|Born||20 September 1948|
Bombay, Bombay State, India
Mahesh Bhatt (born 20 September 1948) is an Indian film director, producer and screenwriter known for his works in Hindi cinema. A stand-out film from his earlier period is Saaransh (1984), screened at the 14th Moscow International Film Festival. It became India's official entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for that year. The 1986 film Naam was his first piece of commercial cinema. In 1987, he turned producer with the film Kabzaa under the banner, "Vishesh Films", with his brother Mukesh Bhatt.
Bhatt went on to become one of the most recognized directors of the Indian film industry in the next decade, giving both art-house works such as Daddy (1989) and Swayam (1991), as well as commercial romantic hits like Awaargi (1990), Aashiqui (1990) and Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin (1991), in which he cast Pooja with actor Aamir Khan. He next directed Sadak (1991) which was a hit and it remains his highest grossing either directed or produced under the banner, "Vishesh Films".
During the 1990s Bhatt won critical acclaim for Sir (1993), along with other hits such as Gumraah (1993) and Criminal (1994). In 1994 he won the National Film Award – Special Jury Award for directing Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993). In 1996, he directed Tamanna, which won the National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues. In 1999, he directed the autobiographical Zakhm, which has garnered the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration. Bhatt has produced contemporary films such as Jism, Murder and Woh Lamhe. He co-owned film producing company Vishesh Films with his brother Mukesh Bhatt. However owing to differences between the brothers, Mukesh Bhatt took over Vishesh films and in May 2021, it was publicly announced that Mahesh Bhatt was no more associated with the firm.
Bhatt was born to Nanabhai Bhatt and Shirin Mohammad Ali. Bhatt's father was a Gujarati Hindu Nagar Brahmin and his mother was a Gujarati Muslim.
Among his siblings is the Indian film producer Mukesh Bhatt. Bhatt did his schooling from Don Bosco High School, Matunga. While still in school, Bhatt started summer jobs to earn money, while also making product advertisements. He was introduced to film director Raj Khosla through acquaintances. Bhatt thus started as an assistant director to Khosla.
At the age of 26, Bhatt made his debut as a director with the film Manzilein Aur Bhi Hain starring Kabir Bedi and Prema Narayan in 1974. His 1979 Lahu Ke Do Rang, starring Shabana Azmi and Vinod Khanna in lead roles, won two Filmfare Awards in 1980: Helen received her first Filmfare as Best Supporting Actress and Madhukar Shinde won it for Best Art Direction. The film did "above average" at the box office. He was noticed and received great critical acclaim with art film Arth (1982), when he turned to his personal life for inspiration but doubt persists as to whether it is an original film. Later, he made many more films taking insights from his personal life wherein he highlighted personal narratives ranging from out-of-wedlock birth to extramarital affair, and created critically acclaimed works such as Janam (1985) and Saaransh (1984), an exploration of an old couple's anxieties in a universe governed by arbitrary violence.
Bhatt had one of his biggest releases with musical romance film Aashiqui (1990), in collaboration with T-Series. The film launched Rahul Roy, Anu Aggarwal, and Deepak Tijori in the lead roles and became a major commercial success due to the hugely popular soundtrack by Nadeem-Shravan, which catapulted the music director duo into stardom. He launched his daughter Pooja Bhatt as a lead actress opposite Aamir Khan in Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin (1991). The film was a commercial success and hugely acclaimed for its soundtrack. Bhatt's directorial Saathi (1991) was the only major success for Aditya Pancholi as a lead actor, thus giving a boost to his career.
Bhatt's biggest release during that time was Sir (1993). The film launched Atul Agnihotri opposite Pooja Bhatt and Naseeruddin Shah was featured in the title role of an aspiring and dedicated teacher. The film was a commercial success and gained critical acclaim for Bhatt's direction and the acting of Shah, Pooja, Agnihotri, and Paresh Rawal. The film had an acclaimed and popular soundtrack by Anu Malik, which gave a boost to the music director's stellar career and he joined the league of top music directors of Bollywood.
