Madhur Bhandarkar

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Madhur Bhandarkar
Madhur Bhandarkar on the Sets of Heroine
Born (1968-08-26) 26 August 1968 (age 46)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Occupation Film director, screenwriter, producer
Years active 1995 – present
Spouse(s) Renu Bhandarkar

Madhur Bhandarkar (Marathi: मधुर भांडारकर) (born 26 August 1968) is a National Award-winning Indian film director, script writer, and producer. He is best known for his films such as Chandni Bar (2001), Page 3 (2005), Traffic Signal (2007), Fashion (2008) and Heroine (2012). He won the National Award for Best Director for Traffic Signal.



Madhur Bhandarkar worked in a video cassette library in Khar, a suburb of Mumbai. This gave him access to a large collection of movies and he studied film-making through it.

After trying his skills with small time filmmakers as an assistant, Bhandarkar landed up as an assistant to Ram Gopal Varma. He even played his first cameo in his 1995 film Rangeela where he was the associate director to Ram Gopal Varma. A couple of years later he made his directorial debut with Trishakti which took more than three years to make and released in 1999. The film had a relatively low key cast and was largely ignored at the box office. After two years he directed Chandni Bar (2001) starring Tabu and Atul Kulkarni with a budget of Rs 15 million. The film was critically acclaimed and a box office success, which took Bhandarkar into the top league of filmmakers in Bollywood. He received his first National Award for this film and thereon won National awards for his films Page-3 and Traffic Signal. His movie Fashion (2008) also won National Awards for Best Actress (Priyanka Chopra) and for Best Supporting Actress (Kangana Ranaut).

Madhur was awarded the Gangasharan Singh Award (2009) by the HRD Ministry of India, this Presidential Award was given to him for his contribution to Hindi Cinema. Madhur was then conferred PL Deshpande Award a.k.a. Zenith Asia Award for significantly shaping the film making culture in his unique works and he has been described as The Film Maker of The First Decade of 21st Century. On the Silver Jubilee Year of Aashay Film Club, this award ceremony took place on 16 Nov at National Film Archive Theatre during 8th 'Pulotsav – An Art Festival' in Pune. PL Deshpande was a renowned writer, stage and film actor and his literary works are still revered in Maharashtra and others parts of the world. In his honour, Zenith Asia Award was given to Madhur Bhandarkar and his film Chandni Bar was also screened during the fest amongst landmark 25 films from world cinema.

Also recently, National Film Archive of India (NFAI) which falls under Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India preserved all the films of renowned Indian Film-Maker Madhur Bhandarkar. Chandni Bar, Page-3, Corporate, Traffic Signal, Fashion and Jail, are all the films of the realistic film-maker which will now find space in Government's Archival data for Indian Films.

The nature of job of National Film Archive of India is to safeguard the heritage of Indian cinema for posterity and act as a centre for dissemination of a healthy film culture in the country. Promotion of film scholarship and research on various aspects of cinema also form part of its Charter. Familiarizing foreign audiences with Indian cinema and to make it more visible across the globe is another declared objective of the Archive.

Personal life[edit]

Bhandarkar is a school drop-out. He came from a middle-class family. As a result, Madhur had to take up various jobs. He worked at a video store as an errand boy and dropped off cassettes to people from many walks of life including dance bar girls and film stars. He also sold chewing gum at traffic signals and worked as an assistant to small time directors for a paltry salary of INR1000. He also travelled to Muscat where his only sibling, his elder sister was based, in search of work. At a time when he was struggling in life, he travelled by bus and sometimes, those who had done bit roles in his films would offer him a seat only to embarrass him.[1]

He is a great devotee of the Hindu God Siddhivinayak and has been walking from his house in Khar, Mumbai to the temple for the past 16 years on every Tuesday. According to him, the film Corporate was his most difficult film as people in corporate world would shun him after he bared Page 3 culture in his earlier film. He took inspiration for Corporate from the Coke – Pepsi controversy. He has been invited to deliver lectures on corporate issues to management students after the release of Corporate. (Interview to TV channel IBN Lokmat on 26 November 2008) Bhandarkar married his girlfriend Renu Namboodiri on 15 December 2003 in Mumbai.[2] They have a daughter named Siddhi.

Directorial style[edit]

In most of his films, Bhandarkar's protagonist is female. (Tabu in Chandni Bar, Raveena Tandon in Satta, Konkona Sen Sharma in Page 3, Bipasha Basu in Corporate, Priyanka Chopra in Fashion and Kareena Kapoor in Heroine.) The exception here being Neil Nitin Mukesh, who was cast as the protagonist in the movie Jail. He has also depicted gay characters in his movies like Page 3, Traffic Signal and Fashion.

