Zoya Akhtar

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Zoya Akhtar
Zoya Akhtar gracing ‘Filmfare Glamour & Style Awards 2016’ (cropped).jpg
Akhtar at Filmfare Glamour & Style Awards in 2016
Born (1972-10-14) 14 October 1972 (age 49)
Alma mater
Occupation
  • Director
  • screenwriter
Years active1996–present
Notable work
Parents
RelativesSee Akhtar family
FamilyFarhan Akhtar (brother)

Zoya Akhtar (born 14 October 1972) is an Indian film director and screenwriter who works in Hindi cinema. After completing a diploma in filmmaking from NYU, she assisted directors such as Mira Nair, Tony Gerber and Dev Benegal, before becoming a writer and director herself. Her family's Akhtar clique is famous in Bollywood. Akhtar is the recipient of several accolades, including 6 Filmfare Awards.[1] Zoya, along with Reema Kagti founded Tiger Baby Films, a film and web studio, in October 2015.

She has directed movies such as Luck by Chance (2009), Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011) and Sheila Ki Jawani, a segment of Bombay Talkies (2013). She has co-written Talaash (2012) alongside Reema Kagti. She then went on to direct Dil Dhadakne Do (2015) and Gully Boy (2019).

Personal life[edit]

Zoya Akhtar was born to poet, lyricist and screenwriter Javed Akhtar and screenwriter Honey Irani. Akhtar's stepmother is actress Shabana Azmi.[2] Her younger brother, Farhan Akhtar, is an actor and director. She attended Maneckji Cooper and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Xavier's College, both from Mumbai. Later, she joined the New York University Tisch School of the Arts to learn film production.

Her great-grandfather, Fazl-e-Haq Khairabadi, a scholar of Islamic studies and theology, edited the first diwan of Mirza Ghalib on his request and later became a figure during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 in his native Khairabad.[3]

She is great-granddaughter of Urdu poet Muztar Khairabadi and granddaughter of poet Jan Nisar Akhtar.

Akhtar grew up in an agnostic environment and along with her brother Farhan and father Javed Akhtar, and does not believe in any religion.[4][5]

Career[edit]

Akhtar started her career as the co-director of a music video called Price of Bullets for a rock band called Pentagram. She has worked as a casting director for films including Split Wide Open (1999) and Dil Chahta Hai (2001), and as an assistant director for her brother Farhan Akhtar's films Dil Chahta Hai and Lakshya (2004). She then worked as an executive producer for her longtime associate and friend Reema Kagti's Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. (2007), also produced by Excel Entertainment.[6]

Zoya (right) with Reema Kagti

Akhtar made her directorial debut with Luck By Chance (2009), starring her brother Farhan Akhtar and Konkona Sen Sharma. It tells the story of a struggling actor who breaks into the industry. The film was well received by critics, despite underperforming at the box office.[7][8]

In 2011, she directed Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, which starred an ensemble cast of Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol, Katrina Kaif and Kalki Koechlin.[9] It turned out to be a huge commercial success at the box-office and won her the Filmfare Award for Best Director.

In 2013, Akhtar teamed up with Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee and Karan Johar for Bombay Talkies. It was made as a celebration of 100 years of Indian cinema.[10][11] She then went on to direct Dil Dhadakne Do (2015), a film based on a dysfunctional Punjabi family starring Anil Kapoor as an egotistical industrialist, Shefali Shah as his bitter socialite-wife, and Priyanka Chopra and Ranveer Singh as their children. The film also featured Anushka Sharma and Farhan Akhtar as love interests for Ranveer Singh and Priyanka Chopra respectively.[12][13]

In 2015, Akhtar along with Reema Kagti founded Tiger Baby Films, an Indian film production company.

In 2018, she then again teamed up with Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee and Karan Johar for Lust Stories, which premiered on Netflix in June 2018.

After Dil Dhadakne Do, Akhtar directed Gully Boy starring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt.,[14] loosely based on the lives of Mumbai rapper Naezy.[15] Gully Boy won a second Best Director award at Filmfare. She thus became the only female director to win the award twice.

