Excel Entertainment

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Excel Entertainment
Private limited company
IndustryMotion pictures
Founded1999, Mumbai
FounderRitesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar
Headquarters,
India
Key people
Ritesh Sidhwani
Farhan Akhtar
ServicesFilm production
Film distribution
WebsiteExcel Entertainment

Excel Entertainment is an Indian production company, founded by Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar in 1999. Based in Mumbai, they mainly produce Hindi films. They are also known to be the pioneers of original content on Online Digital platforms in India. In the year 2017, they released India's first original series for Amazon prime videoInside Edge, which was nominated for the International Emmy awards for Best Drama Series.

Having received both critical and commercial success with their first film[1] - Dil Chahta Hai,[2] the same was classified a cult for millennials. Excel Entertainment, with their new-age cinema have not only received love from the audiences across all quarters, but it has also won them two National Awards, for Dil Chahta Hai and Rock On!!. With movies like, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara,[3] Don,[4] Fukrey,[5] Raees and Dil Dhadakne Do, Excel is known for its contemporary and diversified characters and style of cinema. Amongst the numerous awards and accolades that their film Gully Boy received, it was also India's official entry to the 92nd Academy Awards.

Excel Entertainment also presented, across India, the Hindi dubbed versions of the 2018 Indian Kannada-language period action K.G.F: Chapter 1 starring Yash and the 2019 Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy, an Indian Telugu-language epic action film, starring Chiranjeevi. The films were acclaimed commercially and critically.[6]

Their upcoming film releases include, Toofaan starring Farhan Akhtar,  Kolar Gold Fields Chapter 2 starring Yash and Phone Bhoot starring Katrina Kaif, Ishan Khatter and Siddhant Chaturvedi. Their upcoming OTT show is Inside Edge Season 3.

Personalities[edit]

Farhan Akhtar[edit]

Farhan Akhtar is the son of scriptwriter, poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar and screenplay writer Honey Irani. He is also the grandson of Urdu poet Jan Nisar Akhtar. His stepmother is actress Shabana Azmi.

Ritesh Sidhwani[edit]

Ritesh Sidhwani was born in a Sindhi family in Mumbai, where he received his education. His father is Chandan Tootaram Sidhwani.

Films[edit]

2001 - 2010[edit]

The company’s first production was the critically acclaimed film Dil Chahta Hai in 2001, which marked the directorial debut of Farhan Akhtar. The film received a National Award in the category of Best Feature Film Hindi.

The company then went on to produce the war-drama film Lakshya (2004) and an action-thriller film Don (2006), an official remake of Amitabh Bachchan’s Don (1978), which were both directed by Farhan Akhtar. Both films went on to become critical and commercial successes. This was followed by Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. (2007), which was directed by Reema Kagti.

They then produced a short film Positive (2007) directed by Farhan Akhtar, which was a part of AIDS JaaGo (AIDS Awake), in a joint initiative of Mira Nair's Mirabai Films, voluntary organisations Avahan and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Excels next release was Rock On (2007), a musical drama film written and directed by Abhishek Kapoor. The movie was remarkable and was lauded by both the media and fans. It also won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi and Best Supporting Actor for Arjun Rampal.

This was followed by Zoya Akhtar’s directorial debut film Luck by Chance (2009). The film was widely appreciated for its content and storyline.

Excels next release was Vijay Lalwani’s, psychological thriller film Karthik Calling Karthik (2010) starring Farhan Akhtar, Deepika Padukone, Ram Kapoor. To indulge and prepare for the role Farhan Akhtar isolated himself at home and school and turned off his phone. He also learned to solve the Rubik's Cube, an activity that his character completes in only one try.

