Bollywood has its share of good directors like Karan Johar, Ayan Mukherjee, Anurag Kashyap, Rajkumar Hirani, to name a few. Usually when we see a good film, it’s almost always directed by one of these guys. But every now and then there comes along a brilliant movie directed by a lesser known director, that stops us from giving up on our film industry.

Let’s look at some of Bollywood’s most underrated directors:

1. Abhishek Chaubey

Known for Udta Punjab, Ishqiya and Dedh Ishqiya, Abhishek likes to keep his films away from fancy Bollywood treatment

He has a reputation of making realistic films, with very raw treatment. His movies offer a break from the clichéd filmy style of direction. Ishqiya, Dedh Ishqiya and Udta Punjab, Abhishek Chaubey has impressed everyone with these gems. He started with assisting Vishal Bharadwaj in films like Makdee, Maqbool and Omkara.

Indian Express

2. Maneesh Sharma

Known for Band Baaja Baaraat, Shuddh Desi Romance and Fan, Maneesh excels in subtle comedy, romance and drama

You know there is something special with this director by the connect he made with the audience right from the first film. Band Baaja Baaraat was responsible for the sudden escalated increase in the wedding planners across the country. Maneesh Sharma was awarded with a Filmfare for Best Debut Director. He garnered more success with Shuddh Desi Romance although his new film Fan didn’t do so well but we still can’t write him off.

Bollywood Central

3. Neeraj Pandey

Overwhelming story-line with power packed dialogues, Neeraj Pandey delivers a solid punch

A Wednesday, Special 26 and Baby, Neeraj Pandey loves giving people goosebumps through his cinema. His USP has been crime thrillers with an undercurrent of patriotism. We are eagerly anticipating his next blockbuster.

Pluz Cinema

4. Shakun Batra

Known for Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu and Kapoor & Sons, Shakun portrays modern relations perfectly

You know your basics are bound to be strong when you’ve assisted for films like Rock On, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na and Don 2. Shakun Batra’s debut directorial Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu didn’t do so well but he definitely made his mark in Bollywood with Kapoor & Sons where he beautifully portrayed the typical Indian family drama.

India TV News

5. Nitesh Tiwari

Known for Chillar Party and Bhootnath Returns, Nitesh Tiwari delivers social message in a very subtle manner

He co-directed Chillar Party and won Golden Lotus Award Best Children’s Film for it. Nitesh Tiwari then made it big with the Big B starrer Bhoothnath Returns. He has a knack of giving a social message in the lightest way possible. Presently filming Dangal with Aamir Khan, we already know it’s gonna be amazing. 

Free Press Journal

6. Vikramaditya Motwane

Udaan and Lootera shows Vikramaditya prefers complicated subjects

No superstar, no item numbers nor lavish sets still Vikramaditya’s Udaan made its successful udaan. The movie was critically acclaimed and had a great connect with the youth. His last film, Lootera, was underrated but still managed to appeal to the audience. 

Jungle Key

7. Neeraj Ghaywan

He is known for the critically acclaimed Masaan and association with Gangs of Wasseypur

He bagged all the appreciation at the Cannes film festival for his film Masaan. Neeraj has been an assistant director during Gangs of Wasseypur, and that means that he has learnt from the best. His style of film making is very simple and subtle which makes it unique.


8. Homi Adajania

Known for Being Cyrus and Finding Fanny, Homi Adajania’s style of film-making is very urban 

He started with a film that was not understood by many, Being Cyrus. It went unnoticed but with his next film Cocktail he generated immense buzz around him. He was successful in completely wining the audience’s hearts. His next, Finding Fanny couldn’t fare well at the box office, but appealed to a niche audience. 


9. Kanu Behl

Known for his film Titli which attracted lots of appreciation from the critics 

He started as assistant director with LSD: Love, Sex Aur Dokha and Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! and he finally got his big break with Titli. The film was a dose of reality for the glamorous big screen and won hearts because of its modesty.

Huffington Post

10. Shimit Amin

He is known for Ab Tak Chhappan, Chak De! India and Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year

He started his career as an editor for the film Bhoot but soon started his directorial journey with Ab Tak Chhappan, the film was a box office success but he topped that mark with his blockbuster Chak De! India which opened to critical and financial success. His other film, Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year also won many hearts.


11. Sriram Raghavan

Known for directing Ek Hasina Thi, Johnny Gaddar and Badlapur

He started off with Ek Hasina Thi starring Urmila Matondkar and Saif Ali Khan sticking to a dark style he directed Johnny Gaddar and Badlapur and received positive reviews as well as commercial success. 

Mid Day

12. Nagesh Kukunoor

Known for films like Iqbal, Dor, Aashayein, received many awards & recognition

He has a reputation of making parallel cinema, such as Hyderabad Blues, Rockford, Iqbal, Dor, Aashayein, Lakshmi and the upcoming flick Dhanak. Kukunoor has received seven International Awards, and the National Film Award for his work.


13. Hansal Mehta

Known for Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar, Shahid, City Lights and Aligarh

Mehta started his career with TV show Khana Khazana and later moved on to movies. he directed Jayate, Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar, Shahid and City Lights. He won the 2013 National Film Award for Best Direction in Shahid.


As long as talented directors like these are making films, you just can’t turn away from Bollywood. Long live cinema.