Zoya Akhtar Modern Day Bollywood Filmmaker

September 24, 2016

Guerrilla Filmmaking

Zoya Akhtar is a modern-day Bollywood Filmmaker. Her first film was the critically applauded LUCK BY CHANCE (2009).

Name: Zoya Akhtar
Born: 9th January 1974
Occupation: Director, Casting Director
Years Active: 1999- Present

Personal life

Zoya Akhtar was born on 9th January 1974 to poet, lyricist, and screenwriter is daughter of Javed Akhtar and screenwriter Honey Irani. Her twin brother is Bollywood actor, director, producer, singer and lyricist Farhan Akhtar. She was born and brought up in Mumbai. Her stepmother is actress Shabana Azmi. She is the granddaughter of Urdu Poet Jan Nisar Akhtar. Zoya is an atheist.


As a Casting Director

Zoya started her career in films by working in the Casting Department. She did the casting for extras in movies like KAMA SUTRA: A TALE OF LOVE (1996), BOMBAY BOYS (1998), SPLIT WIDE OPEN (1999) and BHOPAL EXPRESS (1999).

She was the Casting Director for movies like DIL CHAHTA HAI (2001), ARMAAN (2003) and LAKSHYA (2004).

As a Assistant Director or Second Unit Director

Zoya was the assistant director for DIL CHAHTA HAI (2001) and LAKSHYA (2004). She was the second assistant director for BOMBAY BOYS (1998).

As a Actress

Zoya has appeared in the film KAMA SUTRA: A TALE OF LOVE (1996), as Rasa Devi’s (played by actress Rekha) courtesan.

As a Director

Zoya Akhtar made her directorial debut with LUCK BY CHANCE (2009), starring her brother Farhan Akhtar and Konkana Sen Sharma in the lead roles. The film revolves around the lives of a starlet Sona Mishra (Konkana) and Vikram Jaisingh (Farhan) and how the successes and failures on the way change their relationship and lives.

It took more than 6 years for Zoya to make this film. The script was ready in 2001, but finding a male lead was becoming impossible. None of the top actors in Bollywood wanted to play the lead role, because he is shown as a struggler and a bit of a hustler.

With the arrival of multiplexes and corporates, Zoya had hope again. Reema Kagti, director of Honeymoon Travels suggested that Zoya could cast Farhan in the lead role. Zoya took the advice and Farhan did a superb job as Vikram Jaisingh. The film was well appreciated by the critics and Zoya’s skills as a director were applauded. However, the film did average performance at the box office, in India and overseas.

Upcoming movies as a director

Zoya is currently directing ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA, starring Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol and, Kalki Koechlin. The movie is slated for release in May 2011. It is being shot in the UK, Greece, Spain, Turkey, Thailand and India.

As a Writer (story and lyrics)

Zoya Akhtar has written the film Luck By Chance (2009) and a short film on Aids, MIGRATION (2007), directed by Mira Nair.

Zoya has also written the lyrics for a few songs in Gurinder Chadha’s Bride and Prejudice (2004) along with her brother Farhan Akhtar.

As a Producer

Zoya was the Executive Producer for LAKSHYA (2004), HONEYMOON TRAVELS PVT. LTD. (2009), and LUCK BY CHANCE (2010). Excel Entertainment, created by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani, has produced all these films.

Appearances on TV

Zoya has appeared along with her brother Farhan Akhtar on the TV show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’, hosted by Amitabh Bachchan in 2007.

Special Mention

Zoya has received a special mention in the credits of Mira Nair’s THE NAMESAKE (2006) and Sudhir Mishra’s HAZAARON KHWAISHEIN AISI (2003).

Riddhi Mehta is editor of http://www.bollywoodchaska.com/content/zoya_akhtar-528/. She has over 3 years writing experience for bollywood movies. She says whatever she feels. She is not worried how bollywood will react to her views.

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