Saad Khan

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Saad Khan
Saad oct 2014 resize.jpg
Alma materUniversity of Louisiana at Lafayette
OccupationFilmmaker, entrepreneur
Years active2008–present
Known forHumble Politician Nograj (2018)

Saad Khan is an Indian film director, screenwriter and acting teacher. He is the founder and creative head of FirstAction[1] (previously Centerstage Studios Private Limited[2]) and A for Acting where he mentors nurturing talents. Khan is known for his Kannada feature film Humble Politician Nograj (2018), which is the first Kannada film to achieve world-wide digital audience presence on Amazon Prime.[3]

Khan worked in Bollywood as an Associate Director to Oscar nominated filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker.[4] Khan was the director of the 2014 film Station, that was the first Hindi feature film in Bangalore.[5][6] In 2008, Khan's short film Another Kind of Black was screened at the Cannes Film Festival.[7] In 2016, Khan filmed his first Hollywood feature film titled Love and She in Louisiana. In 2018, his home-grown critically acclaimed film Humble Politician Nograj released.[8] The film became the first Kannada-English film to become a box office hit in India and achieve the biggest overseas release across USA, UK, Europe, Australia, Germany, among other countries.[9]

Early life[edit]

Khan was born in Mumbai, India, and was raised in Bangalore.[10] 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. He also spearheaded a theatre group which then produced over 12 plays in a span of 4 years.[11]

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[12] where he was awarded his master's degree in Communication and Media. He then returned to New York to complete the summer degree program in directing at Tisch.

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.[13] The former was selected at the Short Film Corner of the Cannes Film Festival,[14] 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.[15] After a 2-year stint in Mumbai, he founded his media company Centerstage in Bangalore, which holds acting, communication and media workshops, produces stage shows, manages casting for films, ads, television commercials, viral videos and provides opportunities to aspiring artists in the city.[16]

Khan is also the producer of the comedy show The Improv (India) under the Centerstage banner.[17][18] Khan has conceptualized, hosted and directed the entire show with 6 to 7 actors by taking scenarios from a live audience, with the actors performing them on the spot. 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?[19] The Improv toured internationally with well received shows in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.[20]

After CenterStage, Khan moved into ideating and creating something with Danish Sait that changed the face of[21] Kannada Filmmaking- Humble Politician Nograj.[22] The movie was a satirical take on a politician's personal life and what happens when you vote someone into power. Humble Politician Nograj also created a buzz by becoming the first Kannada film to be picked up by Amazon Prime at a promising price.[23] With web series and online shows catching up with the audiences, Khan and team decided to give it an online push with a series. Khan also stated that the idea to push it online was creatively focused.[24][25] Khan will be writing the screenplay of the online series/sequel too.[26]

With the sequel of The Humble Politician, Saad Khan and Danish Sait have collaborated with Samir Nair, the CEO of Applause Entertainment, the content publisher of series like Mind The Malhotras, Hostages, who will be venturing into Kannda film and media with this stint.[27]

Khan's venture with Danish Sait – FirstAction,[28] under which the movie Humble Politician Nograj[29] was created has recently given significant stakes to Mumbai-based Rainshine Entertainment in a strategic move.[30]

Khan is also the Founder of an acting school called A for Acting where he mentors budding talents. Famous comic Sumukhi Suresh, Kenny Sebastian, Samyukta Hornad, Ria Nalavade are alumni of A for Acting. Having restricted bandwidth, Khan has now started a YouTube page to help students realize their potential. Khan has also given various TedTalks on IMPROV, How to be the centre of attention.

Awards and honours[edit]


As a director[edit]

Year Film Notes
2008 Another Kind of Black Short Film
2010 On my Mind Short Film
2014 Station
2018 Humble Politician Nograj Kannada Movie
2020 Love and She Post-production


  1. ^ "Saad Khan". IMDb. Retrieved 20 January 2020.[unreliable source?]
  2. ^ " - is for sale (Centerstage India)". Retrieved 20 January 2020. Cite uses generic title (help)
  3. ^ "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. ^ "Ashutosh Gowariker proud of protégé Saad Khan's debut film Station". Bollywood Life. 27 March 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  5. ^ Station, retrieved 20 January 2020
  6. ^ "Innovative Production Team Announce An Independent Feature Film Which Looks To Drive Plot & Passion To The Forefront In Place Of Visual Effects and Funding". Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  7. ^ "I would be incomplete without art". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  8. ^ "'Humble Politician Nograj' review: Good for voters, right in time for polls". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ "10".
  11. ^ "'Let's Talk About Love' in Bangalore, musically". India Today. 22 November 2004. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  12. ^ "News & Events". University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  13. ^ "Saad Khan's reunion party - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  14. ^ " CNN-News18 Breaking News India, Latest News Headlines, Live News Updates". News18. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  15. ^ "Archive News". The Hindu. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  16. ^ "THE IMPROV - Unrehearsed, Unbelievable, Uncensored and LIVE by Centerstage". Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  17. ^ "Bangalore Photo Gallery: Latest Pictures, Best News Photos, Images about on Bangalore". Firstpost. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  18. ^ "THE IMPROV - Unrehearsed, Unbelievable, Uncensored and LIVE". Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  19. ^ "19".
  20. ^ "20".
  21. ^ "Danish Sait and Saad Khan Collab".
  22. ^ "21".
  23. ^ "Kannada cinema takes digital leap". Deccan Herald. 4 October 2019. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  24. ^ "Visit SIte".
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ "Sequel of Humble Politician Nograj".
  27. ^ "Sequel of the movie coming out soon on Amazon Prime".
  28. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  29. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  30. ^ "Rainshine Entertainment acquires stakes in Saad Khan's FirstAction".

External links[edit]