Saad Khan

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Saad Khan
Saad oct 2014 resize.jpg
EducationMaster of Arts in Media and Communication,
Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering
Alma materUniversity of Louisiana at Lafayette,
New York University Tisch School of the Arts,
Ramaiah Institute of Technology
OccupationFilmmaker, entrepreneur
Years active2008–present
Known forHumble Politician Nograj (2018)
AwardsSouth Indian International Movie Awards

Saad Khan is an Indian director, screenwriter and acting teacher and Improv comedian who works in films and web series. He is the founder and creative head of FirstAction Studios that recently merged with Mumbai-based media conglomerate Rainshine Entertainment.[1][2] Khan is known for his Kannada-English feature film Humble Politician Nograj (2018), which became a hit and the first Kannada film to achieve world-wide digital audience presence on Amazon's PrimeVideo platform.[3][4]

As a writer & director, Khan’s short film Another Kind of Black (2008) was screened at the Cannes Film Festival.[5] Khan’s most recent work is Ankahi Ansuni- a horror-thriller created and written by him and his writers from FirstAction which is currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.

In addition to his directorial ventures - Station,[6][7][8] Love & She, and Humble Politician Nograj,[9] Saad also is the host and creator of the live improvisational comedy show called The Improv, which became a platform for many stand-up and improv comedians in the country.[7][10]

Early life[edit]

Khan was born in Mumbai, India, and was raised in Bangalore.[11] Khan is an alumnus of St. Joseph's College, eventually graduating as a mechanical engineer from M.S. Ramaiah Institute of Technology. While studying to be an engineer, he developed an interest in theatre at the age of 17 and started writing and directing plays, also spearheading a theatre group which then produced over 12 plays in a span of 4 years.[12]

Khan decided to pursue a career in film and media. After graduating from college, Khan left for the United States to continue his education in filmmaking. He got a degree certificate in filmmaking from Tisch School of the Arts, New York University where he was also awarded a study scholarship and assistantship. Khan's determination to excel in filmmaking then took him to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette[13][14][15] where he was awarded his master's degree in Communication and Media.[13] He then returned to New York to complete the summer degree program in directing at Tisch.[16]

Khan giving the Keynote Speech after receiving the Outstanding Alumnus Award 2015 from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.


Right after completing college, Saad Khan wrote and directed two short films, Another Kind of Black and On My Mind.[17] The former was selected at the Short Film Corner of the Cannes Film Festival,[18] and the latter was shot in the south of the US and was screened at the Acadiana Film Festival. On his return to India, Khan assisted Ashutosh Gowariker in the Bollywood film Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey almost immediately.[19] After a 2-year stint in Mumbai, he founded his media company Firstaction Studios in Bangalore, which received recognition for content creation, ad films and commercials for brands, acting, communication and media workshops, producing stage shows, managing casting for films, ads, television commercials, viral videos and provides opportunities to aspiring artists in the city. Khan’s production of the live comedy show The Improv (India) became a popular feature for the Bangalore audience.[20][21] Unscripted and unrehearsed, the show has Khan and 4 improv comedians perform improv comedy on the spot by taking scenarios from a live audience.[22] The Improv was the first national act which was presented by Black Dog Easy Evenings in Hyderabad, after they toured with performers such as Russell Peters, Robert Schneider, and the team of Whose Line Is It Anyway?[23] The Improv toured internationally with well received shows in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.[24]

Khan then moved into ideating and creating something with Danish Sait that changed the face of[25] Kannada filmmaking- Humble Politician Nograj.[26] The movie was a satirical take on a narcissistic and crazy politician's ambition to go from a small time corporator to an influential MLA. Humble Politician Nograj also created a strong buzz by becoming the first Kannada feature film to find its place on the international OTT platform - Amazon PrimeVideo.[27] With web series and online shows catching up with the audiences, Khan and team decided to give it an online push with a web series.[28] Instead of a sequel to Humble Politician Nograj, Khan and Sait have finished filming season one of Humble Politician Nograj, which focuses Nograj’s journey after he has become an MLA. Khan also stated that the idea to push it online was creatively focused.[29][28][30][31]

The Nograj web series has been written and directed by Khan in association with Danish Sait and executed by FirstAction Studios. The primary producer is Sameer Nair, the CEO of Applause Entertainment and the content publisher of shows such as Scam, Criminal Justice (Indian TV series), Hostages (Indian TV series). The show is scheduled to release on an OTT platform shortly.[32][33]

Khan's venture with Danish Sait – FirstAction,[34] under which the movie Humble Politician Nograj[35] was created has recently given significant stakes to Mumbai-based Rainshine Entertainment in a strategic move.[35]

Khan has also conducted numerous acting workshops and mentored many artists. Some of his students include famous comics such as Sumukhi Suresh, Kenny Sebastian, and actors Samyukta Hornad, Ria Nalavade and many more.