2011 - 2015[edit]

In 2011, Excel produced an action thriller film Game (2011) directed by Abhinay Deo featuring a large ensemble cast led by Abhishek Bachchan, Kangana Ranaut, Anupam Kher, Boman Irani and Jimmy Sheirgill. Later that year, Zoya Akhtar's widely loved buddy road film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011) released starring Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol, Katrina Kaif and Kalki Koechlin. This was followed by Farhan Akhtar’s second installment in the Don series, Don 2 (2011) starring Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Boman Irani, Om Puri. With a box office gross of over ₹202 Crores, the film was one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time and is the third highest-grossing Indian film of 2011.

Excel's second collaboration with Aamir Khan happened with Talaash (2012) starring Rani Mukerji, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Shernaz Patel. This was followed by Mrighdeep Singh Lamba’s light comedy film Fukrey (2013) starring Pulkit Samrat, Varun Sharma, Manjot Singh, Ali Fazal, Richa Chadda. The film was a commercial hit and garnered a huge cult following. The film was also re-released in September (2013) due to public demand.

Excel produced a dark humour film Bangistan (2015) starring Ritesish Deshmukh and Pulkit Samrat. Later that year, the production house produced the social satire family drama film Dil Dhadakne Do (2015) directed by Zoya Akhtar starring Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar, Anushka Sharma, Anil Kapoor and Shefali Shah. The film grossed ₹1.45 billion at the box office against a budget of ₹830 million, and earned a number of accolades.

2016 - Present[edit]

In 2016, Excel produced Nitya Mehra’ romance film Baar Baar Dekho (2016) starring Sidharth Malhotra, Katrina Kaif, as well as Rock On 2 (2016) starring Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal, Shraddha Kapoor among others.

The company’s first film in 2017 was Rahul Dholakia’s Raees (2017). It featured Shah Rukh Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Mahira Khan. Raees received positive reviews from critics and was a success at Box Office.

This was followed by Mrighdeep Singh Lamba’s Fukrey Returns (2017), which was a much awaited sequel of Fukrey that was well received by all.

In 2018, Excel produced a Thriller Drama Film Three Storeys (2018). The movie demonstrates the art of skillfully telling a story weaving together a thriller, love story, social issues, realities and life all in one package.

After this came Reema Kagti’s historical sports drama Gold (2018) starring Akshay Kumar, Kunal Kapoor, Amit Sadh, Mouni Roy, Vineet Kumar Singh and Sunny Kaushal. The film netted ₹25.25 crores on its opening day, becoming one of the year's biggest opening day releases.

Excel Entertainment then teamed with Anil Thadani and distributed K.G.F:Chapter 1. The movie received a positive response from audiences while critics gave the film mixed reviews. KGF: Chapter 1 on the first day of its release collected ₹25 crores worldwide, which was the highest opening in the Kannada film industry.

February 2019 saw the release of Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy starring Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Vijay Varma, Kalki Koechlin. The movie won a record 13 Filmfare Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor (Ranveer Singh), and Best Actress (Alia Bhatt), and became the second film to win all four acting awards. Additionally, the film was India’s official entry for The Academy Awards in 2020 in the Best Foreign Film Category. Gully Boy received positive reviews from critics with praise directed to Akhtar’s direction, Maurya’s dialogue, Ranveer Singh, Siddhant Chaturvedi, and Alia Bhatt for their performances.

In October, Excel distributed the Hindi-dubbed version of Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy, starring superstar Chiranjeevi and Amitabh Bachchan, which was originally filmed in Telugu. The movie has also been touted as one of the most expensive films to date with a budget of about ₹ 300 crores. It also boasts of some extravagant VFX shots which promise to be a visual delight.

OTT[edit]

In July 2017, Excel pioneered into the OTT sphere with a sports-drama series Inside Edge created by Karan Anshuman starring Vivek Oberoi, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Richa Chadha, Angad Bedi, Tanuj Virwani, Sayani Gupta among others. The series was critically acclaimed for its strong performances and story line. The series was also nominated for the 46th International Emmy Awards in the category for Best Drama Series.

Their second web series was a Crime-Thriller named Mirzapur (2018) created by Karan Anshuman and Puneet Krishna starring Ali Fazal, Vikrant Massey, Pankaj Tripathi, Divyendu Sharma, Shweta Tripathi. The series was well received worldwide and became a cult hit. Pankaj Tripathi won the Best-Actor Drama at the iReel Awards for the same.

