Imtiaz Ali (director)

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This article is about the director. For the cricketer, see Imtiaz Ali (cricketer).
Imtiaz Ali
Imtiaz Ali at Horasis Global India Business Meeting 2012 crop.jpg
Imtiaz Ali in 2012
Born (1971-06-16) 16 June 1971 (age 45)
Jamshedpur, Jharkhand , India[1]
Occupation Film director, writer, actor
Years active 1995–present
Relatives Arif Ali (brother)

Imtiaz Ali (born 16 June 1971) is an Indian film director and writer. He started his career with writing and directing television shows. He directed shows like Imtehaan, Naina and Kurukshetra. In 2005 he made his directorial debut with Socha Na Tha, that did not do well. Then he earned critical and commercial success for his direction of Jab We Met (2007). Love Aaj Kal (2009) and Rockstar (2011) made him known amongst youngsters.

Early life[edit]

Imtiaz Ali was born in Jamshedpur.[2] He traces his origins to Darbhanga.[3] He was brought up in Patna and Jamshedpur.[4][5] His father Mansoor Ali did irrigation jobs. As a child he would sometimes accompany him which gave Imtiaz a view of what was going on in the innards of India.[6] He had his early education in St. Michael's High School, Patna and later in D.B.M.S. English School, Jamshedpur,[7][8][9] He is the brother of director Arif Ali (who made his directional debut with the film Lekar Hum Deewana Dil).

In an interview with the Times of India he talks about his early influence of cinema:

My parents were still in Patna but I, along with my brother Arif, joined mid-term and stayed with my aunt at Karim Mansion (an old well-known building in Jamshedpur, where they had three cinema theatres, two of which were attached to the house). Even when I went to sleep, I had the sound of cinema in the background and since we lived there, I could go there whenever I wanted even though I was not allowed to. I had made friends with the projectionist and would see him changing reels and call him from his bidi break if the reel stopped in between. I was not studying and I failed. I was so self-conscious after that and for the first three days, I could just not go back to school. This whole embarrassment of failing and craning my neck down and avoiding my friends who had become my seniors, was difficult. Even though I had failed, my father never made me feel worse and was only there to always encourage me. It's after that, that I started applying myself and excelled in studies and sports and started doing theatre.[2]

He attended Hindu College, University of Delhi, where he took part in college theater. He was very successful in college. He also started Ibtida, the dramatics society of the college.[10] Thereafter he moved to Mumbai and did a diploma course from Xavier Institute of Communication.[11][12]

Imtiaz was married to Preety Ali but divorced her in 2012.[13] He has a daughter named Ida Ali.


Imtiaz began his career directing TV programs including Kurukshetra for Zee TV and Imtihaan for Doordarshan.[14] He moved on to Bollywood films. In 2005, he made his directorial debut with Socha Na Tha starring Abhay Deol and Ayesha Takia. He quoted, later in a talk, that it took him three years to make the film.[15] Despite its box office failure, the film won critical acclaim.

His second film, Jab We Met, starred then real-life couple Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor, and became his first box office success. His Love Aaj Kal starred Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone, and emerged as his biggest commercial success to date.[16] Ali's film Rockstar, starring Ranbir Kapoor, did well at the box office despite mixed reviews.

He founded his film production company, Window Seat Films; whose first release was Highway. Starring Randeep Hooda and Alia Bhatt, the film was well appreciated by critics. His next film, Tamasha, starred Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in the lead roles and was released to mixed reviews on November 27, 2015.[17]


Year Film Actor Director Producer Writer Editor Notes
2004 Black Friday Yes
2005 Socha Na Tha Yes Yes
Ahista Ahista Yes
2007 Jab We Met Yes Yes Filmfare Award for Best Dialogue
Nominated - Filmfare Award for Best Director
2009 Love Aaj Kal Yes Yes Yes Nominated - Filmfare Award for Best Director
Nominated - Filmfare Award for Best Story
2011 Rockstar Yes Yes Nominated - Filmfare Award for Best Director
Nominated - Filmfare Award for Best Story
2012 Cocktail Yes
2014 Highway Yes Yes Yes Co-produced with Sajid Nadiawala
Nominated - Filmfare Award for Best Story
2015 Tamasha Yes Yes Yes Co-produced with Sajid Nadiawala
2017 The Ring Yes Yes Yes


External links[edit]