Nikkhil Advani

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Nikkhil Advani
Nikkhil Advani.jpg
Nikkhil in 2020
Nikhil Suresh Advani

(1971-04-28) 28 April 1971 (age 52)
  • Director
  • producer
  • screenwriter
Years active1996-present
SpouseSuparna Gupta

Nikkhil Suresh Advani (born 28 April 1971) is an Indian director, producer and screenwriter who works in Hindi cinema.[1] He along with his sister, Monisha Advani and Madhu Bhojwani, co-founded the entertainment company Emmay Entertainment.[2]

Early life and family[edit]

Advani was born and raised in Bombay, Maharashtra, India, into a Sindhi Hindu family. His father is a retired professional who worked in senior management positions with multinationals in the chemical and pharmaceuticals industry and his mother is an advertising professional. His father is Sindhi whilst his mother is Maharashtrian.

He studied at Green Lawns High School, Breach Candy,[3] and later did his Masters in chemistry at St. Xavier's College, Mumbai.[4] He married his college friend Suparna Gupta with whom he has a daughter Keya.[5] Advani is the grand nephew of late producer N. N. Sippy and second cousin of actor Tusshar Kapoor and producer Ekta Kapoor.

His wife, Suparna Gupta is a child rights activist. Winner of the Ashoka Fellowship For Leading Social Entrepreneurship (2009) she graduated as an Edward S. Mason Fellow from Harvard Kennedy School of Government (2012) and co-founded a non-profit organization, Aangan which works on child trafficking, child marriage, and child labor.

Film career[edit]

Nikkhil’s film career spans over twenty five years. He began assisting art-house film directors, Saeed Mirza, Kundan Shah, and Sudhir Mishra. Subsequently, he worked under Dharma Productions, the production house of the late Yash Johar, father of Karan Johar and Yash Raj Films.

Advani started his career by assisting Saeed and Aziz Mirza in directing Naya Nukkad (1994), and his very first outing as a co-screenplay writer for Iss Raat Ki Subah Nahin (1996) was critically appreciated. Then, he was an assistant director and assisted Karan Johar in his first two directorial projects, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (2001). Advani also had an acting guest appearance in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, along with Farah Khan during the Neelam Show sequence. Similarly, he assisted Aditya Chopra on Mohabbatein (2000).

Advani made his directorial debut with the critically acclaimed film Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003), is a romantic comedy-drama film starring Jaya Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, and Preity Zinta, with Sushma Seth, Reema Lagoo, Lillete Dubey, and Delnaaz Paul in supporting roles. The film received positive critical feedback and was commercially successful, and was the highest-grossing Indian film of the year. It explores several themes, such as the depiction of non-resident Indians, inter-caste marriage, terminal illness, and homosexuality through innuendo and homosocial bonding. It won two National Film Awards, eight Filmfare Awards, thirteen International Indian Film Academy Awards, six Producers Guild Film Awards, three Screen Awards, and two Zee Cine Awards in 2004.

Advani directed and co-wrote the screenplay for Salaam-e-Ishq (2007) an Indian romantic drama film directed by Nikkhil Advani, it featured an ensemble cast of Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Anil Kapoor, Juhi Chawla, Akshaye Khanna, Ayesha Takia, John Abraham, Vidya Balan, Govinda, Shannon Esra, Sohail Khan and Isha Koppikar in lead roles. The film weaves 6 love stories together thanks to the relationships of the people within it. The film was Advani's second directorial venture after Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003) and the unofficial remake of Hollywood film Love Actually (2003).

In 2009, Advani directed Chandni Chowk to China, an action comedy film that stars Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone in the lead roles with Mithun Chakraborty and Hong Kong action cinema actor Gordon Liu. The film revolves around a vegetable cutter from Chandni Chowk in Delhi who finds himself on an adventure in China after the residents of an oppressed village deem him to be the reincarnation of a slain Chinese revolutionary. The film was distributed in the U.S. and co-produced by Warner Bros. It is Warner Bros. Pictures first Hindi film. Released on 16 January 2009, it was the third highest-grossing film of the year at the Indian Box Office.

Following this Advani produced Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai (2010), a Bollywood science fiction romance film directed by Milap Zaveri. It stars Riteish Deshmukh, Jacqueline Fernandez, Sonal Sehgal, and Ruslaan Mumtaz in lead roles.

In 2006, Nikkhil directed and wrote the story and screenplay Patiala House (2011) starring Rishi Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia, Akshay Kumar and Anushka Sharma in the title roles.

