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

How do you define disruption in a world thoroughly disrupted? What is the role of the artist in a global pandemic? As death and disease swirl around, can stories sustain us? These were some of the questions we grappled with as we put together the list of Film Companion Disruptors. Incredibly, even in a year as difficult as 2020 (the time period we’ve considered is August 2019-August 2020), there were a slew of artists across the country doing innovative work. Which invariably led to debate – members of the editorial team argued and passionately put forth a defense of their favorite candidates. We ended up with an eclectic list which includes an Oscar-winning composer; an actor best-known for villainous roles who became, when life demanded it, a humanitarian and warrior; an NRI couple in Germany who are decoding Malayalam cinema; and a Bollywood leading lady who refuses, unlike her seniors, to toe the line and stay silent.

In J.R.R Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo says to Gandalf: “I wish it need not have happened in my time.” Gandalf replies: “So do I and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

The artists on this list decided well. Presenting Disruptors 2020!

  • Ajay-Devgn

    Ajay Devgn

    His 100th film, Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, was a massive box office success

  • Jaideep

    Jaideep Ahlawat

    With Paatal Lok, he disrupted the notion that the lead role can only be played by a star

  • Kanika-Dhillon

    Vinod Kamble

    His Hindi film Kastoori disrupts the idea of a message movie

  • Prithviraj-Sukumaran

    Rakshit Shetty

    Starred and co-wrote Avane Srimannarayana, a one-of-a-kind masala Kannada movie

  • Prithviraj-Sukumaran

    Satyadev Kancharana

    In Uma Maheswara Ugra Roopasya, he brought a sweetness you hardly find in today’s leading men

  • Prithviraj-Sukumaran

    Saloni Gaur

    This 20 year old Delhi University student breaks down complex issues with her satirical videos

  • Prithviraj-Sukumaran

    Diljit Dosanjh

    Created and released an entire album of 16 songs during the lockdown

  • Prithviraj-Sukumaran

    Anushka Sharma-Karnesh Ssharma

    For backing new talent and scoring twice this year with Paatal Lok and Bulbbul

  • Prithviraj-Sukumaran

    A R Rahman

    The composer has disrupted the traditional shelf-life of a composer

  • Prithviraj-Sukumaran

    Taapsee Pannu

    She's created her own brand of films - smartly-budgeted movies with strong messaging

  • Prithviraj-Sukumaran

    Manju Warrier

    For her portrayals of bold, brave women who do what’s usually asked of men in the movies

  • Prithviraj-Sukumaran

    Danish Sait

    The Bangalore-based comic became our first bona fide lockdown star

  • Prithviraj-Sukumaran


    With Kaithi, he redefined what’s 'acceptable' in a mainstream film

  • Prithviraj-Sukumaran

    Sonu Sood

    His kindness and generosity towards migrants hit by the pandemic is disruptive

  • Prithviraj-Sukumaran

    Anna Ben

    The actress proved that one’s range needn’t be the result of years of experience

  • Prithviraj-Sukumaran

    Smriti Mundhra

    Indian Matchmaking was the most binged, discussed, dissected, criticized show on Netflix

  • Prithviraj-Sukumaran

    R. Parthiban

    Broke convention with his one-man-showesque Tamil thriller Oththa Seruppu: Size Seven

  • Prithviraj-Sukumaran

    Arati Kadav

    She went where few Indian directors dare to - into the realm of science-fiction

  • Prithviraj-Sukumaran

    K. R. Sachidanandan

    With his sudden demise, we’ve all been robbed of great films and complex characters

  • Prithviraj-Sukumaran

    Aparna Purohit

    Thanks to her creative choices, Amazon Prime Video may be winning the Indian streaming wars

  • Prithviraj-Sukumaran

    Halitha Shameem

    Her anthology Silu Karupatti spoke about complex issues with sweetness

  • Prithviraj-Sukumaran

    Gokul Das

    Created the believable bulls of Jallikattu without the use of extensive CGI

  • Prithviraj-Sukumaran

    The Mallu Analyst

    Raised the standard of discourse on Malayalam cinema with their YouTube channel

  • Prithviraj-Sukumaran

    Uday Kapur, Mo Joshi

    The independent music label backs and progressive, socially conscious music

  • Karuna Kumar

    Karuna Kumar

    His Telugu film Palasa 1978 talked about caste-based oppression beyond a black-and-white binary