In 1995 he moved to television, then a newly opening medium in India. He made two TV series in 1995: the English language A Mouthful of Sky written by Ashok Banker and the popular Hindi language serial Swabhimaan scripted by the writer Shobha De. He directed another TV series, Kabhie Kabhie, in 1997 which was written by Anurag Kashyap, Vinta Nanda and Kamlesh Kunti Singh. Following this, he directed dramas like Dastak (1996), the debut film of Miss Universe 1994-turned-actress Sushmita Sen, and Tamanna (1997), and tried his hand at comedy with Duplicate in 1998. Zakhm (1998) based on the Mumbai riots of 1993.
His last film as director was Kartoos (1999) which did average business at the box office. Thereafter, Bhatt retired a director and took to screenwriting, churning out stories and screenplays for over twenty films, many of which were box-office successes, like Dushman, Raaz, Murder (2004), Gangster (2006), Woh Lamhe (2006), based on the life of actress Parveen Babi, along with many more. His banner vishesh films still continues operating today as one of Indian Cinemas leading production banners. Bhatt entered into the world of theatre with his protege Imran Zahid as of now he has produced three plays. The Last Salute, based on Muntadhar al-Zaidi's book of the same title, a journalist investigating atrocities Trial of Errors, that opened on 29 March 2013 in Delhi. stage adaptation of Bhatt of his movie, Arth (film). Bhatt also produced The Last Salute, a play directed by Arvind Gaur, based on Muntadhar al-Zaidi's book, starring Imran Zahid. 
Other professional work
Bhatt is co-owner of the film production house, Vishesh Films, with Mukesh Bhatt. However owing to differences between the brothers, Mukesh Bhatt took over Vishesh films and in May 2021, it was publicly announced that Mahesh Bhatt was no more associated with the firm. He is a member of the advisory board of U.S. nonprofit TeachAids.
He has hosted some episodes of two science magazine programmes - Turning Point and Imaging Science on Doordarshan in 1990s.
As of December 2018[update] Bhatt was a member of the Board of Patrons of the Mother Teresa Awards.
Bhatt believes the Congress party is committed to secularism. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he campaigned in a Karvan-e-Bedari (caravan of awareness) asking people to vote for Congress and defeat BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, as he believes that Mr. Modi is communal. Bhatt also criticizes the communal record of Congress Party, for its role in 1984 Sikh riots. He is planning to make a film, which will address the riots that took place in Delhi. Mahesh Bhatt supported the Islamic preacher Zakir Naik when the latter was denied entry into the United Kingdom for his controversial comments on terrorism.
In 1970, Bhatt married Lorraine Bright (later name changed to Kiran Bhatt). His romance with her was the inspiration for his film Aashiqui. The couple's daughter Pooja is a filmmaker and actress, and son Rahul is an aspiring actor. Bhatt began an affair with 1970s actress, Parveen Babi. The affair did not last long, and Bhatt married Soni Razdan in 1986; to avoid Bhatt having to divorce his first wife, the couple converted to Islam prior to their wedding. They had two daughters, Shaheen and Alia. Alia is an actress having played roles in more than 20 films.  Mahesh Bhatt is also an uncle of Hindi film actor Emraan Hashmi and filmmakers Mohit Suri and Milan Luthria. Hashmi is his cousin Anwar's son, Suri is his sister Heena's son and Luthria is his mother Shirin's grand-nephew.
In the 1970s, he became a follower of Osho, and later found spiritual companionship and guidance with philosopher, U.G. Krishnamurti. Bhatt calls Krishnamurti his lifeline and says "Take him away, and I am empty". Bhatt in 1992 wrote Krishnamurti's biography titled U.G. Krishnamurti, A Life. Apart from this he has edited several books based on conversations with U.G. Krishnamurti. Bhatt's latest book A Taste of Life: The Last Days of U.G. Krishnamurti was published in June 2009.