Nikkhil Advani is a National Award-winning filmmaker whose children's film Delhi Safari (2012) was India's first 3-D Stereoscopic animation feature. It advocated for wildlife conservation and is currently being developed into a full-fledged franchise in Hollywood.

After this release, Nikkhil Advani partnered with Monisha Advani and Madhu Bhojwani to form Emmay Entertainment, a motion picture production company. The first feature film produced by Emmay Entertainment was D-Day (2013), a film directed by Nikkhil, in association with DAR Motion Pictures, which was released on 19 July 2013, which was received with positive reviews along with a few awards.

Advani's recent directorial work has been produced under the Emmay Entertainment banner, founded by Monisha Advani, Madhu Bhojwani, and himself. The production house is one of Mumbai’s leading production companies creating innovative and edgy content for both feature films and Web and is currently working with Disney, Fox Star India, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Sony.

Headlined by Emmay Entertainment, the production house released films like Airlift (2016), starring Akshay Kumar and Nimrat Kaur, based on true-life events of the evacuation of 170,000 Indians from Kuwait during the first Gulf War. Airlift is produced by T-Series, Cape of Good, Emmay Entertainment, and Abundantia Entertainment. The film was their first to cross 1 billion on the box office and also their first to receive a National Award.[6]

Advani then teamed up with Siddharth Roy Kapur under the banner of UTV Motion Pictures to produce & direct Katti Batti (2015) a romantic comedy-drama film starring Imran Khan and Kangana Ranaut in the lead roles. For his next film, Advani directed Hero (2015) a romantic action film co-written by Umesh Bist and himself, a remake of Subhash Ghai's 1983 blockbuster film of the same name. The film starred debutantes Sooraj Pancholi and Athiya Shetty,

Advani’s latest release was Batla House (2019), an action thriller film written by Ritesh Shah.[7] Inspired by the Batla House encounter case that took place on 19 September 2008, the film stars John Abraham as a police officer named Sanjeev Kumar Yadav, the film follows who played a crucial role in the encounter. The story showcases the encounter and in its aftermath, Sanjeev's struggle to catch the fugitives and prove the encounter wasn't a fake one while dealing with nationwide hatred and post traumatic stress disorder. The film was theatrically released in India on 15 August 2019 during Independence Day weekend. It became commercially successful at the box office.

In addition to his directorial work, he has produced several films by other directors under the Emmay banner. Like Airlift (2016), Lucknow Central (2017), Satyameva Jayate (2018), Baazaar (2018), Marjaavaan (2019), Indoo Ki Jawani (2020), Bell Bottom (2021), Satyameva Jayate 2 (2021).

Other ventures[edit]

Web series[edit]

In 2020, Advani produced and co-wrote his first web series, Hasmukh, for Netflix. It was directed by Nikhil Gonsalves and written by Suparn Verma, Vir Das, Nikkhil Advani, Amogh Ranadive, and Neeraj Pandey. Headlined by Vir Das as ‘Hasmukh’ and Ranvir Shorey as ‘Jimmy’ the show also consisted of Amrita Bagchi, Mantra, Ravi Kishan, Manoj Pahwa, Joanna Robaczewska, Raza Murad, among others. Adavni's Emmay Entertainment created the show in association with Applause Entertainment.

On 26 November 2020, Advani announced his second web series, Mumbai Diaries 26/11, based on 26/11, for Amazon Prime Video. It was directed by both Nikkhil Advani and Nikhil Gonsalves and starred a huge cast of Mohit Raina, Tina Desai, Konkona Sen Sharma, Shreya Dhanwanthary, Prakash Belawadi, Mishal Raheja, Satyajeet Dubey, Natasha Bharadwaj, and Mrunmayee Deshpande amongst others. It released on 9 September 2021 to critical acclaim and became the most-watched web series on Prime Video.

Short films[edit]

Emmay produced the short film, Guddu Engineer (2016) for the Zeal for Unity in 2016. Targeted at Indo-Pak unity, it was based on Rumi’s poem, "Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it". Directed by Nikkhil Advani, Guddu Engineer it won awards at the 5th Mumbai Shorts International Film Festival.

Amazon Prime Video unveiled Unpaused – Apartment (2020), an anthology of five Hindi short films filmed during the pandemic and featuring stories about new beginnings. Amongst which one such short film is Apartment directed by Nikkhil Advani, starring Richa Chadha, Sumeet Vyas, and Ishwak Singh. The plot focuses on the fall and ultimate rise of Chadha's character as she comes to terms with her husband's indiscretions with the help of a friendly neighbor.


