20 prime innovators in entertainment who have shaken up things and ignited conversations

Last year, when the editorial team of Film Companion put their heads together to compile Disruptors 2020, we were already a few months into the pandemic and assumed that we had seen the worst. This year was even tougher. We’re looking at a period (September 2020-September 2021) during which movie theatres were, for the most part, non-functional and the brutal Second Wave shut down productions just when things were looking brighter. Disruptors 2021 is a compilation of Indian artists that broke through despite these limitations and kept us entertained through the darkness.

  • Fahadh Faasil

    Fahadh Faasil

    He became a legit OTT-era superstar with his prolific run during the pandemic

  • Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DKt

    Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK

    Created a stellar second season of their popular spy thriller show, The Family Man

  • Naveen Polishetty

    Naveen Polishetty

    Showed us that you don’t always need a big star to pull in crowds

  • Prithviraj-Sukumaran

    Hansal and Jai Mehta

    Created a pathbreaking web-series that changed the game for Indian shows

  • Nimisha-Sajayan

    Nimisha Sajayan

    Gave us back-to-back impeccable performances in 2021

  • Jeo-Baby

    Jeo Baby

    Started a nation-wide debate by making an indie for an unknown OTT platform

  • Yashraj-Mukhate

    Yashraj Mukhate

    Parlayed massive viral success into a steady career

  • Samantha-Akkineni

    Samantha Ruth Prabhu

    Made her big national debut as Raji, a Sri Lankan Tamil freedom fighter in The Family Man 2

  • Arivu, Dhee, Santhosh Narayanan

    Created the insanely catchy and intricately produced ‘Enjoy Enjaami’

  • Neeraj-Ghaywan

    Neeraj Ghaywan

    For foregrounding queer and Dalit aspects of identity in his short film

  • Payal-Kapadia

    Payal Kapadia

    Garnered international festival acclaim with her debut feature

  • Mahesh-Narayanan

    Mahesh Narayanan

    Among the first to see potential in the direct-to-OTT model

  • Guneet-Monga

    Guneet Monga

    Amplified the voices of female directors by backing Soorarai Pottru and Bittu

  • The Viral Fever

    The Viral Fever (TVF)

    Consistently created relatable, endearing youth-centric content across languages

  • Pa-Ranjith

    Pa. Ranjith

    Directed and co-wrote an emotionally intimate take on the underdog boxing film

  • Chaitanya Tamhane

    Chaitanya Tamhane

    His second feature was one of the year's best films and won big at the Venice Film Festival

  • Prateek-Gandhi

    Pratik Gandhi

    For his incredible breakout portrayal of Harshad Mehta

  • B-Praak

    B Praak

    Set new records with songs like 'Filhaal 2', 'Ranjha' and 'Mann Bharya 2.0'

  • Gaurav-Adarsh

    Adarsh Gourav

    For his brilliant performance in The White Tiger

  • Achint-Thakkar


    For creating India’s first true hit theme music in the prestige TV tradition