Hansal Mehta

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Hansal Mehta
Hansal Mehta.jpg
Mehta in 2016
Born1967/1968 (age 53–54)[1]
OccupationFilm director, producer, writer
Years active1993–present
Spouse(s)Sunita Mehta (div)
Safeena Husain
AwardsNational Film Award for Best Direction, Screen Award for Best Screenplay

Hansal Mehta is an Indian film director, writer, actor and producer.[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).

Personal life[edit]

Hansal Mehta with his wife Safeena Husain.

Hansal Mehta is a Gujarati, born in a middle-class family from Mumbai.[1] He grew up learning classical music and studied computer engineering. He worked in Fiji before returning to India to start his career in films.[4] Mehta married Sunita in his 20s, with whom he has two sons—Jay, who is a director and Pallava.[5][6] After divorcing Sunita, Mehta married Safeena Hussain, with who he has two daughters—Kimaya and Rehana.[5][7]


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.[8]

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.[8][9] 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.[10] 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.


Film yet to release Denotes films that have not yet been released
Release Dates Title Notes
1993–1999 Khana Khazana
1999 Jayate[4]
1994 Amrita
1996 Kalakaar
1999 Dooriyan
2000 Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar!!
2002 Chhal [4]
2002 Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai?
2005 Anjaan
2007 Dus Kahaniyaan (Anthology film) High on the Highway directed
2008 Woodstock Villa
2010 Raakh
2013 Shahid
2014 CityLights
2015 Aligarh
2016 The Last Letter Short film
2017 Simran
2017 Bose: Dead/Alive Executive producer, Web series
2018 Garbage Producer
2018 Omerta
2019 The Accidental Prime Minister Creative producer
2020 Scam 1992 Web series
2020 Chhalaang Released on Amazon Prime Video
2022 Scam 2003 Sequel to Scam 1992, Web series



  1. ^ a b c 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. ^ a b c 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.
  5. ^ a b Farook, Farhana (18 February 2016). "Hansal Mehta talks about Aligarh". Filmfare. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ Gaikwad, Pramod (16 November 2017). "Hansal Mehta shares a passionate lip-lock with wife in this throwback picture". IBTimes. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  8. ^ a b "Film remembers Indian lawyer Shahid Azmi as symbol of hope". BBC. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  9. ^ "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..
  10. ^ "Hansal Mehta's 'Aligarh' to open MAMI Mumbai film festival". News18. 3 October 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  11. ^ "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.

External links[edit]