Ayan Mukerji

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Ayan Mukerji
Mukerji in 2017
Born (1983-08-15) 15 August 1983 (age 40)
Other namesAyan Mukherjee
  • Director
  • screenwriter
  • producer
Years active2004–present
ParentDeb Mukherjee
FamilyMukherjee-Samarth family

Ayan Mukerji (born 15 August 1983) is an Indian filmmaker who works in Hindi films. A member of the Mukherjee-Samarth family, he is known for his collaborations with actor Ranbir Kapoor under Karan Johar's production banner Dharma Productions.

Mukerji made his directorial debut with the coming-of-age film Wake Up Sid (2009), which opened to strong reviews and box office returns.[1][2] His next two directorials, the romantic comedy Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013) and fantasy film Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva (2022), rank among the highest-grossing Hindi films. All three films earned him nominations for the Filmfare Award for Best Director, with Wake Up Sid also winning him the Filmfare Award for Best Debut Director.

Early life and background[edit]

Mukerjee was born in a Bengali Hindu family in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, the son of Bengali film actor Deb Mukherjee. His family was involved in the Indian film industry since 1930, when his grandfather Sashadhar Mukherjee first ventured into the field. Sashadhar Mukherjee was one of the founding partners of Filmistan Studio in Mumbai and a pioneer in the industry, producing films like Dil Deke Dekho (1959), Love in Simla (1960), Ek Musafir Ek Hasina (1962) and Leader (1964). Filmistan Studio is still run by Ayan's extended family.[3][4]

Ayan's grandmother, Satidevi Mukherjee (née Ganguly), wife of Sashadhar Mukherji, was the sister of pioneer actors Ashok Kumar and Anup Kumar, as well as singer Kishore Kumar. Ayan's grandfather's brothers were film producer Prabodh Mukherjee, director Subodh Mukherjee and Ravindra Mohan Mukherjee, the grandfather of actress Rani Mukherjee. Ayan's father's brothers were actors Joy Mukherjee, Subir Mukherjee and Shomu Mukherjee, who is the husband of actress Tanuja and the father of actresses Kajol and Tanisha Mukherjee.[5][6]

Mukerji studied at Jamnabai Narsee School in Vile Parle, Mumbai. He later attended Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Technology but dropped out after the first year to assist Ashutosh Gowariker as a clapper boy on Swades (2004).[7]


Mukerji started his career as an assistant director to his brother-in-law Ashutosh Gowariker on the drama Swades (2004), and later to Karan Johar on the romantic drama Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006), also appearing as an extra in the latter.

After taking a short break from filmmaking, Mukerji wrote the screenplay for the 2009 coming-of-age film Wake Up Sid and then directed it.[4] Starring Ranbir Kapoor and Konkona Sen Sharma in lead roles, it marked the first collaboration between Mukerji and Kapoor. The film tells the story of a careless rich college brat who is taught the value of owning up to responsibility by an aspiring writer from Kolkata. Produced by Johar's banner Dharma Productions, it opened to widespread critical acclaim for its novel concept, themes, direction, story, screenplay, soundtrack and the performances of the cast. It emerged as a commercial success at the box office, grossing 62 crore (US$7.8 million) worldwide.[8][9] Wake Up Sid earned Mukerji the inaugural Filmfare Award for Best Debut Director (tying for the award with Zoya Akhtar for Luck by Chance), in addition to his first nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Director.

Mukherji in 2012

Mukerji's second venture was the romantic comedy Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013), starring Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in lead roles. The film was his second under Johar's banner. The film revolves around two people who meet during a trekking trip where one falls in love with the other but refrains from expressing it. They soon drift apart but end up meeting again at a friend's wedding. The film opened to widespread critical acclaim, with high praise for its direction, story, screenplay, soundtrack, cinematography, production design, costumes and the performances of its cast. The film emerged as a major blockbuster at the box office, grossing 319.6 crore (US$40 million) worldwide, and ranking as the fourth highest-grossing Hindi film of the year.[10] Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani earned Mukerji his second nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Director. Over the years, it has emerged as a highly popular film amongst youth.[11][12][13]

