Anurag Kashyap

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Anurag Kashyap
Born Anurag Singh Kashyap
(1972-09-10) 10 September 1972 (age 42)
Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
Occupation Film director, producer, screenwriter and actor
Years active 1996–present
Spouse(s) Aarti Bajaj (m. 2003–09)
Kalki Koechlin (m. 2011)
Children 1
Relatives Abhinav Kashyap (brother)
Anubhuti Kashyap (sister)

Anurag Singh Kashyap (born 10 September 1972) is an Indian film director, producer, dialogue writer and screenwriter. Kashyap made his directorial debut with as yet unreleased Paanch, with Kay Kay Menon as the lead. Known for his realistic and original concept films, Anurag has directed Black Friday (2004), a controversial[1][2][3] and award-winning Hindi film about the 1993 Mumbai bombings, followed by No Smoking (2007), Dev D (2009), Gulaal (2009), That Girl in Yellow Boots (2011) and Gangs of Wasseypur (2012). He wrote the screenplay for the Academy Award-nominated Canadian film Water (2005). He founded his film production company, Anurag Kashyap Films Pvt. Ltd. in 2009, and is run by Guneet Monga.

In 1999, Kashyap shared the Star Screen Award for Best Screenplay, along with Saurabh Shukla for Ram Gopal Varma's Satya. The next year, his short film Last Train to Mahakali won the Special Jury Award at the same awards.[4] His feature film debut Black Friday won the Grand Jury Prize at the 3rd Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (2005),[5] and was a nominee for the "Golden Leopard" (Best Film) at the 57th Locarno International Film Festival (2004).[6] In 2010, he announced his association withTumbhi where he and his team will make six short films for Tumbhi and start his blog with them, as well[7][8] In 2011, he co-founded Phantom Films along with director Vikramaditya Motwane, producer Madhu Mantena and Vikas Bahl.He was listed on The DNA power list: Top 50 influentials, a list of 50 most influential Indians in 2011.[9]He is considered as the"Poster Boy" of the new wave cinema in bollywood. Kashyap currently serves on the board of Mumbai-based NGO, Aangan Trust, which helps protect vulnerable children around India.[10] He is one of the most influential and important directors in India.[11][12][13][14]

Early life and background[edit]

Anurag Kashyap was born in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh,[15] where his father Prakash Singh worked for the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation. He grew up in Gorakhpur.[16] He did his early schooling in Green School Dehradun and, age eight onwards, at the Scindia School in Gwalior. Some of the locations used in Gangs of Wasseypur are also influenced from his own old house where he himself lived with his parents, sister Anubhuti Kashyap and brother, Abhinav Kashyap.[17][18][19] Abhinav wrote and directed 2010-hit Dabangg starring Salman Khan, while his sister, Anubhuti assisted him in films like Dev.D and Gangs of Wasseypur.[20]

Due to Kashyap's desire to become a scientist, he went to Delhi for his higher studies and enrolled himself into a zoology course at the Hansraj College (University of Delhi); he graduated in 1993.[21][22][23] During his college days, he started watching films again and also got involved with drugs and alcohol. He was confused and depressed and had joined a street theater group, Jana Natya Manch; he ended up doing a lot of street plays.[18][24][23] The same year, a couple of friends introduced him to world cinema; they "urged [him] to catch a de Sica retrospective" at the International Film Festival of India.[17][18] In ten days, he saw 55 films at the festival,[23][25] and de Sica's Bicycle Thieves was the film that influenced him the most; watching it "was an epiphany."[21]

"from all different perspectives and in a way you can say that these films changed my life and it’s meaning completely for me."


The film festival and de Sica made a deep impact on Kashyap — he wanted to do something with films — so he landed in Mumbai in June 1993 with INR 5,000– 6,000 in his pocket.[24][26] The money ran out after he stayed for a couple of days in a "good hotel." He spent the next eight months on the streets, staying in lofts, "sleeping on beaches," "under a water tank and in the St Xavier's [college] boys hostel."[18] He managed to find work at Prithvi Theatre, but his first play remained incomplete because the director died. He then joined Makrand Deshpande's troupe — Samrangan — but left because he "could not face life. [He] wanted to act but [he] couldn't act with all that frustration."[22]

Kashyap then wrote an "eight-page drama" — Main (I) — which did well at college drama festivals. People advised him to pursue a career in writing. Kashyap's play was appreciated by directors like Govind Nihalani and Saeed Mirza. Nihalani was working on a television series based on classic works, and he gave Kashyap a couple of books—a play by Henrik Ibsen, and Franz Kafka's The Trial—so that he could write scripts based on them. Kashyap read The Trial and told Nihalani that the book could only be made into an animation film, not a regular one. Nihalani asked him to reconsider. But the books had "confused [Kashyap] so much that [he] started thinking that [he] didn't know anything!" Kashyap started avoiding Nihalani; he went into "hibernation for a year and a half, and kept reading."[24][22]

