Sam Bahadur To Zwigato: Our Pick For Best Films Led By Female Directors

Here are the top five films by female directors that owned 2023, showcasing their prowess in storytelling, direction, and cinematic innovation.

Priya Prakash
New Update
Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway

Rani Mukerji in Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway

In 2023, the cinematic landscape was illuminated by a powerful wave of storytelling crafted by talented female directors. These visionary storytellers not only commanded attention but also left an indelible mark on the year's filmography. Here are the top five films by female directors that owned 2023, showcasing their prowess in storytelling, direction, and cinematic innovation.


These directors, through their meticulous preparation, deep inspiration, and empathetic storytelling, contributed significantly to societal conversations, sparking reflections on societal norms, desires, and struggles. Their films didn't merely entertain; they ignited conversations and offered nuanced perspectives that left an enduring impact on viewers and society alike.

Top 5 Films By Female Directors That Owned 2023

Sam Bahadur- Meghna Gulzar 

The movie about Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, played by Vicky Kaushal and directed by Meghna Gulzar, was written by Meghna Gulzar, Bhavani Iyer, and Shantanu Srivastava. Meghna was offered the idea for this film while she was already busy making another movie called Raazi back in 2016. They filmed in more than 13 cities across seven months after spending a whole year preparing for it. When asked why she picked Sam Manekshaw, Gulzar said, "He's the kind of hero we really need today." And she did a great job bringing his inspiring story to life on screen.

Sam Bahadur

Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway- Ashima Chibber


Director Ashima Chibber was deeply moved by the tale of a mother whose kids were taken away by Norwegian authorities. When Chibber connected with Sagarika Chakaraborty, the author of The Journey Of A Mother, she was hesitant to sell the rights at first. But Sagarika saw the potential of the film in spreading awareness about the story and its cause.

Both Chibber, for choosing such a powerful story, and Rani Mukerji, who played the lead role, received praise for the film for capturing its emotional depth and bringing the character's pain to life on screen.

Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway

Lust Stories 2- Konkona Sen Sharma

In Lust Stories 2, Konkona Sen Sharma presents a short film called The Mirror that delves into the female perspective and the concept of voyeurism, breaking stereotypes along the way. 

This marked Sensharma's return to directing after a hiatus of seven years and initially sceptical to take up the project, she believed love is often discussed much more than lust. "Love is just a lot more attachment and caring, lust is free of that. There are so many different ways to express lust out of which very few are acceptable in society and public, so it is quite unexplored in that sense," the director said in an interview with SheThePeople.


Credit: Lust Stories 2

Mrs. Undercover- Anushree Mehta

Anushree Mehta, the director of Mrs. Undercover, explained her choice of an unconventional role for the protagonist, blending a housewife with a spy. She emphasised the need for diverse representation in films, advocating for women to take centre stage in spy action, comedy, and all genres. Her inspiration stemmed from a desire to honour her mother and all the often-overlooked heroes known as housewives. Mehta aimed to fuse her passion for spy-action comedies with this tribute to celebrate the unsung stories of these remarkable women. Read our review of Mrs. Undercover here.

Mrs Undercover Review

Zwigato- Nandita Das

Nandita Das's film Zwigato is a deeply emotional portrayal centred around a middle-class individual navigating life post-job loss during the pandemic. Discussing the film, Das mentioned, "The research phase spanned around two years. At the outset, my understanding of incentives and algorithms mirrored that of my protagonist! However, delving into this world exposed me to the complexities of the gig economy, leaving me both intrigued and perturbed."


During the research process, Das and the team conducted numerous interviews with delivery riders, accumulating a wealth of factual information and personal anecdotes, which were reflected on the screen beautifully.

Zwigato trailer out


Nandita Das meghna gulzar Sam Bahadur