Made In Heaven (2019) released in March. The show was created by Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti starring Sobhita Dhulipala, Arjun Mathur, Kalki Koechlin, Jim Sarbh among others. The web-series was appreciated heavily by several critics and multiple positive online reviews. The web-series received an award at the ITA awards for the category Best Series Jury Award and prize for the Best Direction.

After Fukrey became a cult for the youth, a show named Fukrey Boyss (2019) was launched on Discovery Kids which showcased the animated avatars of popular characters Hunny, Choocha, Laali, and Bholi Punjaban.

December 2019 saw the release of Karan Anshuman’s Inside Edge season 2. The second season invites viewers to look at cricket much beyond just a game and manifested a huge public demand.

On October 23rd 2020, season 2 of Mirzapur released on Amazon Prime Video. The new season has been well received by fans and critics.

Upcoming projects[edit]

K.G.F: Chapter 2 is scheduled to release on 23 October 2020, a sequel to the 2018 film K.G.F: Chapter 1 starring Yash, Sanjay Dutt, Raveena Tandon, Srinidhi Shetty. Their next project that’s slated to release is Toofan, starring Farhan Akhtar, Paresh Rawal and Mrunal Thakur which is directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Phone Bhoot starring Ishaan Khatter, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Katrina Kaif in the lead roles, has been announced.

In terms of OTT, they have Season 3 of Inside Edge in the pipeline.

Filmography[edit]