In 1995, an acquaintance introduced Kashyap to Shivam Nair, director of the 2006 film Ahista Ahista. The day they met, Kashyap watched Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver at Nair's place—on a "bad vcr" and using a "mutilated tape"; the film fascinated him. "I want to write something," Kashyap told Nair, and spent the next few days sitting in a corner as people like Sriram Raghavan, Sridhar Raghavan and Shiv Subramaniam discussed things. Sridhar introduced him to the world of books—authors like James M. Cain.[24] The team was working on two projects, one of which was a docu-drama, Auto Narayan, based on the life of serial killer Auto Shankar; the second one was a film scripted by Kashyap.[23][27] Auto Narayan got delayed because the script penned by Subramaniam was not "working." Kashyap rewrote the script, and got credit for the same, and the second film was scrapped. But Kashyap had now proved himself, and so got access to a VCR and television set. He started bringing in video tapes and spent many days watching films.[24]

In September 1993, while Kashyap stayed at the St. Xavier's Boys Hostel, he used to hang out with the members of a band—Greek (later Pralay). He took copious notes on how they lead their lives—forty pages of a small notebook, and began writing the script—"in bits and pieces"—for a film that he called Mirage but which would later become Paanch. Kashyap had seen ex-VJ Luke Kenny in a Vikram Kapadia play, and approached him with an incomplete script, but nothing came out of it.[24][23][25] Later on, while working with Nair, he came across files related to the Joshi-Abhyankar Serial Murders that took place in Pune in 1976.[28]

"Five very ordinary college kids viciously murdered nine people. I got what I needed to finish my script then."[25]

He had also seen a film, Fun, about two mentally unstable girls murdering an elderly woman. And Paanch was ready to be made into a film. Kashyap says—

"There was a structuring in Fun, which you will also see in Paanch. There was something in Fun. When I began looking for it, I saw a pattern in Last Train to Mahakali, in my own film Paanch and in Auto Narayan. All three films had a similar formula. I am able to analyze it because I have.[24]

In 1998, Ram Gopal Varma hired Kashyap, alongside Saurabh Shukla to write the screenplay and dialogues for Satya.[24][22] Satya was a commercial and critical success, and Kashyap collaborated with Varma on a few more films writing the dialogues for Kaun? (1999) and Shool (1999). He also wrote the dialogues for Mani Ratnam's Yuva (2004). Kashyap made his directorial debut with Paanch, with Kay Kay Menon as the lead in 2000. However, the film ran into trouble with the Indian censor board and hasn't been released to date.[29] In 2007, he adapted Stephen King's 1978 short story "Quitters, Inc." as No Smoking, which despite being received well by critics, didn't do well at the box-office.[30] This was followed by Return of Hanuman (previously Hanuman Returns) a Hindi animation film about adventures of the Hindu god Hanuman.

In March 2009, while announcing steering away from screenwriting, after his current assignments to concentrate on direction, Kashyap also announced two new film projects. Bombay Velvet, a thriller based on real incidents in 1960s, based on a script by Princeton University Historian Gyan Prakash, starring Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka sharma which is slated to release on May 2015 . Doga, the second film, will be based on the Raj Comics super hero.[31][32]

In 2012 Anurag Kashyap was praised for his ambitious directorial venture Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 1 and Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 2.He also produced a music album called SATAN which features famous singer Yo Yo Honey Singh with whom he has worked earlier for his production Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana. He has produced nine films after releasing SATAN in under his production house - AKFPL (Anurag Kashyap Films Private Limited). In terms of direction, he lined with Ugly, Bombay Velvet and Bombay Talkies. His film Ugly was screened in the Directors' Fortnight section at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.[33]However the film is still unreleased due to the censorship issues regarding smoking scenes in the film.

Awards and recognition[edit]

. On 20 May 2013, he was awarded the Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) by the French government at 2013 Cannes Film Festival, when India was the guest country of the festival to commemorate 100 years of Indian cinema.[34] He was also one of the jury members at the 13th Marrakech International Film Festival in Morocco with president of the jury Martin Scorsese along with jury members Fatih Akin, Patricia Clarkson, Marion Cotillard, Amat Escalante, Golshifteh Farahani, Narjiss Nejjar, Park Chan-wook and Paolo Sorrentino, who chose award winners amongst the 15 international feature films in competition.

