Zoya Akhtar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Zoya Akhtar
Zoya at audio release of Talaash.jpg
Akhtar at the promotion of Talaash in 2012
Born Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Occupation Director, screenwriter
Years active 1999—present
Relatives Javed Akhtar (father)
Farhan Akhtar (brother)
Honey Irani (mother)
Shabana Azmi (step Mother)

Zoya Akhtar is an Indian film director and screenwriter. She made her debut as director with the critically acclaimed Luck By Chance in 2009.[1][2] In 2011, she directed the critically and commercially successful film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and won the Filmfare Award for Best Director for it.

Personal life[edit]

Zoya Akhtar was born to poet, lyricist and screenwriter Javed Akhtar and screenwriter Honey Irani. Zoya's stepmother is Shabana Azmi. Zoya is the sister of Farhan Akhtar. She attended Maneckji Cooper and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Xavier's College, both in Mumbai. Later, she joined the New York University Film School to learn film production.

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

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

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


Zoya started her career as 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 Dil Chahta Hai and Split Wide Open, and as an assistant director for her brother Farhan Akhtar's films, Lakshya and Dil Chahta Hai. She then worked as an executive producer for her longtime partner Reema Kagti's Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd., also produced by Excel Entertainment.[6]

Zoya with Reema Kagti

Zoya made her directorial debut with Luck By Chance (2009), starring her brother Farhan Akhtar and Konkana Sen Sharma. It tells the story of a struggling actor who breaks into the industry. The film was well received by critics, despite not doing well at the box office.[1][7]

In 2011, she directed Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, a multistarrer with Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar, Katrina Kaif and Kalki Koechlin.[8] It turned out to be a huge box office success and was well received by critics and won her 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.[9][10]

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 Singh and Chopra respectively.[11][12]



Year Film Notes
2009 Luck By Chance Filmfare Award for Best Debut Director (shared with Ayan Mukerji)
2011 Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara Filmfare Award for Best Director[13]
IIFA Award for Best Director
Zee Cine Award for Best Director
Apsara Award for Best Director
2013 Bombay Talkies Segment: Sheila Ki Jawaani
2015 Dil Dhadakne Do

Screenplay writer[edit]

Year Film Notes
2009 Luck By Chance
2011 Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
2012 Talaash

Story writer[edit]

Year Film Notes
2009 Luck By Chance
2011 Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
2012 Talaash
2015 Dil Dhadakne Do

Assistant director[edit]

Year Film Notes
1998 Bombay Boys
2001 Dil Chahta Hai
2004 Lakshya

Executive producer[edit]

Year Film Notes
2007 Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd.
2009 Luck By Chance


Year Award Category Film
2010 Filmfare Awards Best Debut Director Luck By Chance
2012 Best Director Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
Best Film - Critics
2012 IIFA Awards Best Director
Best Story
Best Screenplay
2012 Apsara Awards Best Director
Best Story
Best Screenplay
2012 Zee Cine Awards Best Story

Other appearances[edit]

She appeared on the Valentine's Day charity show of Kaun Banega Crorepati along with her brother Farhan Akhtar.[14] She also appeared in a very brief role as Rasa Devi's Rekha's Courtesan in Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love.[15]


  1. ^ a b "Zoya Akhtar". Outlook. 9 February 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  2. ^ "'I'm obsessed with people'". Rediff.com. 7 September 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  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. ^ Adarsh, Taran. "Box office Top 5". Bollywood hungama. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara: Cast and Crew details". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 2 July 2011. 
  9. ^ "Bollywood directors join hands to pay homage to Indian cinema". The Times of India. 7 May 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  10. ^ Dubey, Bharati (25 January 2012). "Film industry to mark Phalke centenary". The Times of India. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  11. ^ "'Dil Dhadakne Do' - Movie Review" (Mid-day.com). Mid Day. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  12. ^ "Zoya Akhtar's film is about a dysfunctional Punjabi family". Times of India. 23 February 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  13. ^ Zoya Announced as Best Director for ZNMD 2012
  14. ^ "Discuss: A Shah Rukh Valentine". Rediff. 14 February 2007. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  15. ^ "Discuss: Zoya Akhtar's IMDB Profile". 

External links[edit]