Key
Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Title Director Producer Cast Notes Ref.
2001 Dil Chahta Hai Farhan Akhtar Ritesh Sidhwani Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Preity Zinta, Dimple Kapadia, Sonali Kulkarni National Film Awards for Best Feature Film, 7 Filmfare Awards, 7 Screen Awards, 4 IIFA Awards, 2 Zee Cine Awards [7]
2004 Lakshya Farhan Akhtar Ritesh Sidhwani Amitabh Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan, Preity Zinta, Om Puri, Boman Irani National Film Awards for Best Choreography - Mai Aisa Kyun Hoon, 2 Filmfare Awards
2006 Don Farhan Akhtar Ritesh Sidhwani Shahrukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Arjun Rampal, Kareena Kapoor, Boman Irani Winner of Best Asian Film at Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival
2007 Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. Reema Kagti Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Shabana Azmi, Boman Irani, Kay Kay Menon, Raima Sen, Amisha Patel, Karan Khanna, Vikram Chatwal, Sandhya Mridul, Diya Mirza, Ranvir Shorey, Abhay Deol, Minissha Lamba and Arjun Rampal Arjun Rampal made special appreance in this movie
Positive Farhan Akhtar Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Arjun Mathur, Shabana Azmi and Boman Irani Positive was a part of AIDS JaaGo (AIDS Awake), a series of four short films [8]
2008 Rock On!! Abhishek Kapoor Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal, Purab Kohli, Luke Kenny, Prachi Desai, Shahana Goswami National Film Awards for Best Feature Film and Best Supporting Actor, 7 Filmfare Awards, 6 Screen Awards, 3 IIFA Awards. [9]
2009 Luck by Chance Zoya Akhtar Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Farhan Akhtar, Konkona Sen Sharma, Rishi Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia, Isha Sharvani, Juhi Chawla, Sanjay Kapoor, Aly Khan, Sheebha Chadda and Hrithik Roshan 22 Actors made a guest appearance in the film
2010 Karthik Calling Karthik Vijay Lalwani Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Farhan Akhtar, Deepika Padukone Farhan Akhtar learned to solve the Rubik's Cube, an activity which his character completes in only one try. [10]
2011 Game Abhinay Deo Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Abhishek Bachchan, Boman Irani, Anupam Kher, Jimmy Shergill, Kangana Ranaut, Shahana Goswami, Gauhar Khan and Sarah-Jane Dias
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara Zoya Akhtar Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol, Katrina Kaif, Kalki Koechlin National Film Awards for Best Choreography and Best Audiography, 9 IIFA Awards, 7 Filmfare Awards, 6 Star Guild Awards, 4 Zee Cine Awards, 2 Mirchi Music Awards, 2 Screen Awards, 1 Stardust Awards, 1 Big Star Entertainment Awards
Don 2 Farhan Akhtar Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Shah Rukh Khan Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Boman Irani, Om Puri, Kunal Kapoor, Lara Dutta Co-Produced with Red Chillies Entertainment, 2 Filmfare Awards, 2 Producers Film Guild Awards, 2 Screen Awards, 2 Lions Gold Awards, 1 ETC Bollywood Business Awards, 1 Zee Cine Awards
2012 Talaash Reema Kagti Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Aamir Khan Aamir Khan, Rani Mukerji, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Shernaz Patel Co-Produced with Aamir Khan Productions, 1 Mirchi Music Award [11]
2013 Fukrey Mrighdeep Singh Lamba Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Pulkit Samrat, Manjot Singh, Ali Fazal, Varun Sharma, Richa Chadda, Priya Anand, Pankaj Tripathi and Vishakha Singh 1 Screen Award, 1 Star Guild Award [12]
2015 Bangistan Karan Anshuman Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Riteish Deshmukh, Pulkit Samrat, Jacqueline Fernandez [13]
Dil Dhadakne Do Zoya Akhtar Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Anil Kapoor, Shefali Shah, Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma and Farhan Akhtar 3 Stardust Awards, 2 Screen Awards, 1 Big Star Entertainment Award, 1 Filmfare Award, 1 IIFA Award, 1 Times of India Film Awards [14]
2016 Baar Baar Dekho Nitya Mehra Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Karan Johar Sidharth Malhotra, Katrina Kaif Co-Produced with Dharma Productions, 1 Zee Cine Awards [15]
Rock On 2 Shujaat Saudagar Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal, Shraddha Kapoor [16]
2017 Raees Rahul Dholakia Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Gauri Khan Shah Rukh Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Mahira Khan Co-Produced with Red Chillies Entertainment, 1 Mirchi Music Award, 1 Screen AWrds, 1 Zee Cine Awards, 1 Indian Recording Arts Awards [17]
Fukrey Returns Mrighdeep Singh Lamba Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Pulkit Samrat, Manjot Singh, Ali Fazal, Varun Sharma, Richa Chadha, Priya Anand, Pankaj Tripathy and Vishakha Singh [18]
2018 3 Storeys Arjun Mukerjee Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Priya Sreedharan Pulkit Samrat, Richa Chadda, Renuka Shahane, Masumeh Makhija, Sharman Joshi, Tarun Anand, Ankit Rathi and Aisha Ahmed Co-Produced with Priya Sreedharan [19]
Gold Reema Kagti Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Akshay Kumar, Mouni Roy, Kunal Kapoor, Amit Sadh, Vineet Kumar Singh and Sunny Kaushal The film is based on the journey of India's first national hockey team to the 1948 Summer Olympics [20]
K.G.F: Chapter 1 Prashanth Neel Vijay Kiragandur Yash, Srinidhi Shetty, Ramachandra Raju, Archana Jois, Anant Nag, Vasishta N. Simha and Mouni Roy First Kannada Movie to release in 5 Languages (Kannada,Hindi,Tamil,Telugu,Malayalam)
2019 Gully Boy Zoya Akhtar Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Vijay Verma, Kalki Koechlin, Vijay Raaz, Amruta Subhash Co-produced with Tiger Baby Films, The film was selected as the Indian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards,13 Filmfare Awards, 12 Screen Awards, 9 Zee Cine Awards, 1 Mirchi Music Awards
Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy Surender Reddy Ram Charan, Konidela Production Company Chiranjeevi, Amitabh Bachchan, Kiccha Sudeep, Jagapathi Babu, Vijay Sethupathi, Nayanthara, Tamannaah Bhatia and Ravi Kishan This is the first film that Amitabh Bachchan and Chiranjeevi have worked together on.
2020 K.G.F: Chapter 2 Films that have not yet been released Prashanth Neel Vijay Kirugandur Yash, Sanjay Dutt, Raveena Tandon, Srinidhi Shetty
Toofan Films that have not yet been released Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Farhan Akhtar, Paresh Rawal, Mrunal Thakur Co-Produced with ROMP Pictures
2021 Phone Bhoot Films that have not yet been released Gurmeet Singh Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Katrina Kaif, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Ishaan Khatter [21]

