Dharma Productions

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Dharma Productions Pvt. Ltd.
Industry Entertainment
Founded Mumbai, Maharashtra, India Pune (1976)
Founder Yash Johar
Headquarters Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Key people
Karan Johar (chairman) Apoorva Mehta (CEO)
Products Films Film Production Distribution Exhibition Television Advertisement
Website www.dharma-production.com

Dharma Productions Pvt. Ltd. is an Indian motion picture production and distribution company based in Mumbai as part of the Hindi film industry. The company was founded by Yash Johar in 1976 and was taken over in 2004 after his death by his son Karan Johar. It has produced several commercially and critically successful films over the years.


Initial success (1980-1998)[edit]

The company's first production was Raj Khosla's Dostana (1980) starring Amitabh Bachchan, Shatrughan Sinha, and Zeenat Aman. The film was the highest-grossing Bollywood film of the year.

The company then went on to produce Duniya (1984) and Muqaddar Ka Faisla (1987). Its next film was Agneepath (1990). Its next two films were Gumrah (1993) and Duplicate (1998), which were both directed by Mahesh Bhatt.

Rise to prominence (1998-2006)[edit]

Karan Johar
Karan Johar has directed five films under Dharma and has produced all of the company's films since his father's death in 2004.

The production house reached a turning point with the release of Karan Johar's directorial debut Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) starring Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Rani Mukerji. The film won several awards, like the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment and the Filmfare Award for Best Film.

The company's next film was Karan Johar's family drama Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... (2001) featuring a large ensemble cast led by Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Hrithik Roshan, and Kareena Kapoor. This was followed by Nikhil Advani's romantic drama Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003) starring Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, and Saif Ali Khan.

Dharma's next release was the natural horror film Kaal (2005) starring Ajay Devgan, John Abraham, Esha Deol, Vivek Oberoi and Lara Dutta. The film received mixed to positive reviews from critics. This was followed by Karan Johar's romantic drama Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006) featuring a large ensemble cast led by Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukerji, Abhishek Bachchan, Preity Zinta, Amitabh Bachchan, and Kirron Kher. The film dealt with the controversial subject of marital infidelity.

Widespread success (2008-present)[edit]

Dharma's next release was Tarun Mansukhani's romantic comedy Dostana (2008) starring Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham, and Priyanka Chopra. This was followed by Ayan Mukerji's coming-of-age film Wake Up Sid (2009) starring Ranbir Kapoor and Konkona Sen Sharma. Rensil D'Silva's counter-terrorism thriller Kurbaan (2009) starring Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, and Vivek Oberoi received much critical acclaim.

In 2010, Dharma produced two of the top ten highest-grossing Bollywood films of the year. The fifth spot on the list was taken by Karan Johar’s counter-terrorism drama My Name Is Khan (2010) starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, while the seventh spot was taken by Punit Malhotra’s romantic comedy I Hate Luv Storys (2010) starring Imran Khan and Sonam Kapoor. Later that year, the production house produced the family drama We Are Family (2010), a Hindi remake of the Hollywood film Stepmom (1998). The film received praise for the performances of the two lead actresses Kajol and Kareena Kapoor, who played roles originally played by Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts respectively.

The company's first film of 2012 was Karan Malhotra's Agneepath, a retelling of Dharma’s 1990 film of the same name. It featured Hrithik Roshan and Sanjay Dutt in the roles originated by Amitabh Bachchan and Danny Denzongpa respectively, while Priyanka Chopra and Rishi Kapoor played principal roles not in the original film. This was followed by Shakun Batra’s moderately romantic comedy Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu (2012) starring Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor. After this came Karan Johar’s coming-of-age romantic comedy Student of the Year (2012), which marked the debut of its three lead actors Sidharth Malhotra, Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt.

Dharma’s first release of 2013 was the teen comedy Gippi. This was followed by Ayan Mukerji’s coming-of-age romantic comedy Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013) starring Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Aditya Roy Kapur and Kalki Koechlin, which still ranks among the highest-grossing Bollywood films of all-time. Dharma was also one of the many production houses associated with the widely acclaimed drama The Lunchbox (2013) starring Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur, and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. They finished off the year with Punit Malhotra’s romantic comedy Gori Tere Pyaar Mein (2013) starring Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor.

In 2014, Dharma produced three romantic comedies all directed by first-time directors. The first was Vinil Matthews’s Hasee Toh Phasee (2014) starring Sidharth Malhotra and Parineeti Chopra, which was co-produced by Phantom Films. The second was Abhishek Varman’s 2 States (2014) starring Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt, a film adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s novel of the same name. The third was Shashank Khaitan’s Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (2014) starring Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt. After these three comedies came Rensil D'Silva's relatively black comedy Ungli (2014) starring Emraan Hashmi, Randeep Hooda, Kangana Ranaut, Sanjay Dutt, Angad Bedi and Neil Bhoopalam.

Upcoming projects[edit]

As of December 2014, Dharma has confirmed five upcoming projects. The first is Karan Malhotra’s Brothers, an adaptation of the Hollywood film Warrior (2011). The film, which stars Akshay Kumar and Sidharth Malhotra alongside Jacqueline Fernandez and Jackie Shroff, is currently slated to release in October 2015.

Slated to release in June 2016 is the romantic film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, which will be directed by Karan Johar and will feature Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma in pivotal roles. In November 2016, the company will release Karan Malhotra's period drama Shhuddhi starring Salman Khan. In December 2016, they will release Ayan Mukerji's currently untitled superhero film starring Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt.

Dharma has also announced that they are co-producing Rohit Shetty's remake of Subhash Ghai's cult classic Ram Lakhan (1989), which is currently set to release sometime in 2016.


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