Bollywood actresses who turned director
Bollywood is all about equal rights. (Okay, it isn't really, but sometimes it at least pretends.)
One thing we can say about Hindi cinema is that at least we have actresses with substance. They might be the exceptions, but they are always around.
Which is why, on the heels of this actors who became directors slideshow, we have one about actresses.
Here's a look at Bollywood leading ladies who have turned, or are turning, filmmakers:
Lara Dutta's independent project
After claiming over and over again that she's good at comedy -- which may well be true, but she's clearly not as good at choosing scripts -- Lara Dutta will now apparently be directing a film herself, an independent little project.
Let's see if her knack of backing the most moneymaking farces sees her in good stead with her own film, and she can find audiences.
Image: Lara Dutta
Sushmita Sen's Jhansi Ki Rani
Sushmita Sen's been off the radar for a while, appearing in the occasional B-profile film, all this blamed on her single-minded obsession with a film on Rani Laxmibai.
Sush is a strong, independent woman -- and clearly the most substantial thinker amid all our beauty queens -- but her promising career has been derailed by bad personal decisions.
There's no word on progress of her pet project, but one hopes she's done soon.
Image: Sushmita Sen
Mahesh Bhatt's plucky daughter ventured into direction in 2004 with Paap, a raunchy thriller starring John Abraham and Udita Goswami.
The film didn't set the box office on fire, and her subsequent forays into filmmaking -- the tawdry Dhokha and the Dirty Dancing ripoff Holiday -- haven't done too well either.
Next up is Kajra Re, remake of her father's Sadak, featuring Himesh Reshammiya in the lead.
Image: Pooja Bhatt
Striking actress Nandita Das made her directorial debut in 2008 with Firaaq, a film that has been a toast at major international festivals.
Focussing on the 2002 Gujarat massacre, the film is set overa 24-hour period and stars arthouse staples like Naseeruddin Shah, Paresh Rawal and Deepti Naval.
Das hasn't announced her next project yet, but with a debut like that, we're waiting for more.
Image: Nandita Das
The actress best known for her iconic Basanti character in Sholay in turn introduced India to an icon with her directorial debut.
Dil Aashna Hai starred the late Divya Bharti opposite a very young Shah Rukh Khan. The film didn't do well but the actor, well, did.
Hema found more success with a TV show she made called Noopur, a drama starring herself as a Bharatnatyam dancer.
Image: Hema Malini
Her acting debut was for Satyajit Ray, and after a long and wonderful innings as an actress, Aparna took to direction with great and natural zeal.
Her first film, 36, Chowringhee Lane, got rave reviews, and set her on the path of making serious cinema.
Films like Paroma and Sati can be considered feminist, and successes like Paromitar Ek Din and, more recently, Mr & Mrs Iyer, have found near-unanimous critical applause.
Her last film was The Japanese Wife, which released a few months ago.
Image: Aparna Sen
A longtime actress working in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi cinema, Revathi made her first film in 2002.
Mitr, My Friend was about a complicated man-woman relationship, and the film found its audience, winning her a Best Director (English) National Award that year.
Her next film, Phir Milenge, focussed on AIDS-awareness. Her last project was as one of the ten directors of last year's highly acclaimed Kerala Cafe, a portmanteau project.