As a director and producer, Mahesh Bhatt has a legacy of mentoring many actors and actresses and launching their careers, giving big names to Bollywood. He is notable for launching the careers of Anupam Kher in Saaransh (1984), Rahul Roy, Anu Aggarwal and Deepak Tijori in Aashiqui (1990), daughter Pooja Bhatt in Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin and Sadak (1991), Atul Agnihotri in Sir (1993), Sonali Bendre in Naaraaz (1994), Samir Soni in A Mouthful of Sky (1995), Sharad Kapoor, Sushmita Sen and Mukul Dev in Dastak (1996), Manoj Bajpayee in Dastak (1996), Ashutosh Rana in Tamanna (1997), Dushman (1998) and Sangharsh (1999), Aftab Shivdasani in Kasoor (2001), Dino Morea and Bipasha Basu in Raaz (2002), Aparna Tilak in Footpath (2003), Emraan Hashmi in Footpath and Murder (2004), Mallika Sherawat in Murder (2004), Kunal Khemu in Kalyug (2005), Shiney Ahuja and Kangana Ranaut in Gangster and Woh Lamhe (2006) and Sunny Leone in Jism 2 (2012).
Bhatt has also given breakthrough to many stars, bringing turning point in their careers. These names include Sanjay Dutt and Kumar Gaurav in Naam (1986), Aditya Pancholi in Saathi (1991), Paresh Rawal in Sir (1993), and Shraddha Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapoor in Aashiqui 2 (2013).
Bhatt is also known for his choice of music. Nadeem-Shravan had their first hit album in Bollywood with Bhatt's directorial Aashiqui. They would collaborate with Bhatt in more films including Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin, Sadak and Saathi (1991), Junoon (1992), Tadipaar and Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993). Nadeem-Shravan went on to compose music for several productions of Vishesh Films.
|1974||Manzilein Aur Bhi Hain||Yes|
|1979||Lahu Ke Do Rang||Yes||2 Filmfare Awards including Best Supporting Actress for Helen|
|1982||Arth||Yes||Yes||National Film Award for Best Actress for Shabana Azmi |
Filmfare Award for Best Dialogue
Nominated - Filmfare Award for Best Film & Best Director
|1984||Saaransh||Yes||Yes||Filmfare Award for Best Story |
National Film Award for Best Lyrics (Vasant Dev)
India's official entry to the 57th Academy Awards (Best Foreign Language Film)Filmfare Award for Best Story
Nominated: Filmfare Award for Best Film 7 Best Director
|1988||Kabzaa||Yes||Based on On the Waterfront|
|1989||Daddy||Yes||National Film Award – Special Mention - Anupam Kher|
|1990||Aashiqui||Yes||Won 4 Filmfare Awards |
Nominated - Filmfare Award for Best Director
|1991||Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin||Yes||Nominated: Filmfare Award for Best Film & Best Director|
Based on It Happened One Night
Remade in Tamil Kadhal Rojavae
|1991||Sadak||Yes||Won - Filmfare Award for Best Villain (Sadashiv Amrapurkar) |
Remade in Tamil as Appu
|1992||Junoon||Yes||Based on An American Werewolf in London|
|1992||Maarg||Yes||Originally titled Prem Dharam when launched in 1988. Released straight on video|
|1993||Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayee||Yes||TV movie (Zee TV)|
|1993||Sir||Yes||Based on Bulundi |
Remade as Gangmaster
|1993||Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke||Yes||Filmfare Awards including Best Film |
National Film Award – Special Mention (shared with producer Tahir Hussain)
Based on Houseboat
|1994||The Gentleman||Yes||Yes||Remake of Tamil movie Gentleman|
|1995||Criminal||Yes||Telugu–Hindi bilingual based on The Fugitive|
|1996||Papa Kehte Hai||Yes||Yes|
|1996||Sardari Begum||Yes||Best Feature Film in Urdu|
National Film Award/Special Jury Award: Kirron Kher
National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress: Rajeshwari Sachdev
|1998||Duplicate||Yes||Based on The Whole Town's Talking|
|1998||Angaaray||Yes||Based on State of Grace|
|1998||Dushman||Yes||Based on Eye for an Eye|
|1998||Zakhm||Yes||Yes||Filmfare Award for Best Story|
Screen Award for Best Story
Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration
|1999||Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan||Yes||Originally titled Mr. Aashiq, audio released under that name as well|
|1999||Kartoos||Yes||Based on Point of No Return/ French movie La Femme Nikita|
|1999||Sangharsh||Yes||Based on The Silence of the Lambs|
|2001||Kasoor||Yes||Based on Jagged Edge|
|2001||Yeh Zindagi Ka Safar||Yes|
|2002||Raaz||Yes||Yes||Based on What Lies Beneath|
|2003||Saaya||Yes||Based on Dragonfly|