Khan has written and created the web series Ankahi Ansuni, a thriller about a Sub Inspector caught in the web of myths and superstitions as he tries to solve strange crimes in a small north Indian town. It was released 15 July 2021 on Disney+ Hotstar.[1][36] Also featured on the same OTT platform is Chattis Aur Maina, a story about a dancer girl (a Nachaniya) and what happens when she falls in love with a decent man who has a heart of gold and the soul of a poet, conceptualized by Khan and Saishree D.[1][36][37]

Personal life[edit]

Khan has a younger brother, Maaz Khan, who is a partner and producer at FirstAction studios. His mother, Sabiha Zubair and sister Safa Khan have been cited as a strong influence on Khan.[38]

Awards and honours[edit]



Year Film Director Writer Producer Notes
2008 Another Kind of Black Yes No Yes Short film
2010 On my Mind Yes Yes No Short film
2014 Station Yes Yes No Hindi film
2018 Humble Politician Nograj Yes Yes No Nominated for SIIMA Award
2020 Love and She Yes Yes No Released 2016 (United States)
2021 Chattis Aur Maina No Yes No Web series
2021 Ankahi Ansuni No Yes No TBA


  1. ^ a b c Sudevan, Praveen (24 June 2021). "Saad Khan on creating Disney+ Hotstar mini-series 'Chattis Aur Maina'". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  2. ^ "Rainshine Entertainment adds three new companies to its existing portfolio". Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  3. ^ Joy, Prathibha (11 August 2017). "Humble Politician Nograj will make you think whether you have voted the right people into power - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  4. ^ "I couldn't have made Humble Politician Nograj without my amazing crew: Saad Khan - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  5. ^ "I would be incomplete without art". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  6. ^ Kumar, Shyama Krishna (29 March 2014). "Fast paced and slick, Station entertains". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  7. ^ a b K, Bhumika (25 March 2014). "Your station has arrived". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  8. ^ "Ashutosh Gowariker proud of protégé Saad Khan's debut film Station". Bollywood Life. 27 March 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  9. ^ "'Humble Politician Nograj' review: Good for voters, right in time for polls". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  10. ^ "This Improv with Danish Sait, Saad Khan and many more will leave you in splits - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  11. ^ Dasgupta, Ipsita Basu (22 June 2011). "I Love Bangalore to bits". The Daily News & Analysis.
  12. ^ "'Let's Talk About Love' in Bangalore, musically". India Today. 22 November 2004. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  13. ^ a b Gupta, Namita (22 December 2015). "'SAAD' movies make us think". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  14. ^ "UL Lafayette alumnus finds niche in film". The Vermilion. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  15. ^ "News & Events". University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  16. ^ "UL Lafayette alumnus finds niche in film". The Vermilion. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  17. ^ "Saad Khan's reunion party - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  18. ^ " CNN-News18 Breaking News India, Latest News Headlines, Live News Updates". News18. Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  19. ^ "Archive News". The Hindu. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  20. ^ "Bangalore Photo Gallery: Latest Pictures, Best News Photos, Images about on Bangalore". Firstpost. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  21. ^ "THE IMPROV - Unrehearsed, Unbelievable, Uncensored and LIVE". Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  22. ^ "This Improv with Danish Sait, Saad Khan and many more will leave you in splits - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  23. ^ Rajaram, Sowmya (29 March 2016). "'We truly fit the definition of the idiot'". Bangalore Mirror. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  24. ^ "20".
  25. ^ Sudevan, Praveen (12 December 2019). "Being humble… again". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  26. ^ "The man behind the role". Deccan Herald. 12 July 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  27. ^ "Kannada cinema takes digital leap". Deccan Herald. 4 October 2019. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  28. ^ a b Khajane, Muralidhara (14 November 2019). "Kannada cinema ushers in a new dawn with directors taking to web series". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  29. ^ "Brace for laughter riot as sequel to 'Humble Politician Nograj' in the works". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  30. ^ "Sequel of Humble Politician Nograj".
  31. ^ "'Humble Politician Nograj' sequel to be a 10-episode web series". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  32. ^ "Coming soon, Nograj sequel on digital platform". The New Indian Express. 24 March 2021. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  33. ^ "Danish Sait's 'Humble Politician Nograj' web series completes filming". The News Minute. 5 August 2020.
  34. ^ "Rainshine Entertainment acquires significant stakes in All Things Small, FirstAction". 1 October 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  35. ^ a b "Rainshine Entertainment acquires stakes in 2 media companies". exchange4media. 1 October 2019.
  36. ^ a b Anien, Tini Sara (21 May 2021). "It is dangerous not to evolve: Saad Khan". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  37. ^ Monalisa, Monika (5 June 2021). "Mr Unstoppable". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  38. ^ "Saad Khan - On my pinboard". Deccan Herald. 20 April 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  39. ^ a b "The nocturnal director". The Hindu. 8 January 2018.
  40. ^ Gupta, Namita (22 December 2015). "'SAAD' movies make us think". Deccan Chronicle.
  41. ^ "SIIMA 2019 Nominations (Kannada): Yash's KGF Chapter 1 Makes It To All Categories!". FilmiBeat. 2 August 2019. Retrieved 9 August 2021.

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