SCHOOL TIMES : Asia’s film luminaries

Asia has produced a number of legendary filmmakers. We may have heard about some and perhaps even watched films made by them. Here are some of Asia’s best filmmakers of all times.

Satyajit Ray

The Apu Trilogy and Nayak (1966) creator and director Satyajit Ray is one of the most celebrated Indian filmmakers. Born in 1921 to a prestigious family in Calcutta, Ray was the grandson of a well known Bengali intellectual Kishore Ray, who was a writer and a journalist.

This Indian filmmaker was honoured by different movie idols such as Sir David Lean who called him ‘The jewel of India’, while the Japanese movie legend Akira Kurosawa called him ‘The only one movie-pillar of India’.

Ray’s movie Pather Panchali (The song of road) is considered one of the greatest movies not only in India but in the whole world. He was awarded the Oscar in 1994 (Lifetme Achievement) for his outstanding work in filmmaking. He is a only person in his nation to have won an Oscar till now.

Major films: Pather

Panchali, Nayak, Shatranj ke Khiladi

Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa is considered one of the most versatile Asian movie directors of all times and has been considered an oriental director who portrays the visual beauties of the Japanese tradition on celluloid. He got his first grand prize in the Venice film festival for his movie The Seven Samurai in 1951, which is considered a renowned masterpiece and inspired the Yul Bryner starrer cowboy flick The Magnificent Seven. He was also the Oscar for lifetime achievement in the year 1990.

Major films: The Seven Samurai, Yume (Dreams)

Ang Lee

Taiwan-born US film producer and director Ang Lee has been recently been mired in controversy and rumours. Two months ago, when he won the Oscar for best director for Brokeback Mountain, some people raised a furore saying that his film does not suit society as it portrays gay love. Lee is not only well known for this film. His earlier hits include Hulk, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Sense and Sensibility.

Major films: Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon,

Brokeback Mountain



This Indian filmmaker is popularly known as ‘director of Mr India’. His other noteworthy films are Masoom. He directed the English film Elizabeth, that starred Oscar winner Cate Blanchett. This film was nominated for the Oscars for best picture in 1999. He is famous for making the film on the former dacoit Phoolan Devi Bandit Queen.

Major films: Mr India,

Elizabeth, Bandit Queen

Sanjay Leela Bhansali

He entered the Indian film industry by writing the screenplay of 1942-A Love Story. His directorial debutant was Khamoshi in 1997. The year 2002 was the year of Bhansali as he won rave reviews for Devdas. The flick was screened at the Cannes Film Festival and Bhansali was named director of the year by film critics. His recent hit is Black that was a blockbuster as well as a critical success.

Major films: Black, Devdas — Nischal Poudyal, Arunima School