Zoya Akhtar (born 14 October 1972) is an Indian film director and screenwriter. She made her debut as director with critically acclaimed Luck By Chance (2009). In 2011, she directed the critically and commercially successful film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and won the Filmfare Award for Best Director for it.
Zoya started her career as co-director a music video called "Price of Bullets" for a rock band. She has worked as a casting director for films including Dil Chahta Hai and Split Wide Open, and as an assistant director for her brother Farhan Akhtar's films, Lakshya and Dil Chahta Hai. She then worked as an executive producer for her longtime partner Reema Kagti's Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd., also produced by Excel Entertainment.
Zoya made her directorial debut with Luck By Chance (2009), starring her brother Farhan Akhtar and Konkana Sen Sharma. Telling the story of a struggling actor who breaks into the Industry. The film was well-received by critics, despite not doing well at the box office. In 2011, she directed Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, a multistarrer with Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar, Katrina Kaif and Kalki Koechlin. It turned out to be a huge box office success and was well received by critics and won her Filmfare Award for Best Director. In 2013, Akhtar teamed up with Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee and Karan Johar for Bombay Talkies. It was made as a celebration of 100 years of Indian cinema. She then went on to direct Dil Dhadakne Do (2015), a film based on a dysfunctional Punjabi family starring Ranveer Singh and Priyanka Chopra as brother and sister, with Anushka Sharma and Farhan Akhtar as their respective love interests and Anil Kapoor as their father.
Zoya Akhtar was born on 14 October 1972 in Mumbai to poet, lyricist and screenwriter Javed Akhtar and screenwriter Honey Irani. Zoya's stepmother is Shabana Azmi. Zoya is the sister of Farhan Akhtar and granddaughter of Urdu poet Jan Nisar Akhtar. She went to school at Maneckji Cooper and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at St. Xavier's College, both in Mumbai. Later, she joined the New York University Film School to learn film production.