Hansal Mehta

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Hansal Mehta
Hansal Mehta (cropped).jpg
Mehta in 2016
Born (1968-04-29) 29 April 1968 (age 54)
  • Director
  • producer
  • screenwriter
Years active1993–present
Sunita Mehta

(m. 2022)
RelativesYusuf Hussain (father-in-law)

Hansal Mehta (born 29 April 1968) is an Indian film director, writer, actor and producer who works in Hindi cinema.[1][2] Mehta started his career in television with his show Khana Khazana (1993–2000) and later moved on to films like Jayate (1999), Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar!! (2000) and Chhal (2002). He is best known for Shahid (2013) for which he won the National Film Award for Best Direction. He then went on to direct City Lights (2014), Aligarh (2016),[3] Simran (2017), Omerta (2018) and Scam 1992 (2020).

Early life[edit]

Mehta was born on 29 April 1968 in a middle-class Gujarati family from Mumbai.[1][4] He grew up learning classical music and studied computer engineering. He worked in Fiji before returning to India to start his career in films.[5]


Mehta started his career in 1993, by directing with TV cookery show Khana Khazana, thus launching the television career of celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor on Zee TV. Alongside, Mehta also directed several television series like Amrita (1994), Highway (1995), Yaadein (1995), Lakshya (1998), Neeti (1998) and many more.

He made his debut as a feature film director with ...Jayate, a part of the Indian Panorama 1999–2000 at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Hyderabad. This was later followed by Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar!! (2000) a bittersweet migrant tale set in Mumbai. This film, though not a huge box-office success continues to enjoy a following for its dark humour and its exploration of life on the fringes of Mumbai. Later that year he came up with Chhal (2002) a stylised gangster film that met with more praise than his previous films. By his own admission the films post-Chhal were disappointing and his career entered a phase where he flirted with formulaic mainstream themes. He made his presence felt with a short film in Dus Kahaniyaan, (2007) titled High on the Highway, which was basically a retelling of a short (Highway) that he directed for television in 1995, based on a script by Vishal Bhardwaj . In 2008 after the release of Woodstock Villa he went on an extended sabbatical to explore life as a foodie, entrepreneur and to explore themes that mattered to him.[6]

Mehta truly came into the lime-light with his film Shahid (2013) starring Rajkummar Rao. Shahid had its world premier at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival following which it had an extended run at various international film festivals around the world. This film was later acquired by Disney-UTV and commercially released in October 2013. A biographical film on the life of human rights lawyer Shahid Azmi, who was murdered in 2010.[6][7] this film continues to shine a light on human rights and the Indian judicial system and is highly rated on various digital streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Hansal was honoured with the 61st National Film Award for Best Direction while Rajkummar Rao won the 61st National Film Award for Best Actor for Shahid.

After their success together, Hansal Mehta teamed again with Rajkummar Rao to make the acclaimed City Lights (an official adaptation of the British Indie hit Metro Manila) for Fox Star Studios and Mahesh Bhatt. After Citylights, Mehta directed, Aligarh (2016) based on a Marathi professor and poet who was suspended by his university for being gay. This film premiered at the 20th Busan International Film Festival followed by the BFI London Film Festival. Aligarh was the opening film at the 17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.[8] Based on a script by his long time collaborator Apurva Asrani (previous collaborations Chhal, Shahid, Citylights) Aligarh featured three of Mehta's favourite actors Manoj Bajpayee (with whom he reunited after Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar in 2000), Ashish Vidyarthi (after Highway in 1995) and Rajkummar Rao (their third collaboration since Shahid). Aligarh was presented and co-produced by Eros International.

Upcoming Projects[edit]

Hansal Mehta will direct Faraaz which is based on the Holey Artisan cafe attack that shook Bangladesh in July 2016.[9] Mehta will helm Captain Indian inspire by true events, starring Kartik Aaryan.[10]

His next project is Netflix series Scoop based on ex-journalist Jigna Vora's prison memoir.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Hansal Mehta with his wife Safeena Husain

Mehta married Sunita in his 20s, with whom he has two sons—Jay, who is a director and Pallava.[12][13] After divorcing Sunita, Mehta dated actor Yusuf Hussain's daughter Safeena, with who he has two daughters—Kimaya and Rehana.[12][14][15] In 2022, Mehta married Safeena in a small ceremony in California.[16]



