Anand Gandhi

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Anand Gandhi
आनंद गांधी
Anand Gandhi.jpg
Anand Gandhi
Born 26 September 1980
Occupation filmmaker, screenwriter, director

Anand Gandhi (आनंद गांधी) (born Anand Modi;[1] 26 September 1980 in Mumbai, India) is an independent filmmaker and screenwriter based in Mumbai most known for his debut feature film Ship of Theseus with won the National Film Award for Best Picture, which is considered India's equivalent of the Best Picture Oscar. He was initially involved in parallel theatre, where he wrote and directed several critically acclaimed plays.


His film directorial debut Right Here, Right Now (2003) achieved substantial critical acclaim. Right Here, Right Now is a 30-minute film that deals with the idea of cyclic causality. His second film Continuum (2006) was co-directed with Khushboo Ranka. Continuum is a montage of simple stories from everyday life, popular culture and folklore that explore "the continuum of life and death, of love and paranoia, of trade and value, of need and invention, of hunger and enlightenment".

Anand Gandhi's writing career began in 2000 with the emergence of the daily soap opera genre in India. He wrote dialogue for the first eighty-two episodes of a popular show called Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. Kyunki... and Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii, for which he wrote screenplay, are the longest running TV shows in the history of Indian Television. He is often quoted for his disgust over the aesthetics of Indian television, including the shows he wrote for.[2]

He moved away from his television career to write and direct highly acclaimed award-winning plays like Sugandhi, Pratyancha, Kshanotsav, Na and Janashtaru. Almost all his work has been produced for the alternative one-act theatre. He has written only one mainstream play, Chal Reverse Ma Jaiye. It achieved moderate success commercially and won the Transmedia Best Play award for 2005.

His first feature-length film, Ship of Theseus, premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, where it was discovered as the "hidden gem of the year".[3] It won the Best Film Award at the Transylvania International Film Festival, Best Cinematography Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival, the Jury Prize for Technical Excellence at the Mumbai Film Festival,[4] Best Actress Award at the Dubai International Film Festival.[5] It was given a Special Mention by the Sutherland Jury "for tickling our intellect and showing us rarely-seen facets of Indian life".[6] Critic Derek Malcolm put it on the list of "films that changed our lives", made to celebrate the centenary of The Critics' Circle.[7]

In July 2013, the Philosophy Department of the Mumbai University honoured him with a "Contribution to Jain Philosophy" award.

He is currently involved in producing a new mystery-thriller film called Tumbad, with his production company Recyclewala Labs. The film is under production and stars Gandhi's personal friend and producing partner Sohum Shah, as well as acclaimed Indian actor Irrfan Khan.[8]

He is overseeing the production of a crowdfunded documentary called Proposition for a Revolution on the rise of the Aam Aadmi Party and the anti-corruption protests in India.[9]


Year Film Contribution Awards/Notes
2003 Right Here, Right Now Director/Writer/Producer/DOP Syracuse International Film Festival - Best Film (International Short)
Shnit International Short-Film Festival - Best Film (Audience Choice Award)
Mocha Film Club - Best Film
2006 Continuum Director/Writer/Producer/DOP Hanover Up and Coming Film Festival - Film Comet
2013 Ship of Theseus Director/Writer/Producer Hong Kong International Film Festival - SIGNIS Award (Special Mention)
Screen Weekly Awards - Jury Prize
National Film Awards - Best Film
Transylvania International Film Festival - Best Film
Tumbad Writer/Producer in-production
Proposition for a Revolution Producer in-production

Personal life[edit]

He was born in Vaishnav Gujarati family and spoke Gujarati in initial 10 years. Later he was raised by Gujarati Jain family. He loves Gujarati poetry including that of Ramesh Parekh, Mareez and Shekhadam Abuwala. He writes poetry but does not publish it.[10]


In July 2013, a blog post suggested that Gandhi's critically acclaimed film Ship of Theseus may have been plagiarized from a short film by Akram Hassan.[11] In an interview later with MiD DAY, he defended his film's originality, calling the critics "complacent, vacuous and sensationalist and a representation of the state of faux film enthusiasm masquerading as commentary".[12] He was criticized as being egotistic for his strong verbal retaliation.[13]


External links[edit]