A TV Film called Shaadi Vaadi And All That, an hour-long film for MTV, produced by Nikkhil Advani is a love triangle with a twist. The show is Kaashvi Nair's directorial debut who worked with Nikkhil as an assistant director.

Nikkhil Advani has directed a finite TV Series P.O.W.- Bandi Yuddh Ke for Star Plus.[8] The show is an official adaption of an Israeli TV series Hatufim. The series was premiered on 7 November 2016. Several Bollywood celebrities have praised the trailer. The show was premiered at the MAMI film fest followed by a talk with Gideon Raff.

Non-film work[edit]

In his spare time, Advani enjoys working with Bittu Sahgal and is a member of the Board of Sanctuary Nature Foundation, which advocates climate change, biodiversity, nature conservation and save the tiger's cause.[9] He is also actively involved in the restoration of Classic Films working along with Shiven Dungarpur and the Film Heritage Foundation. He also collaborates with Srila Chaterjee and Mahesh Mathai, curating the art house cinema for Baro Film Night. An avid Soccer fan, he works with Sarah White, Head of Partnership Marketing – APAC, City Football Marketing, to advocate and promote Manchester City Football Club in Mumbai.



Year Title Functioned as Notes
Director Writer Producer
1996 Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin No Yes No
1998 Kuch Kuch Hota Hai Associate No No
2000 Mohabbatein Associate No No
2001 Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... Associate No No
2003 Kal Ho Naa Ho Yes No No
2007 Salaam-e-Ishq Yes Yes No
2009 Chandni Chowk to China Yes No No
2010 Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai No No Yes
2011 Patiala House Yes Yes No
2012 Delhi Safari Yes Yes No
2013 D-Day Yes Yes No
2014 Shaadi Vaadi & All That No No Yes Television film
2015 Hero Yes Yes No
Katti Batti Yes Yes No
2016 Airlift No No Yes
Guddu Engiineer Yes No No Short film
2017 Lucknow Central No No Yes
2018 Satyameva Jayate No No Yes
Baazaar No No Yes
2019 Batla House Yes No No
Marjaavaan No No Yes
2020 Indoo Ki Jawani No No Yes
Unpaused Yes No No Segment: "Apartment"
2021 Sardar Ka Grandson No No Yes
Satyameva Jayate 2 No No Yes
Bell Bottom No No Yes
2023 Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway No No Yes
2024 Delhi Safari 2 Yes Yes Yes the part sequel of Delhi Safari


Year Title Functioned as Notes
Creator Director Writer Producer
2016-2017 P.O.W. - Bandi Yuddh Ke Yes Yes Yes No
2017 The Mini Truck No No No Yes Reality show
2020 Hasmukh Yes No No Yes
2021–present Mumbai Diaries 26/11 Yes Yes Yes No Co-directed with Nikhil Gonsalves
2021 The Empire Yes No No No
2022 Kaun Banegi Shikharwati No No No Yes
2022-2023 Rocket Boys Yes No No No
2023 Adhura No No No Yes
TBA Freedom At Midnight Yes Yes TBA Yes Pre-production[10]

Other credits[edit]

Assistant director[edit]


Year Title Role Notes
1998 Kuch Kuch Hota Hai Guest on The Neelam Show Uncredited cameo


  1. ^ "Extra k in name". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 6 April 2018. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Nikhil Advani and his partners unveil exciting plans for film and TV". The Times of India. 29 January 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  3. ^ Director’s Special Archived 13 January 2004 at the Wayback Machine Indian Express, 5 December 2003.
  4. ^ Advani Archived 25 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine,
  5. ^ "I was extremely confused after leaving Dharma: Nikkhil Advani". The Times of India. 22 July 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  6. ^ "Akshay Kumar's next is Airlift". The Indian Express. 29 August 2014. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  7. ^ "'Batla House': 5 Things You Need To Know About the John Abraham Film And the Encounter It's Based On". Mashable India. 10 July 2019.
  8. ^ "How Nikkhil Advani Hopes To Disrupt Indian Television With 'P.O.W. - Bandi Yuddh Ke'". Huffington Post India.
  9. ^ "Launch of Delhi Safari's "Fight for us Write for us" Campaign!". Bolly Spice. 11 August 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  10. ^ "Nikkhil Advani sets 'Freedom at Midnight' series at SonyLIV". The Hindu. PTI. 16 June 2022. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 15 July 2022.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: others (link)

External links[edit]