Year Title Director Producer Writer Notes
1999 Jayate Yes No Yes
1994 Amrita Yes No No
1999 Dooriyan Yes No No
2000 Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar Yes No No
2002 Chhal Yes No No
Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai? Yes No No
2005 Anjaan Yes No No
2007 Dus Kahaniyaan Yes No Yes Anthology film
2008 Woodstock Villa Yes No No
2010 Raakh Yes No Yes
2013 Shahid Yes No Yes
2014 CityLights Yes No No
2015 Aligarh Yes No No
2017 Simran Yes No No
Omerta Yes No Yes
2018 Garbage No Yes No
2019 The Accidental Prime Minister No Creative No
2020 Chhalaang Yes No No
2022 Faraaz dagger Yes No No Completed
TBA Dedh Bigha Zameen dagger No Yes No Filming


Year Title Director Executive Producer Writer Showrunner Notes
1993-1999 Khana Khazana Yes No No No
1994 Kalakaar Yes No No No
Amrita Yes No No No
1995 Highway Yes No No No
Yaadein Yes No No No
1998 Lakshya Yes No No No
Neeti Yes No No No
1999 Star Bestsellers Yes No No No
2004 Family Business Yes No No No
2017 Bose: Dead/Alive No Yes No No ALT Balaji series
2020 Locked in Love Yes Yes No No
Scam 1992 Yes Yes No No Co-directed with Jai Mehta
2022 Modern Love: Mumbai Yes No Yes No Episode: "Baai"
TBA Scoop dagger Yes Yes No No Filming
TBA Scam 2003 dagger No Yes No Yes Filming

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref(s)
2014 National Film Awards Best Direction Shahid Won [21]
2021 Filmfare OTT Awards Best Director - Drama, Series Scam 1992 Won [22]


  1. ^ a b Gupta, Priya (22 April 2014). "Hansal Mehta: Rejection really scares me". The Times of India. I am a Gujarati and come from a middle-class happy family from Mumbai.
  2. ^ "Hansal Mehta warns young 'outsiders' of Bollywood trappings". Free Press Journal. 15 June 2020. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  3. ^ "61st National Film Awards For 2013" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. 16 April 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Hansal Mehta - Verified account". Twitter. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  5. ^ Upadhayay, Karishma (18 November 2020). "With Scam 1992 and Chhalaang, Hansal Mehta ushers in a new wave of thought-provoking, entertaining content". Firstpost. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Film remembers Indian lawyer Shahid Azmi as symbol of hope". BBC. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  7. ^ "The 'unlikely' lawyer as an unlikely hero". Indian Express. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2012. A movie based on the lawyer and human rights activist..
  8. ^ "Hansal Mehta's 'Aligarh' to open MAMI Mumbai film festival". News18. 3 October 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  9. ^ "Hansal Mehta reveals his next film titled Faraaz, watch its first look". The Indian Express. 5 August 2021. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
  10. ^ "Kartik Aaryan's Captain India first look: Hansal Mehta film on India's successful rescue mission". The Indian Express. 24 July 2021. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
  11. ^ "Hansal Mehta to direct Netflix series Scoop based on ex-journalist Jigna Vora's prison memoir". Cinestaan. 8 February 2022. Retrieved 10 February 2022.
  12. ^ a b Farook, Farhana (18 February 2016). "Hansal Mehta talks about Aligarh". Filmfare. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  13. ^ "Hansal Mehta questions govt's decision on vaccination, shares photo of son: 'Pallava has Downs Syndrome, does he want or need the vaccine?'". The Indian Express. 7 April 2021. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  14. ^ Gaikwad, Pramod (16 November 2017). "Hansal Mehta shares a passionate lip-lock with wife in this throwback picture". IBTimes. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  15. ^ Handoo, Ritika (30 October 2021). "Noted actor Yusuf Husain dies, Hansal Mehta turns emotional for father-in-law". Zee News. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  16. ^ "Hansal Mehta marries Safeena Husain 'after 17 years, two children'". Hindustan Times. 25 May 2022. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  17. ^ "Hansal Mehta completes filming for 'Faraaz'". The New Indian Express. 15 August 2021. Retrieved 25 April 2022.
  18. ^ "Hansal Mehta unveils first poster of Pratik Gandhi starrer Dedh Bigha Zameen, shoot begins today in Jhansi". Bollywood Hungama. 18 August 2021. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  19. ^ "About Netflix - 'Scoop': Hansal Mehta, Matchbox Shots And Netflix Come Together For A Riveting Character Drama". About Netflix. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  20. ^ PTI (27 April 2022). "Hansal Mehta's Scam 2003 goes on floor". The Print. Retrieved 27 April 2022.
  21. ^ "61st National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. 16 April 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  22. ^ "Filmfare OTT Awards 2021 - Winners". FilmFare. 9 December 2021. Retrieved 10 December 2021.

External links[edit]