R. Balki

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R. Balki
R. Balki.jpg
Born (1964-04-16) 16 April 1964 (age 58)
Other namesR. Balakrishnan
Occupation(s)Former Group Chairman Lowe Lintas, film director, screenwriter
(m. 2007)

R. Balakrishnan, popularly known as R. Balki,[2][3] (born 16 April 1964) is an Indian filmmaker, screenwriter and former Group Chairman of the advertising agency Lowe Lintas (India). He is best known for directing Cheeni Kum (2007), Paa (2009) and Pad Man (2018).


He started, his career with Mudra at the age of 23. His passion had always been filmmaking. After college, he even applied to the Chennai Film Institute to do a course in direction. However, he did not like the panel that interviewed him, so he walked out. Not knowing what to do and having always been interested in Computers, he joined the newly begun Masters in Computer Application course at the Guindy College of Engineering, close to the film institute. After studying there for three years, he didn't complete the course due to lack of attendance. According to him, this was mainly because he spent his time playing cricket and watching films.[4]

One day, he saw an advertisement in the papers by Mudra Communications. He had no idea about the company except the fact that their logo appeared after every episode of Buniyaad. And so he thought it was Ramesh Sippy's (the maker of Buniyaad) company. The advert asked people to send in 100 words describing who they were. He was selected for the first creative training programme by the agency. A programme that was like testing model for the agency for the creation of MICA years later.[5]

Balki was soon addicted to advertising. Balki's ideas have included "Daag Achche Hain" for Surf Excel, "Jaago re" ads for Tata Tea, "What an idea sirji" Idea Cellular advertising campaign, Havells, Tanishq, ICICI Prudential, Saint-Gobain glass, Hamara Bajaj, Britannia, Pepsodent and many more.[6][7]

Balki has written and directed the much enjoyed Cheeni Kum (2007), which starred Amitabh Bachchan and Tabu.[8] His second feature film was the critically acclaimed and commercially successful Paa, (produced by Sunil Manchanda and Abhishek Bachchan), released on 4 December 2009, starring Amitabh Bachchan, his son Abhishek, and Vidya Balan. Shamitabh was his third Bollywood venture starring Amitabh Bachchan, southern superstar Dhanush and Akshara Haasan, who made her debut in the film.[9] The film released on 6 February 2015. He then wrote and directed Ki and Ka which was released on 1 April 2016 starring Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor.[10] His next was Pad Man which starred Akshay Kumar and Radhika Apte, released February 2018, based on the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, which he co-produced, wrote and directed.[11][12] In 2019 Balki co-produced and wrote Mission Mangal where he also played the role of creative director.[13] His next directorial was the thriller film Chup : Revenge Of The Artist, released on 23 September 2022, starring Sunny Deol, Dulquer Salmaan and Shreya Dhanwanthary in lead roles. The film focused on a serial killer who targets film critics.

Ilaiyaraaja, the noted Indian composer, is his favourite composer. Balki once commented, "My biggest inspiration has been Ilaiyaraaja's music; it was his music that got me interested in cinema in the first place."[14] He has collaborated with P. C. Sreeram, India's premier cinematographer in all his films, an association that Balki cherishes deeply.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Balki has been married to Gauri Shinde since 2007.[16] She is an Indian advertising professional and a screen writer, director and producer.[17]


Year Title Credited as
Director Producer Writer
2007 Cheeni Kum Yes No Yes
2009 Paa Yes No Yes
2012 English Vinglish No Yes No
2015 Shamitabh Yes Yes Yes
2016 Ki & Ka Yes Yes Yes
2018 Pad Man Yes Yes Yes
2019 Mission Mangal No No Yes
2022 Chup: Revenge of The Artist Yes Yes Yes
TBA Ghoomer dagger Yes Yes Yes

Awards and nominations[edit]

Paa received 14 nominations at the 16th Star Screen Awards[18] and won five awards of those. It also won National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.[citation needed]

For Pad Man, he won Best Director award in Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2018.[citation needed] It also won the Best film on social issues at the 66th National Film Awards.[19]