|2003||Footpath||Yes||Yes||Based on State of Grace|
|2003||Jism||Yes||Based on Body Heat which itself was based on Double Indemnity|
|2003||Inteha||Yes||Based on Fear|
|2004||Murder||Yes||Based on Unfaithful which itself was based on the French movie The Unfaithful Wife|
|2005||Rog||Yes||Based on Laura|
|2005||Zeher||Yes||Based on Out of Time|
|2009||Raaz - The Mystery Continues||Yes|
|2011||Murder 2||Yes||Yes||Based on The Chaser|
|2013||Murder 3||Yes||Yes||Remake of The Hidden Face|
|2015||Mr. X||Yes||Also singer of title song "Mr. X"|
|2015||Hamari Adhuri Kahani||Yes||Yes|
|2018||The Dark Side of Life: Mumbai City||Acting debut, Post production|
|2022||Judaa Hoke Bhi||Yes|
|1995||A Mouthful of Sky||Yes||No|
|2014||CEO's Got Talent||No||No||Judge|
|2020||Dil Jaise Dhadke... Dhadakne Do||No||No||Creator|
- ^ "14th Moscow International Film Festival (1985)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 16 March 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
- ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Sanjay Dutt and Alia Bhatt are NOT coming together for Naam sequel, confirms Mahesh Bhatt". PINKVILLA. 31 March 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2022.
- ^ "Revisiting Mahesh Bhatt's Sadak: Sadashiv Amrapurkar's 'Maharani' steals the spotlight". The Indian Express. 27 August 2020. Retrieved 6 May 2022.
- ^ a b c d e f g Sawhney, Anubha (18 January 2003). "The Saraansh of Mahesh Bhatt's life". Times Of India. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
- ^ "Emraan Hashmi on Mukesh and Mahesh Bhatt's professional split: 'All good things come to an end'". The Indian Express. 16 May 2021. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
- ^ "My wife and my audience, both took time to understand me: Emraan Hashmi - Times of India". The Times of India.
- ^ "Mukesh Bhatt tours riot-ravaged Ahmedabad - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
- ^ "Purnima". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
- ^ "I have great reverence for women: Mahesh Bhatt". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014.
- ^ "Mahesh Bhatt's article about Ramzan, Ramadan". 20 July 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
- ^ "Mahesh Bhatt tours riot-ravaged Ahmedabad - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
- ^ "Lahu Ke Do Rang Awards". IMDb. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
- ^ "Box Office 1979". Boxofficeindia.com. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
- ^ Kalsi, Jyoti (25 January 2011). "Mahesh Bhatt talks about 'The Last Salute'". Gulf News. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
- ^ "Review: Now, communalism and counter-insurgency ops on stage". Zee News. 30 March 2013. Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- ^ "Imran Zahid gets applaud in Mahesh Bhatt's 'Trial of Error'". The India Awaaz. 30 March 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- ^ Madhur Tankha (29 July 2013). "Arth stages a comeback". The Hindu. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- ^ "Mahesh's next on Iraqi journalist". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 4 November 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
- ^ Uday Bhatia (19 January 2012). "A footwear-flinging Iraqi journalist inspires a new play, says Time Out". Time Out. Archived from the original on 19 March 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
- ^ Mahesh Bhatt (14 May 2011). "Footprints of dissent, First Person-Mahesh Bhatt". The Hindu. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
- ^ Rana Siddiqui Zaman (3 June 2011). "Shoe act hits the stage". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 10 August 2011. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
- ^ "Emraan Hashmi on Mukesh and Mahesh Bhatt's professional split: 'All good things come to an end'". The Indian Express. 16 May 2021. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
- ^ Hungama, Bollywood (19 April 2022). "The final & irrevocable split between Mukesh Bhatt and Mahesh Bhatt: Mukesh Bhatt NOT invited to Ranbir Kapoor-Alia Bhatt wedding. Bollywood News - Bollywood Hungama". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
- ^ "Mahesh Bhatt, leading Indian cultural icon, joins the TeachAIDS Advisory Board". TeachAids. 31 October 2009. Retrieved 16 December 2010.
