to hit the screens, but it gained a massive fan following in just three days. And that was all because of the story. The characters can easily be dubbed as the poster children for the Tinder generation. The fucked up love stories that are as much a part of our lives as Instagram filters, got a pretty realistic depiction in Manmarziyaan.
2. Juhi Chaturvedi
When Vicky Donor released in 2012, it became a sleeper hit. And the unique story was definitely worth the praise and the awards it received, like the 2013 National Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. And looking at the well-written script, you would never think that this was Juhi Chaturvedi's debut movie. But she recreated that same magic with Piku and October, proving that Vicky Donor's success was not beginner's luck.
3. Konkona Sen Sharma
She may have first wowed the audience with her stellar skills in front of the camera, but she left just as strong an impact with her writing and directorial debut, A Death In The Gunj. The sensitive coming-of-age drama left the audience shocked and impressed at the same time. And while there is no denying the contribution of a stellar star cast, it was the angst-ridden story of the lead character that left a lasting impact.
4. Alankrita Shrivastava
Alankrita Shrivastava's directorial debut Turning 30 may not have hit the box office numbers, but she definitely hit the ball out of the park with Lipstick Under My Burkha. The well-crafted story reflected her excellence as a writer, as she managed to weave together diverse stories, centered around the common theme of restricted self-expression based on gender.
5. Gauri Shinde
With only two movies, English Vinglish and Dear Zindagi, Gauri Shinde became a cinematic force to reckon with. Both her stories had a unique perspective and honest storytelling that everyone could relate to. She managed to bring to the forefront, characters and concepts that mainstream Bollywood cinema has often looked past. And despite exemplary performances by actors in both the movies, the story was the true king.
6. Zoya Akhtar
Ever since her debut movie Luck By Chance, Zoya Akhtar has been a director and writer to look out for. And with every movie, she has given us stories that we love to see unfold and characters, unravel, just like her last two movies, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Dil Dhadakne Do, that she co-wrote with Reema Kagti.
7. Reema Kagti
Right with her debut film, the critically acclaimed Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd., Reema Kagti showcased her talent for unique stories. And her filmography just continued to wow the audience and critics alike. She and director Zoya Akhtar co-wrote the script for the hit movies, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, and Dil Dhadaken Do. And both the movies were prime examples of an original and refreshing story, centered on themes of friendship and family, respectively.
8. Nandita Das
There is no doubt that Nandita Das is a talented actor. But when she turned director and writer with Firaaq (co-written by Shuchi Kothari), she truly set herself apart. The story, that dealt with a sensitive issue like the 2002 Gujarat violence, was powerful in its treatment of the topic. And now she has the biographical drama Manto, to her credit, a movie that opened to a positive response at the Cannes Film Festival.
9. Zeenat Lakhani
Zeenat Lakhani debuted as a writer with Hindi Medium, that she co-wrote with Saket Chaudhary. And the movie definitely struck a chord with the Indian audience. It was a unique story that dealt with a very relevant subject in a lighthearted manner. And the audience lauded both the situation and the well-crafted characters.
10. Anvita Dutt Guptan
Although she is more famous as a lyricist and dialogue writer, the two movies that Anvita wrote were definitely not your run-of-the-mill stories. Both Shaandaar and Phillauri were very different love stories. And in an industry that churns out love stories by the second, her movies definitely stood out.
11. Kamna Chandra
Kamna Chandra has written some of the finest love stories in Bollywood, including the story for the iconic movie 1942: A Love Story. And her latest story - Qarib Qarib Singlle - was again a mature take on love and relationships. The screenplay for Qarib Qarib Singlle was also written by two wonderful writers, Tanuja Chandra and Gazal Dhaliwal.
There is no shortage of writers who have refreshing, original, and well-written stories to offer us. We just hope they keep getting more and more chances to present such stories.
Design credits: Lucky Mehendiratta