Subhash Ghai

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Subhash Ghai
Subhash Ghai 2007 - still 27030.jpg
Born (1945-01-24) 24 January 1945 (age 76)
Alma materFilm and Television Institute of India
OccupationFilm director, producer, actor, screenwriter, music director
Years active1970–present
Mukta Ghai
(m. 1971)

Subhash Ghai (born 24 January 1945) is an Indian film director, producer and screenwriter, known for his works predominantly in Hindi cinema. His most notable works include Kalicharan (1976), Vishwanath (1978), Maeri (1976), Karz (1980), Hero (1983), Vidhaata (1982), Meri Jung (1985), Karma (1986), Ram Lakhan (1989), Saudagar (1991), Khalnayak (1993), Pardes (1997), Taal (1999), and Black & White (2008) .[2] In 1982, he started Mukta Arts Private Limited which, in 2000, became a public company, with Subhash Ghai as its executive chairman. In 2006, he received the National Film Award, for producing the social problem film Iqbal, in the same year he founded the Whistling Woods International film and media institution in Mumbai.[3] In 2015, he received the IIFA Award for outstanding contribution to Indian Cinema.[4]

Early life[edit]

Born in Nagpur, India, Subhash Ghai's father was a dentist in Delhi. Ghai graduated in commerce from Rohtak, Haryana, and then went on to graduate in Cinema from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune.[5]


In an interview with Rajya Sabha TV, Ghai recounted that after passing out from FTII, he came to Bombay, but was not allowed to enter any studio as he was unknown. He then read self help books like Dale Carnegie's How to Win friends and influence people, and used techniques given in it to help him try and enter the film industry. At the same time, he learnt of and entered a United Producers Filmfare talent contest. Of the 5,000 participants, three people were selected in it, he, Rajesh Khanna and Dheeraj Kumar. While Khanna received a role soon after, Ghai received a role a year later.[6]

Ghai started his career in Hindi cinema as an actor with small roles in films including Taqdeer (1967) and Aradhana (1969). He was the male lead in the 1970s Umang, and Gumraah (1976).[1] His directorial debut was the film Kalicharan (1976) which he obtained through a recommendation by Shatrughan Sinha. As of 2016, he has written and directed a total of 16 movies.

In the 1980s and 1990s, he formed a successful collaboration with Dilip Kumar whom he directed in Vidhaata (1982), Karma (1986) and Saudagar (1991), the latter for which he won the Filmfare Best Director Award.[7] He introduced Jackie Shroff as a leading actor in Hero (1983) and helped establish Anil Kapoor's rising career with Meri Jung (1985). He went on to frequently work with Shroff and Kapoor, casting them together in the films Karma (1986), Ram Lakhan (1989) and Trimurti (1995), the latter which he had produced and it was directed by Mukul S. Anand. His 1993 release Khalnayak starring Sanjay Dutt, Madhuri Dixit and Shroff featured the hit songs "nayak nahin khalnayak hu main" and the controversial "Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai".

In 1997, he directed Pardes which starred Shahrukh Khan and newcomers Mahima Chaudhry and Apoorva Agnihotri. In 1999 he directed Taal which starred Akshaye Khanna, Aishwarya Rai and Anil Kapoor. Both Pardes and Taal were released internationally and were super-hits at the box office. His following films were Yaadein (2001) and Kisna (2005), which were box office flops.

He then took a break from directing and turned producer with films including Aitraaz (2004), Iqbal (2005), 36 China Town (2006) and Apna Sapna Money Money (2006). In 2006, he set up his own film institute Whistling Woods International in Mumbai.[8] The institute trains students in filmmaking: production, direction, cinematography, acting, animation. Ghai has done brief cameos in his directorial ventures.

