These are the 25 prime innovators in entertainment who have shaken up things and ignited conversations

If words could get tired, ‘disruptor’ would be lying on a hospital bed, hooked up to an IV, near death with exhaustion because it’s been used and abused so much in the last few years. Anyone with a mildly sparkling idea has been dubbed a disruptor. The frequency has frayed its power. It’s like the chilling line the fabulously delusional villain Syndrome delivers in The Incredibles – When everyone’s super... no one will be.

We think it’s time to reclaim the word. The Cambridge dictionary defines disruptor as “a person or thing that prevents something, especially a system, process, or event from continuing as usual or expected.” Disruptors are innovators who, to steal a line from T. S. Eliot’s iconic poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, ‘dare disturb the universe.’ Something shifts because of their actions.

With this in mind, we present the first list of Film Companion Disruptors. These are the prime innovators in entertainment. Between July 1st 2018 and August 2019, these are the people who’ve shaken up things, ignited conversations, created new ways of seeing or found the beating pulse of an audience. This list was created by the Film Companion team, aided by researcher Trupti Kanade. For the last three months, we pored over names, argued accomplishments and struggled with who is truly a disruptor. We decided that these people are.

akshay kumar

Akshay Kumar

The actor is probably the only superstar of the post-Modi era.


Thiagarajan Kumararaja

His Super Deluxe disrupted the notion of Tamil mainstream cinema.


Kanika Dhillon

She’s given us fabulously messy female characters in a short span.


Prithviraj Sukumaran

Lucifer became the first Malayalam film to earn over Rs 200 cr.


Alokananda Dasgupta

For creating the expansive and layered soundscape of Sacred Games.


Ayushmann Khurrana

He's given good performances in good films, time after time.


Sandeep Reddy Vanga

For creating the divisive and disruptive character, Kabir Singh.


Rahi Anil Barve, Adesh Prasad

Tumbbad showed us that horror movies aren’t only about jump-scares.


Muhsin Parari, Sharfu, Suhas

Their screenplay of Virus should be taught in film schools for its craft.


Bhushan Kumar

The T Series YouTube channel is the first to hit a 100M subscribers.


Deepti D'Cunha

For building an ecosystem that nurtures indie talent.


The Casteless Collective

For creating protest music at its most powerful.


Gitanjali Rao

Her stunning animated feature Bombay Rose is a festival favourite.



Post the success of KGF, he’s no longer just a ‘Kannada star’.


Vijay Sethupathi

For going where very few actors have gone before in Super Deluxe.


Anita Udeep

In 90 ML, she made a movie that said ‘if men can do it, so can we’.


Zoya Akhtar

She disrupted twice this year with Gully Boy and Made In Heaven.


Prashasti Singh

She didn’t win Comicstaan, but is now the sharp voice that comedy needs.


Ranveer Singh

His diverse film choices make him the most exciting star of today.


Kabir Mehta is unique in how it shifts between a docu and fiction.



YouTube Channel that changed Malayalam digital entertainment.


Amala Paul

Choosing to do Aadai was disruption of the highest order.


Ekta Kapoor

Streaming giant ALTBalaji added a staggering 20M paid subscribers.


Mari Selvaraj

Pariyerum Perumal changed the notion of Dalit characters on screen.


Anand Patwardhan

His political documentary Vivek dares to question the powers that be.