Zoya and Kagti also worked on a story for a web series produced by Tiger Baby Films and Excel Entertainment for Amazon Prime called Made in Heaven, a story about two wedding planners in New Delhi.[16][17]

She has also been invited to be a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[18]

In October 2019, she began directing a segment of Ghost Stories (2020), an horror anthology film, consisting of 4 short film segments. Other segments are directed by Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee, and Karan Johar.[19] Ghost Stories premiered on Netflix on 1 January 2020.[20]

In November 2021, Netflix announced that Akhtar would direct a live-action feature film adaptation of The Archies.[21]

Filmography[edit]

Director[edit]

Year Film Director Writer Producer Note(s)
2007 Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. No No Yes
2009 Luck By Chance Yes Yes executive Director debut
2011 Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara Yes Yes No co-writer : Reema Kagti
2012 Talaash No Yes No
2013 Bombay Talkies Yes Yes No anthology film; Segment: Sheila Ki Jawaani
2015 Dil Dhadakne Do Yes Yes No co-writer : Reema Kagti
2018 Lust Stories Yes Yes No anthology film
2019 Gully Boy Yes Yes Yes co-writer : Reema Kagti
Made in Heaven Yes Yes No TV series
2 episodes
2020 Ghost Stories Yes Yes No An anthology film;[19] Segment: Story 1
TBA The Archies Yes No No Live-action musical film adaptation[22]

Executive producer[edit]

Year Film Producer
2007 Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. Farhan Akhtar, Ritesh Sidhwani
2009 Luck By Chance

Lyricist[edit]

Year Film
2004 Bride and Prejudice

Other appearances[edit]