Year Award Category Film(s) Result Ref.
2008 9th IIFA Awards Best Story Cheeni Kum Nominated [20]
Producers Guild Film Awards Best Story Nominated [21]
Best Dialogues Nominated [21]
14th Screen Awards Most Promising Debut Director Nominated [22]
Stardust Awards Hottest Young Film Maker Nominated [23]
11th Zee Cine Awards Most Promising Debut Director Nominated [24]
2010 55th Filmfare Awards Best Director Paa Nominated [25]
Best Screenplay Nominated [25]
11th IIFA Awards Best Director Nominated [26]
Best Story Nominated [26]
57th National Film Awards Best Feature Film in Hindi Won [27]
16th Screen Awards Best Director Nominated [28]
Best Story Nominated [28]
Best Screenplay Nominated [28]
Best Dialogue Nominated [28]
2018 Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Best Director Pad Man Nominated [29]
2019 66th National Film Awards Best Film on Other Social Issues Won [30]


  1. ^ R Balki quits Mullen Lowe Lintas, advertising for films
  2. ^ "Kamal Haasan's younger daughter Akshara to jump into Bollywood arena". Tamilstar.
  3. ^ CF (4 September 2013). "Akshara to follow Shruti's footsteps into tinsel town". KOLLY TALK.
  4. ^ R Balki: Gauri can hurt me and Amitji can hurt me tremendously
  5. ^ Ep 3 R Balki on Storytelling, Tech and Creativity
  6. ^ Daag Acche Hai – A Lowe Lintas brainchild that changed the face of Surf Excel’s brand identity
  7. ^ Bye bye Bajaj
  8. ^ "'Cheeni Kum' clocks 13 years: R.Balki shares his experience on making a 'coming of age' film - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  9. ^ "Even after three films with Amitabh Bachchan, it's never easy to get him to sign on, says R Balki". Hindustan Times. 11 February 2020. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  10. ^ "Revealed – Kareena Kapoor's Look As 'KI' In R. Balki's 'Ki And Ka'". 29 July 2015.
  11. ^ Vijayakar, Rajiv (19 January 2018). "Inspired Much". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  12. ^ R Balki dedicates Pad Man National Award win to Arunachalam Muruganantham: It belongs to him
  13. ^ Raman, Sruthi Ganapathy (24 July 2019). "'Mission Mangal' film about 'ordinary people setting out to do extraordinary things', says director". Scroll.in. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  14. ^ LUNCH WITH BS: R Balki, Business Standard, Shobhana Subramanian.
  15. ^ It’s Akshay Kumar for PC Sreeram and Balki this time
  16. ^ "The accidental couple: The unconventional marriage of R Balki and Gauri Shinde". Hindustan Times. 24 March 2018. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
  17. ^ "English Vinglish inspired by my mom: Gauri Shinde - Hindustan Times". Archived from the original on 14 August 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2012., Hindustan Times, 14 August 2012.
  18. ^ Nominations for 16th Star Screen Awards, Star Screen Awards.
  19. ^ "Akshay Kumar's 'PadMan' wins National Award for being best social film". Business Standard. 23 December 2019. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  20. ^ "Nominations for the IIFA Awards 2008". Bollywood Hungama. Bollywood Hungama News Network. 16 April 2008. Archived from the original on 8 March 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  21. ^ a b Bollywood Hungama News Network (14 March 2008). "Nominations for 3rd Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards". Bollywood Hungama. Archived from the original on 21 September 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  22. ^ "Nominees for 14th Annual Screen Awards". Bollywood Hungama. IndiaFM News Bureau. 2 January 2008. Archived from the original on 29 April 2009. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  23. ^ "Nominations for Max Stardust Awards 2008". Bollywood Hungama. Bollywood Hungama News Network. 25 December 2007. Archived from the original on 23 October 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  24. ^ "Nominations for the Zee Cine Awards 2008". Bollywood Hungama. Bollywood Hungama News Network. 1 April 2008. Archived from the original on 23 March 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  25. ^ a b "Nominations for 55th Idea Filmfare Awards 2009". Bollywood Hungama. 11 February 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2022.
  26. ^ a b "Nominations for IIFA Awards 2010". Bollywood Hungama. 8 May 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2022.
  27. ^ "57th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 November 2018. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  28. ^ a b c d "Nominations for Nokia 16th Annual Star Screen Awards 2009". Bollywood Hungama. 31 December 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2022.
  29. ^ "Sanju and Padmaavat get most nominations at Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Awards 2018". The Indian Express. 12 July 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2022.
  30. ^ "66th National Film Awards" (PDF) (Press release). Directorate of Film Festivals. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 August 2019. Retrieved 10 June 2022.

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