Series[edit]

Year Series
2017 Inside Edge
2018 Mirzapur
2019 Made in Heaven
2019 Fukrey Boyzzz[22]
2019 Inside Edge Season 2
2020 Mirzapur Season 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gold". timesofindia.indiatimes.com. 15 August 2018.
  2. ^ "15 Years of Dil Chahta Hai: A debt all '90s kids owe Farhan Akhtar". indiatoday.in. 10 August 2016.
  3. ^ "7 things that Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara taught us". filmfare.com. 15 July 2018.
  4. ^ "Remembering Shah Rukh Khan's Don as the film clocks Twelve Years". freepressjournal.in. 20 October 2018.
  5. ^ "Fukrey 2 movie review: Varun Sharma and Richa Chadha shine in this toilet-humour driven comedy". indiatoday.in. 8 December 2017.
  6. ^ "KGF box office collection Day 12: Yash film soars high". indiatoday.in. 2 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Preity Zinta celebrates 18 years of Dil Chahta Hai; Calls it one of her favourite films". 24 July 2019.
  8. ^ "After film festivals, Mira Nair's AIDS 'Jaago' goes online". 31 January 2008.
  9. ^ "'Rock on!!' - International Friendship Day 2017: Bollywood movies that gave us some real friendship goals". The Times of India.
  10. ^ "Karthik Calling Karthik Movie Review {3.5/5}: Critic Review of Karthik Calling Karthik by Times of India" – via timesofindia.indiatimes.com.
  11. ^ "Talaash Movie Review {3.5/5}: Critic Review of Talaash by Times of India" – via timesofindia.indiatimes.com.
  12. ^ "Fukrey Returns Trailer: Richa Chadha As Bholi Punjaban Returns To Haunt Varun Sharma And Co In A Hilarious Misadventure". 13 November 2017.
  13. ^ "Movie Bangistan Review 2015, Story, Trailers | Times of India" – via timesofindia.indiatimes.com.
  14. ^ "Movie Dil Dhadakne Do Review 2015, Story, Trailers | Times of India" – via timesofindia.indiatimes.com.
  15. ^ "Movie Baar Baar Dekho Movie Review 2016, Story, Trailers | Times of India" – via timesofindia.indiatimes.com.
  16. ^ "PressReader.com - Your favorite newspapers and magazines". www.pressreader.com.
  17. ^ "Raees Review {3.5/5}: Shah Rukh Khan has never looked better; he's full of fury and for once, isn't spreading his arms, but breaking others'" – via timesofindia.indiatimes.com.
  18. ^ "Fukrey Returns Review {3.5/5}: This film will crack you up for sure" – via timesofindia.indiatimes.com.
  19. ^ "3 Storeys Movie Review {3.5/5}: Watch it because fact is stranger than fiction, but fiction when narrated well, can make movie watching an immersive experience" – via timesofindia.indiatimes.com.
  20. ^ "Akshay Kumar's Tapan Das is inspired by a real-life legend. Who was he?". 16 August 2018.
  21. ^ World, Republic. "Ishaan Khatter gets trolled by Twitterati after release of first look of 'Phone Bhoot'". Republic World.
  22. ^ "Farhan Akhtar announces Fukrey animated series, to be titled Fukrey Boyzzz". Hindustan Times. 20 September 2019.

External links[edit]