Why: Across the 40-minute runtime of his short film, Geeli Pucchi, part of Netflix anthology Ajeeb Daastaans, director Neeraj Ghaywan crafted the kind of complex, multi-layered protagonist that audiences had never seen represented onscreen — a woman who was queer, Dalit and defiantly so. His Bharti Mandal (a fantastic Konkona Sensharma) was butch, dark-skinned and frizzy haired, denied what she rightfully deserved and unapologetic about how she achieved it anyway. The short was a swift and concise condemnation of the patriarchy, with a stunning last shot that left audiences as satisfied as Bharti was.
Garnered international festival acclaim with her debut feature
Among the first to see potential in the direct-to-OTT model
Amplified the voices of female directors by backing Soorarai Pottru and Bittu
Consistently created relatable, endearing youth-centric content across languages