Recurring themes[edit]

Frequently his movies have themes of drug and alcohol abuse,excessive smoking, teenage angst, clinical depression, emotional abuse, extreme rage and frustration, arrogance, and above all self destruction. These qualities are found in his films due to their reflections in his personal life from time to time.Most of his movies deal with very realistic scenarios and take excerpts from the scandals seen in newspapers in day to day life like the 1976-77 Joshi-Abhyankar serial murders reference in Paanch (2003), the 1993 Mumbai bombings in Black Friday (2004), the Sanjeev Nanda BMW hit-and-run case and MMS scandal in Dev.D (2009)) and portrayal of real life gang wars that took place in the region of Dhanbad,Jharkhand in Gangs of Wasseypur (2012).Frequent usage of snorricam and Hand-held camera,use of experimental soundtracks.

Personal life[edit]

Kashyap, with Ex-wife Kalki at the 2010 Filmfare Awards.

Anurag was married to Aarti Bajaj, they also have a daughter named Aaliya. They separated when he was turning to be an alcoholic, as in depression of his unreleased movie Paanch.[35]

On 30 April 2011, Kashyap got married to Kalki Koechlin at Kalki's maternal home in Ooty.[36] They first met during the making of Dev D.[37] Anurag and Kalki collaborated on making of the movie Shaitan. They also worked together in That Girl in Yellow Boots. On Nov 11, 2013 Kashyap and Kalki Koechlin announced that "they are taking time apart from their more than two-year-old marriage." [38]

When asked about his religious worldview in an IAmA he did on, Anurag replied, "I am an atheist. Cinema is the only religion I believe in".[39]


Feature films[edit]

Year Film Director Producer Screenwriter Actor Notes
1997 Kabhie Kabhie Yes Television Series
1997 Jayate Yes
1998 Satya Yes
1999 Shool Yes (only dialogue)
1999 Kaun Yes
2000 Jung Yes
2001 Nayak Yes (only dialogue)
2003 Paanch Yes Yes Unreleased
2004 Paisa Vasool Yes
2004 Yuva Yes (only dialogue)
2005 Water Yes
2005 Main Aisa Hi Hoon Yes
2007 Black Friday Yes Yes
2007 No Smoking Yes Yes
2007 Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal Yes (only dialogue)
2007 Return of Hanuman Yes
2007 Fool N Final Yes
2007 Shakalaka Boom Boom Yes
2009 Kurbaan Yes (only dialogue)
2009 Luck by Chance Yes
2009 Dev D Yes Yes Yes Nominated — Filmfare Award for Best Director
Nominated — IIFA Award for Best Director
Nominated — Apsara Award for Best Director
Nominated — Asia Pacific Screen Award for Achievement in Directing
Nominated — IIFA Award for Best Story
2009 Gulaal Yes Yes Yes Nominated — Filmfare Award for Best Story
2010 Udaan Yes Yes Won — Filmfare Award for Best Story
Won — Filmfare Award for Best Screenplay
Won — Screen Award for Best Film
Nominated — Filmfare Award for Best Film
Nominated — IIFA Award for Best Story
2010 I Am Yes
2010 Mumbai Cutting Yes Yes
2010 Muskurake Dekh Zara Yes
2011 That Girl in Yellow Boots Yes Yes Yes
2011 Soundtrack Yes
2011 Shagird Yes
2011 Tera Kya Hoga Johny Yes
2011 Trishna Yes Yes Premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival
2011 Michael Yes
2011 Shaitan Yes
2012 Gangs of Wasseypur - Part 1 Yes Yes Premiered at Cannes Film Festival in 2012
Nominated — Asia Pacific Screen Award for Achievement in Directing
Nominated - Filmfare Award for Best Film
Nominated - Filmfare Award for Best Director
2012 Gangs of Wasseypur - Part 2 Yes Yes
2012 Aiyyaa Yes Yes
2012 Chittagong Yes
2012 Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana Yes
2012 SATAN Yes Music Album
2012 Talaash: The Answer Lies Within Yes (Additional dialogues)
2012 Tasher Desh Yes
2012 Shahid Yes World premiere at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival
2012 Peddlers Yes
2012 The World Before Her Yes He Co-presented this Documentary film. Won awards at Canadian International Documentary Festival and Tribeca Film Festival.
2013 The Lunchbox Yes Screened at 2013 Cannes Film festival
Screened at 2013 Toronto International Film Festival
Won - Cannes Film Festival - Critics Week Viewers Choice Award (Grand Rail d'Or)
Won - World Cinema Amsterdam Audience Award - Best Film
2013 Monsoon Shootout Yes Screened at 2013 Cannes film festival
2013 Bombay Talkies Yes Directing one story out of four stories
2013 Lootera Yes Yes
2013 Shorts Yes Co-producer
2014 Hasee Toh Phasee Yes Yes (dialogue)
2014 Bhoothnath Returns Yes
2014 Queen Yes Also Film Editor
2014 Yudh Yes TV series
2014 Katiyabaaz Yes premiered at 2013 Tribeca Film Festival.Won awards at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival and 61st Natinal Film Awards.
2014 Tigers Yes Directed by Danis Tanovic
2015 Ugly Yes Yes Screened at 2013 Cannes film festival
2015 Doga Yes Yes Upcoming action/superhero film based on Raj comics character Doga
2015 NH10 Yes Upcoming thriller film
2015 Ghoomketu Yes
2015 Bombay Velvet Yes Yes Yes Upcoming drama film