In an interview with Sanjay Ram of he says "My movies are not exposes, maybe they just hold up a mirror to society. My movies are not judgmental; I just show what happens in our society, sometimes there could be a solution and sometimes there may be none. Life goes on."[3] He is often criticised for making his characters look stereotypical and also for recycling the same idea in his films. This can be seen in his movies like Page 3, Fashion and Heroine. He has also played a cameo in the movie Fashion where he plays himself in one of the scenes prior to a fashion show and two models are shown discussing about him being as a 'realistic filmmaker'. This realism of society is clearly depicted in almost all his movies and which are all based on some or the other aspect of society.


Year Film Role Notes
2015 Calendar Girls Director
2012 Heroine Director
2011 Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji Director
2009 Jail Director, co-Writer
2008 Fashion Director, Writer (Story & Screenplay), producer
2007 Traffic Signal Director,
Writer (Dialogue, Screenplay & Story)
Won National Film Award for Best Director
2006 Corporate Director,
Writer (Screenplay)
Case Study for IIM Ahmedabad
2005 Page 3 Director,
Writer (Dialogue)
Won National Film Award for Best Feature Film
2004 Aan: Men at Work Director,
Writer (Dialogue & Story)
2003 Satta Director,
Writer (Dialogue & Story)
Won All India Human Rights Association Award
2001 Chandni Bar Director,
Won National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues
1999 Trishakti Director
1995 Rangeela Actor


Serial Channel
Specials @ 10 Sony TV



International awards[edit]

  • Chandni Bar, Best Film at Zimbabwe International Film Festival 2003 and Technical Award for Best Background Music Score at Moscow International Film Festival 2003.
  • Page 3, Official Selection at the Raindance Film Festival, London 2006 and IFFLA Los Angeles 2006. Corporate, Official Selection at the Berlin Asia-Pacific Film Festival 2006.
  • Fashion, Official Selection at the 31st Moscow International Film Festival 2009, Festival de Festivals, St.Petersburg 2009 and Norway Bollywood Festival 2009.
  • Retrospective of Page 3, Traffic Signal and Fashion with Russian Sub-Titles held by the Ministry of Culture, Russia and SOVEXPORTFILM in Moscow 2009.
  • Retrospective of Chandni Bar, Page 3, Corporate, Traffic Signal, Fashion and Jail at the 33rd Cairo International Film Festival 2009.
  • In 2009 he was awarded the Best Director for his Outstanding Contribution to Indian Cinema by the Ministry of Culture, Russia.
  • A retrospective of five films made by the filmmaker were showcased at the 33rd Cairo International Film Festival in Egypt from 10–20 November 2009. The films included Chandni Bar, Page3, Corporate, Traffic Signal and Fashion. Bhandarkar was present for the International event.

National awards[edit]

  • Chandni Bar – 4 National Awards(Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress) conferred by the then President of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
  • Page 3 – 3 National Awards(Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Editing) conferred by the then President of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
  • Traffic Signal – 2 National Awards(Best Director, Best Make-up) conferred by the then President of India Smt. Pratibha Patil.
  • Gangasharan Singh Award (2009) – Awarded by the HRD Ministry of India, this Presidential Award was given to him for his contribution to Hindi Cinema.

Other awards[edit]

  • Mayor of Mumbai – Excellency Award (2006)
  • Kalaranjani Awards – (2005)
  • Pride of Nation Award
  • Kesari Gaurav Sanman
  • Lions Gold Award (2005–06) (2008–09)
  • IMPPA Awards
  • Asian Film Foundation Award (2008)
  • Farsa Award (2009)


  1. ^ "I've no friends in Bollywood: Madhur – Times Of India". 27 September 2009. Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "Madhur Bhandarkar's wife Renu Namboodiri hates dark films : EYECATCHERS – India Today". 29 December 2003. Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  3. ^ My films just hold up a mirror to society – Madhur Bhandarkar
  4. ^ "Madhur Bhandarkar thanks Tabu for 'Chandni Bar' – Bollywood Movie News". IndiaGlitz. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  5. ^ PTI (13 July 2005). "Saif is the best actor; Page 3 best film – Times of India". Retrieved 5 November 2012. 
  6. ^ ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’ best popular film
  7. ^ "Madhur Bhandarkar honoured with Sophia Award in New York". IANS. 12 October 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  8. ^ "Bhandarkar honoured at the House of Commons". HindustanTimes. 8 November 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 

External links[edit]