Mukerji's next wrote and directed the big-budget fantasy film Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva (2022) starring Kapoor , Amitabh Bachchan, Alia Bhatt, Mouni Roy and Nagarjuna Akkineni in lead roles.[14] Produced by Johar's banner, it is the first installment of a trilogy, planned to be part of a cinematic universe titled Āstraverse. The film was first conceived by Mukerji in 2011, with core elements inspired by Indian history and stories he heard in his childhood. Unlike Mukerji's two previous ventures, it opened to mixed reviews from critics upon release, with praise for the performances, visual effects, soundtrack, musical score and action sequences, but criticism for its dialogue. However, the film emerged as Mukerji's second consecutive major blockbuster at the box-office, grossing 431 crore (US$54 million) worldwide. It ranked as the highest-grossing Hindi film of the year, the fifth highest-grossing Indian film of the year, the highest-grossing Hindi film in overseas markets since the COVID-19 pandemic, and one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time. Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva earned Mukerji his third nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Director. Its two sequels, titled Brahmа̄stra: Part Two – Dev and Brahmāstra: Part Three, are being developed simultaneously and slated to release in December 2026 and 2027 respectively.[15][16][17]

As of October 2023, Mukerji is shooting for the sixth installment of the YRF Spy Universe, titled War 2, which marks his first venture to not be produced by Dharma Productions. The film stars Hrithik Roshan reprising his role as Kabir Dhaliwal from the action thriller War, with Telugu film actor N. T. Rama Rao Jr. and Kiara Advani. The film is scheduled to be released on 14 August 2025, conciding with Indian Independence Day.[18]


Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Title Director Writer Producer Notes
2004 Swades No Yes No
2009 Wake Up Sid Yes Yes No
2013 Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani Yes Yes No
2022 Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva Yes Yes Yes
2025 War 2 Yes No No Filming[19]

Other roles

Year Title Role
2004 Swades Assistant director
2006 Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
2023 Tiger 3 Director of post-credits scene[20]

Acting roles

Year Title Role Notes
2005 Home Delivery Karan’s colleague Cameo appearance
2006 Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna Train passenger
2013 Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani DJ in party


Film Award Category Result Ref
Wake Up Sid 55th Filmfare Awards Best Director Nominated [21]
Best Debut Director Won
Screen Awards Best Debut Director Nominated [22]
Stardust Awards Hottest New Director Won [23]
Producers Guild Film Awards Best Debut Director Won [24]
Best Director Nominated
Best Story Nominated
11th IIFA Awards Best Director Nominated [25]
Best Story Nominated
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani BIG Star Entertainment Awards Most Entertaining Director Nominated [26]
59th Filmfare Awards Best Director Nominated [27]
Screen Awards Nominated [28]
15th IIFA Awards Nominated [29]
Producers Guild Film Awards Nominated [30]
Best Screenplay Nominated
Zee Cine Awards Won [31]
Best Director Won
Best Story Nominated
Best Dialogue Nominated
ETC Bollywood Business Awards Bollywood Business Award (shared with Karan Johar) Won
Bollywood Hungama Surfers' Choice Movie Awards Best Director Nominated [32]
Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva 68th Filmfare Awards Nominated [33]
International Indian Film Academy Awards Nominated [34]
Best Story Nominated
Zee Cine Awards Nominated [35]
Best Director Won
News18 REEL Movie Awards Won
Bollywood Life Awards Nominated