- ^ "Indian Science Communication Society". www.iscos.org. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
- ^ "Board of Patrons - Mother Teresa Memorial Awards". Mother Teresa Memorial Awards. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
- ^ "Mahesh Bhatt's karvan comes to Congress' rescue". Retrieved 26 April 2014.
- ^ "Modi is communal, should be defeated, says Mahesh Bhatt". Retrieved 26 April 2014.
- ^ "Mahesh Bhatt planning to make a film on 1984 Skih riots by Congress". Archived from the original on 3 April 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2014.
- ^ Deshmane, Akshay (23 June 2010). "Zakir Naik will fight back as Canada bans him too". DNA.
- ^ Bumiller, Elisabeth (1991). May You be the Mother of a Hundred Sons. New Delhi: Penguin Books. p. 183. ISBN 9780140156713.
- ^ Suparn Verma (19 March 1998). "The return of Razdan". Rediff.com. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
- ^ Bumiller, Elisabeth (1991). May You be the Mother of a Hundred Sons: A Journey Among the Women of India. ISBN 9780140156713.
- ^ "The Saraansh of Mahesh Bhatt's life | undefined News - Times of India". The Times of India.
- ^ Mahesh Bhatt (1992). U.G. Krishnamurti, A Life. Viking. ISBN 9780140126204.
- ^ Mahesh Bhatt (2009). A taste of Life: The last Days of U.G. Krishnamurti. He considers himself as an alcoholic in one of the TV shows with Rohit Roy, but eventually, he overcomes the alcoholism. Penguin Group India. ISBN 978-0-14-306716-0.
- ^ "Anupam Kher's 'People' With Mahesh Bhatt Interview". YouTube. Republic. Archived from the original on 6 November 2021. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
- ^ "Sunny Leone says yes to Mahesh Bhatt". Hindustan Times. Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 2 December 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- ^ "30th National Film Awards – 1983". Directorate of Film Festivals. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 October 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- ^ "List of Indian Submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film". Film Federation of India. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- ^ "37th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
- ^ India (9 October 2015). "'Dushman' will bring Indians, Pakistanis closer: Mahesh Bhatt". The Indian Express. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
- ^ "Raveena Tandon, Mahesh Bhatt become judges of 'CEOs got Talent' | PINKVILLA". www.pinkvilla.com. 8 March 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
- ^ "Viraf Patel and Barkha Bisht to star in Mahesh Bhatt s show Namkaran". 28 July 2016.
- ^ Bureau, ABP News (31 July 2016). "Noted TV actress set to make comeback with Star Plus!".
- ^ "CineTalkers". Cine Talkers. 30 August 2016.
- ^ Mahesh, Shweta. "Mahesh Bhatt brings Aashiqui 2 on Colors as Tu Aashiquii - watch promo". Retrieved 27 August 2017.
- ^ "Mahesh Bhatt: Dil Jaise Dhadke…Dhadakne Do is not anti-God". The Indian Express. 11 February 2020.
- ^ etimes.in (30 March 2022). "Mahesh Bhatt to make his OTT debut as he turns host for a reality series Pehchaan". Times of India. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
- Mahesh Bhatt at IMDb
- Living people
- Don Bosco schools alumni
- Rajneesh movement
- Gujarati people
- 20th-century Indian film directors
- Indian male screenwriters
- Film directors from Mumbai
- Hindi-language film directors
- Converts to Islam from Hinduism
- Film producers from Mumbai
- Indian television directors
- Filmfare Awards winners
- Hindi film producers
- 1948 births
- Bhatt family
- Hindi screenwriters
- 20th-century Indian dramatists and playwrights
- 21st-century Indian dramatists and playwrights
- Screenwriters from Maharashtra
- 20th-century Indian male writers
- 21st-century Indian male writers
- Directors who won the Best Film on National Integration National Film Award
- Directors who won the Best Film on Other Social Issues National Film Award