Short films[edit]

Year Film Credited as
Director Producer Writer Actor Notes
1999 Last Train to Mahakali Yes Yes Yes Short film aired on Star Plus
2010 Tubelight ka Chaand Yes
2010 The Joy of Giving Yes
2010 Encounter Yes
2011 Shor Yes
2013 Moi Marjaani Yes
2013 Geek Out Yes
2013 The Epiphany Yes
2013 Chai Yes Directed by Gitanjali Rao
2013 Hidden Cricket Yes
2013 That Day After Every Day Yes Yes Short film on eve teasing and molestation.[40]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Somini Sengupta (20 February 2007). "In India, Showing Sectarian Pain to Eyes That Are Closed". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 February 2009. 
  2. ^ Hiren Kotwani (23 February 2007). "I just can't be politically correct: Anurag Kashyap". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 10 February 2009. 
  3. ^ "No Black Friday till blasts case verdict". Press Trust of India. 31 March 2005. Retrieved 10 February 2009. 
  4. ^ "8th Annual Asian Paints STAR SCREEN Weekly Awards". Screen Weekly. January 2000. Retrieved 10 February 2009. 
  5. ^ "The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles Announces Winners". Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles. 24 April 2005. Retrieved 10 February 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ "57th Locarno International Film Festival - International Competition". Locarno International Film Festival. August 2004. Retrieved 10 February 2009. [dead link]
  7. ^ "I never run after stars: Anurag Kashyap". Indo-Asian News Service. 31 August 2010. Archived from the original on 2 September 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2010. 
  8. ^ "Anurag Kashyap launches 'Tum Bhi'". 31 August 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2010. 
  9. ^ "The DNA power list: Top 50 influentials : New Wave Cinema Man". List. DNA. 29 July 2011. Retrieved 13'th November 2011.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  10. ^ "Anurag Kashyap, Kiran Rao at a Mumbai do". The Times Of India. 18 March 2011. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Parul Khanna (5 July 2013). "Anurag Kashyap, the Godfather". Hindustan Times, Brunch. Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  17. ^ a b "Moving beyond art". The Telegraph (Calcutta, India). Retrieved 23 June 2009. 
  18. ^ a b c d Anurag Kashyap and Shoma Chaudhury (7 October 2006). "Catcher In The Rye". Retrieved 23 June 2009. 
  19. ^ Why can't I question Modi or Manmohan CNN IBN, 27 April 2009.
  20. ^ "Anurag Kashyap's sister refuses his film?". The Times Of India. 16 April 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  21. ^ a b Why Sica Moved Patna
  22. ^ a b c d 'Black Friday is based on facts!'
  23. ^ a b c d e Interview Anurag Kashyap (Part 1) : A Man With A Vision
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h The 'Pahli Seedi' Anurag Kashyap Interview, excerpts from the interview (in Hindi) conducted by Pravesh Bhardwaj and Ajay Brahmatmaj
  25. ^ a b c Anurag Kashyap is jinxed no more
  26. ^ Audacious, irreverent, yet refreshingly original
  27. ^ 'Ahista Ahista is inspired from real life'
  28. ^ Total Knockout: A Censor Punch For Paanch
  29. ^ On the making of Paanch - Interview
  30. ^ You might need a second seating to fully appreciate Anurag Kashyap’s new film Mint, Saturday, 27 October 2007.
  31. ^ Anurag Kashyap to stop writing Wednesday, 11 March 2009.
  32. ^ Anurag Kashyap Teams Up With John Abraham Again, 27 March 2009.
  33. ^ "List of films in Cannes Directors' Fortnight". Cannes. 24 May 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  34. ^ "Anurag Kashyap gets French honour at Cannes". Hindustan Times. 18 May 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  35. ^ Kalki and I are together: Anurag Kashyap DNA, 23 January 2009.
  36. ^ Meet Mr. and Mrs. Kashyap "Rediff", 2 May 2011.
  37. ^ Anurag Kashyap's girlfriend Kalki Sify Movies, 24 January 2009.
  38. ^ Anurag Kashyap, Kalki Koechlin Separating, 13 November 2013.
  39. ^ Anurag, Kashyap. Retrieved 11 October 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  40. ^ "That Day After Everyday -Film". Youtube. LargeShortFilms - Youtube. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]