  1. ^ "Wake Up Sid wows critics and masses alike!". Hindustan Times. IANS. 5 October 2009. Archived from the original on 28 October 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  2. ^ Taran Adarsh (3 October 2009). "B.O. update: 'Wake Up Sid', 'Do Knot Disturb' bring cheer". Bollywood Hungama. Archived from the original on 12 February 2010. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
  3. ^ "Ayan Mukherjee wants to remake grandpa's 'Love in Simla'". The Times of India. 17 May 2013. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Waking up Ayan". MiD DAY. 12 August 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  5. ^ "In pics: Bollywood's Mukherjee-Samarth family tree". CNN-IBN. Archived from the original on 27 January 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Forever young". Time Out Mumbai. 15 June 2010. Archived from the original on 15 June 2010.
  7. ^ "The Pulp Prodigy". intoday.in.
  8. ^ "Wake Up Sid - Movie - Box Office India". www.boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 20 November 2023.
  9. ^ "Trade Report Wake Up Sid wows critics and masses alike!". Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
  10. ^ "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani - Movie - Box Office India". boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 20 November 2023.
  11. ^ "12 Times Ranbir-Deepika's 'Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani' Proved That It Understood Our Generation Perfectly!". IndiaTimes. 31 May 2020. Retrieved 20 November 2023.
  12. ^ "5 reasons why we love Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani". filmfare.com. Retrieved 20 November 2023.
  13. ^ "Deepika Padukone: Deepika's throwback post wins hearts of 'YJHD' fans, actress shares pics from look-test with Ranbir". The Economic Times. Retrieved 20 November 2023.
  14. ^ "Ranbir Kapoor To Play A Superhero in Ayan Mukerji's Next". filmibeat.com. Archived from the original on 27 October 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  15. ^ "Ayan Mukerji confirms that Brahmastra sequels will introduce new characters". filmfare.com. Retrieved 10 September 2022.
  16. ^ "Ayan Mukerji shares update on 'Brahmastra' trilogy, says Part 2 will release in December 2026". The Economic Times. 4 April 2023. ISSN 0013-0389. Retrieved 20 November 2023.
  17. ^ Negi, Shivani (9 September 2022). "Brahmastra Part 2: Dev announced. Here's what we know". News24 English. Retrieved 10 September 2022.
  18. ^ "Not Siddharth Anand, Ayan Mukerji to direct Hrithik Roshan starrer War 2". Bollywood Hungama. 4 April 2023. Retrieved 4 April 2023.
  19. ^ "Ayan Mukerji wraps up the first schedule of War 2 in Spain with Hrithik & NTR Jr's stunt double". Bollywood Hungama. 25 October 2023. Archived from the original on 25 October 2023. Retrieved 25 October 2023.
  20. ^ Entertainment Desk (13 November 2023). "Hrithik Roshan's cameo in Salman Khan's Tiger 3 directed by Ayan Mukerji; fans can't stop talking about Shah Rukh Khan's Pathaan appearance". The Indian Express.
  21. ^ "3 Idiots shines at Filmfare Awards". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011.
  22. ^ "Nominations for Nokia 16th Annual Star Screen Awards 2009". Bollywood Hungama. 5 March 2010. Archived from the original on 5 March 2010. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  23. ^ "Stardust Awards 2010: Winners List". www.merinews.com. Archived from the original on 22 January 2010. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  24. ^ "Hindi Awards Star Guild Awards 2010 | Nettv4u". nettv4u. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  25. ^ "IIFA Awards 2010 Nominations announced - bollywood news : glamsham.com". www.glamsham.com. Archived from the original on 20 January 2016. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  26. ^ Parande, Shweta (21 January 2014). "Filmfare Awards 2014 nominations: Will Shahrukh Khan lose Best Actor to Dhanush?". India.com. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  27. ^ Hungama, Bollywood (12 December 2013). "Nominations for 4th Big Star Entertainment Awards – Bollywood Hungama". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  28. ^ "20th Annual Screen Awards 2014: The complete list of nominees". 1 March 2014. Archived from the original on 1 March 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  29. ^ Hungama, Bollywood (20 February 2014). "Nominations for IIFA Awards 2014 2014 : Bollywood News - Bollywood Hungama". Retrieved 21 November 2023.
  30. ^ "9th Renault Star Guild Awards releases list of nominees". India Today. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  31. ^ "Zee Cine Awards 2014: Winner's List". Zee News. 24 February 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  32. ^ Hungama, Bollywood (5 March 2014). "Winners: Bollywood Hungama Surfers Choice Movie Awards 2013 2013 : Bollywood News - Bollywood Hungama". Retrieved 21 November 2023.
  33. ^ "Nominations for 68th Filmfare Awards 2023". filmfare.com. Retrieved 20 November 2023.
  34. ^ "IIFA Awards: Alia Bhatt's 'Gangubai Kathiawadi', 'Brahmastra' lead nominations". Economic Times. 27 December 2022. Retrieved 7 January 2023.
  35. ^ "Zee Cine Awards 2023: Check Full list of Winners, Best Film, Best Actor, Actress, Songs and more". Zee Business. 18 March 2023. Retrieved 24 March 2023.

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