After a three-year hiatus from directing, he returned in 2008 with Black & White released on 7 March 2008 and, later Yuvvraaj released in November 2008 with collaboration Aaditya Kulshreshtha. which didn't perform well at the box office.[9] A. R. Rahman stated in an interview that Ghai had asked him to use the words "Jai Ho" in a song.[10]

At the Cannes International Film Festival in May 2018, Ghai announced that he is co-producing a biopic on Osho Rajneesh along with an Italian production house. The movie would be directed by Lakshen Sucameli.[11][12][13]


Year Award Category Film
1986 National Award United Nations Council of Indian Youth
1992 Filmfare Award Best Director Saudagar
1998 Filmfare Award Best Screenplay Pardes
2006 National Award Best Film on Other Social Issues Iqbal
2015 IIFA Lifetime Achievement Award
2015 Business World Pioneering contribution in the field of Cinema Exhibition
2017 Screen Award Lifetime Achievement Award
2017 Amar Ujala Lifetime Excellence
2018 Economic Times-Edge Iconic Brand of Indian Cinema
2019 1st Diorama International Film Festival & Market Lifetime Achievement Award


Year Film Role
1969 Aradhana Flight Lieutenant Prakash
1970 Umang Supporting actor
1976 Kalicharan Writer, Director
1978 Vishwanath Writer, Director
1979 Gautam Govinda Writer, Director
1980 Karz Writer, Director & Producer
1981 Krodhi Writer, Director
1982 Vidhaata Writer, Director
1983 Hero Writer, Director & Producer
1985 Meri Jung Writer & Director
1986 Karma Writer, Director & Producer
1989 Ram Lakhan Writer, Director & Producer
1991 Saudagar Writer, Director & Producer
1993 Khalnayak Writer, Director & Producer
1995 Trimurti Producer
1997 Pardes Director & Producer
1999 Taal Writer, Director & Producer
2001 Yaadein Writer, Director & Producer
2001 Rahul Producer
2003 Ek Aur Ek Gyarah Producer
2003 Joggers' Park Producer
2004 Aitraaz Producer
2005 Kisna: The Warrior Poet Writer, Director & Producer
2005 Iqbal Producer
2006 36 China Town Producer
2006 Shaadi Se Pehle Executive Producer
2006 Apna Sapna Money Money Producer
2007 Good Boy, Bad Boy Producer
2008 Black & White Writer, Director & Producer
2008 Yuvvraaj Writer, Director & Producer
2009 Paying Guests Producer
2010 Right Yaa Wrong Producer
2011 Love Express Producer
2011 Naukadubi (Bengali) Producer
2011 Kashmakash Producer
2013 Samhita (film) Producer
2014 Double Di Trouble Producer
2014 Kaanchi: The Unbreakable Writer, Director & Producer
2014 Nimbehuli Producer, Kannada Film[14]
2015 Hero Producer

Personal life[edit]

In 1970, Ghai married a girl from Pune named Rehana alias Mukta. Today, he lives in Mumbai with his wife, Mukta Ghai and daughters, Meghna Ghai Puri and Muskaan Ghai. Meghna Ghai Puri is the President of Whistling Woods International Institute.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Profile – Mukta Arts". Mukta Arts. 14 February 2008. Archived from the original on 14 February 2008..
  2. ^ "53rd National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  3. ^ "Directorate of Film Festival". Archived from the original on 15 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Showman Subhash Ghai to receive IIFA Lifetime Achievement award 2015". 28 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Mukta Arts >> Board of Directors". Mukta Arts. Archived from the original on 13 April 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  6. ^ a b K, Irfan. "Guftagoo with Subhash Ghai – an interview". Rajya Sabha TV. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  7. ^ "Filmfare Awards (1992)".
  8. ^ Subhash Ghai unveils dream project IndiaFM, Monday, 27 March 2006.
  9. ^ "Slumdog's 'Jai Ho' was composed for Yuvvraaj". OneIndia. 25 February 2009. Archived from the original on 2 March 2009.
  10. ^ “Subhash Ghai is the one who asked me...”, The Times of India, 24 February 2009.
  11. ^ "After Wild Wild Country, Subhash Ghai announces a film on Osho". Hindustan Times. 16 May 2018. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  12. ^ "Subhash Ghai's biopic on Osho would be different from Wild Wild Country, asserts filmmaker | Bollywood News". Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Subhash Ghai to produce international biopic on Osho Rajneesh – Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  14. ^ "Subhash Ghai's Kannada film". Rediff. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2020.

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