She appeared on the Valentine's Day charity show of Kaun Banega Crorepati along with her brother Farhan Akhtar.[23] She also appeared in a very brief role as Rasa Devi's (Rekha's) courtesan in Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love in September 1996.[24] She and Shah Rukh Khan had a 'fireside chat' with Jeff Bezos of Amazon in January 2020.[25][26][27]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Film Award Category Result Ref
Luck By Chance 55th Filmfare Awards Best Debut Director (shared with Ayan Mukerji for Wake Up Sid) Won [28][29]
Best Story Nominated
Best Screenplay Nominated
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara 57th Filmfare Awards Best Director Won [30]
[31]
13th IIFA Awards Best Director Won [32]
Best Screenplay (with Reema Kagti) Won
18th Screen Awards Best Director Nominated [33]
Best Screenplay (with Reema Kagti) Nominated
Zee Cine Awards Best Director Nominated [34]
Best Story (with Reema Kagti) Won
Star Guild Awards 2012 Best Director Won [35]
Best Screenplay (with Reema Kagti) Won
Stardust Awards Dream Director Nominated [36]
Dil Dhadakne Do 22nd Screen Awards 2016 Best Director Nominated [37]
Times of India Film Awards 2016 Best Director Nominated [38]
Gully Boy 26th Screen Awards Best Director Won [39]
65th Filmfare Awards Best Director Won [40][41]
Best Story (with Reema Kagti) Nominated
Best Screenplay (with Reema Kagti) Won
Zee Cine Awards Best Director Won [42]
Critics' Choice Film Awards 2020 Best Director (Hindi) Won [43]
Jagran Film Festival Best Writing (with Reema Kagti) Won [44]
Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2019 Best Film Nominated [45]
Best Director Won
9th AACTA Awards Best Asian Film Nominated [46]
Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival NETPAC Award for Best Asian Film Won [47]
21st IIFA Awards Best Director Nominated [48]
Best Story (with Reema Kagti) Won
Made in Heaven iReel Awards 2019 Best Writing - Drama Nominated [49]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Filmfare Awards Winners From 1953 to 2020". filmfare.com. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  2. ^ "Shabana Azmi- Farhan and Zoya Akhtar - Bollywood stepmothers who share a beautiful bond with their step kids". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  3. ^ Jan Nisar Akhtar Biography The Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature (Volume Two) (D -J). by Amaresh Datta. Sahitya Akademi, 2006. ISBN 81-260-1194-7. p. 1796-97.
  4. ^ "10 Self-Proclaimed Celebrity Atheists | Entertainment | iDiva.com | Page 4". iDiva.com. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  5. ^ "Celebs who are atheist". Times of India. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  6. ^ "Zoya Akhtar". Excel Entertainment.
  7. ^ "Zoya Akhtar". Outlook. 9 February 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
  8. ^ Adarsh, Taran. "Box office Top 5". Bollywood hungama. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  9. ^ "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara: Cast and Crew details". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  10. ^ "Bollywood directors join hands to pay homage to Indian cinema. She teamed up again with the same directorial squad, consisting of Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee, and Karan Johar to a direct Lust Stories, a Netflix Original Indian anthology film, consisting of four short film segments". The Times of India. 7 May 2012. Archived from the original on 22 June 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  11. ^ Dubey, Bharati (25 January 2012). "Film industry to mark Phalke centenary". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 19 April 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  12. ^ "'Dil Dhadakne Do' - Movie Review". No. Mid-day.com. Mid-Day. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  13. ^ "Zoya Akhtar's film is about a dysfunctional Punjabi family". Times of India. 23 February 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  14. ^ "Ranveer Singh to turn composer for Zoya Akhtar's Gully Boyz". Deccan Chronicle. 23 June 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  15. ^ "Ranveer Singh Met Underground Rappers- Ranveer Singh Gully Boy Movie". Desi Hip Hop. 20 December 2017. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  16. ^ NAIRITA MUKHERJEE (18 June 2017). "After Inside Edge, is Zoya Akhtar's show next on Amazon Prime?". Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  17. ^ "Farhan Akhtar might have a cameo in Zoya Akhtar's next". 15 December 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  18. ^ "Zoya Akhtar invited to be a member of Oscar Academy". femina.in. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  19. ^ a b "Karan Johar, Zoya, Dibakar and Anurag reunite for Netflix's 'Ghost Stories'". The New Indian Express. 15 April 2019. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  20. ^ "Netflix's Ghost Stories to Premier on January 1, 2020". News18. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  21. ^ Ramachandran, Naman (10 November 2021). "Zoya Akhtar to Direct 'The Archies' Comic Book Adaptation for Netflix (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
  22. ^ "Netflix and Archie Comics Partner for the Live-Action Musical Film, The Archies, to be Directed By Zoya Akhtar". Netflix Media Center (Press release). 11 November 2021.
  23. ^ "Discuss: A Shah Rukh Valentine". Rediff. 14 February 2007. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
  24. ^ "Zoya Akhtar". IMDb.
  25. ^ Arora, Akhil (21 January 2020). "Jeff Bezos, Shah Rukh Khan, Zoya Akhtar Talk Amazon, Storytelling, Failures, Superstitions, and More: How to Watch". India Today. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  26. ^ "Shah Rukh Khan joins Jeff Bezos at blue carpet event, confesses he doesn't shop for 'underwear online'. See pics". Hindustan Times. 17 January 2020. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  27. ^ "Fireside Chat with Jeff Bezos, Shah Rukh Khan, Zoya Akhtar Amazon Prime Video". 17 January 2020. Archived from the original on 19 December 2021. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  28. ^ 55th Idea Filmfare Awards Nominations
  29. ^ "Filmfare Awards Winners From 1953 to 2020". filmfare.com. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  30. ^ "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara sweeps Filmfare Awards". The Times of India. 31 January 2012. Archived from the original on 30 January 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  31. ^ "Zoya Announced as Best Director for ZNMD 2012".
  32. ^ "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011) — Awards". Bollywood Hungama. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  33. ^ "Winners of 18th Annual Colors Screen Awards 2012". Bollywood Hungama. 16 January 2012. Archived from the original on 26 April 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  34. ^ "Nominations for Zee Cine Awards 2012". Bollywood Hungama. 19 January 2012. Archived from the original on 19 June 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  35. ^ "7th Apsara Awards – Nominees". Film Producers Guild of India. Archived from the original on 4 May 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
  36. ^ "Nominations of Stardust Awards 2012". Bollywood Hungama. 6 February 2012. Archived from the original on 13 February 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  37. ^ "22 Star Screen Awards". Star India. Archived from the original on 17 March 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  38. ^ "Times of India Film Awards Nominations". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 1 March 2016. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  39. ^ "Winners of Star Screen Awards 2019". Bollywood Hungama. 9 December 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  40. ^ "Technical Nominations for the 65th Amazon Filmfare Awards 2020". Filmfare. 31 January 2020. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  41. ^ "65th Amazon Filmfare Award 2020 Technical and Short Film award winners". Filmfare. 2 February 2020. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  42. ^ "ZEE Cine Awards 2020: Winners list". BizAsia. 15 March 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  43. ^ "Here's a Full List of the Winners of Critics' Choice Film Awards".
  44. ^ "Jagran Film Festival 2019". Firstpost. 30 September 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  45. ^ "IFFM Awards 2019 winners: Shah Rukh Khan, Zoya Akhtar, Tabu, Karan Johar and other celebrities win the award". The Times of India. 9 August 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  46. ^ "Nominees for the 2019 AACTA Award for Best Asian Film Announced". Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts. 15 October 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  47. ^ "'Gully Boy' wins NETPAC Award at BIFAN in South Korea". Business Standard India. 8 July 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  48. ^ "IIFA Awards 2020 - Popular Award Winners". IIFA Awards. 25 November 2021. Archived from the original on 26 November 2021. Retrieved 28 November 2021.
  49. ^ "iReel Awards 2019: Check Out The Complete List Of Winners". News18. 23 September 2019. Retrieved 23 September 2019.

External links[edit]