sanjay-leela-bhansali

Sanjay Leela Bhansali is an Indian film director, producer, screenwriter, and music director. He is an alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India.Bhansali has adopted the middle name “Leela” as a tribute to his mother, Leela Bhansali. He is the founder of a production house, Bhansali Productions.

Bhansali began his career as an assistant to Vidhu Vinod Chopra and was involved in the making of Parinda, 1942: A Love Story and Kareeb. However, they had a fall out when Bhansali refused to direct Kareeb. He made his directorial debut with Khamoshi: The Musical, the commercially unsuccessful but critically acclaimed narration of a daughter’s struggle to communicate with her deaf mute parents.His second film was a triangular love story, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, starring Aishwarya Rai, Salman Khan, and Ajay Devgan which established his individualistic stamp for visual splendor and creating auras of celebration and festivity. It was a great success and won numerous awards.

His next film, Devdas, starring Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Madhuri Dixit, was Bhansali’s ode to the novel of the same name which became the highest grossing film of 2002.It was India’s submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It stood eighth in Time magazine’s “The 10 Greatest Movies of the Millennium (Thus Far)” Then came Black, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukerji, which stood fifth in Time (Europe)’s “10 Best Movies of the Year 2005” among films from across the world.Bhansali’s Saawariya was met with sharp criticism and poor collections at the box office.

In 2006 Bhansali participated as a judge on reality TV show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa alongside Farah Khan and Shilpa Shetty.

In 2008, Bhansali staged the opera Padmavati, an adaption of the 1923 ballet written by Albert Roussel.The first show premiered in Paris at the prestigious Théâtre du Châtelet and next at the Festival dei Due Mondi, where it received “fifteen minutes of standing ovation and seven curtain calls at the end of the first show.”Bhansali received many positive comments from international critics for his work.

In 2010, Bhansali released Guzaarish starring Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai. He made his debut in music direction with this film.In 2012, Bhansali produced Rowdy Rathore, a remake of the Telugu film Vikramarkudu, starring Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha and directed by Prabhu Deva.

In 2013, Bhansali directed Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, starred Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone in the lead roles.

He has been a judge on Indian music talent show X Factor India Season 1.In 2013, Bhansali debuted in television with the show Saraswatichandra starring Gautam Rode and Jennifer Winget. Later he left it after few episodes.

Bhansali’s next directorial venture was the period romance Bajirao Mastani (2015), based on the love story between Peshwa Baji Rao I and his second wife Mastani. Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone played the title roles, while Priyanka Chopra played Bajirao’s first wife Kashibai. The film was announced in 2003 and was constantly in the news regarding the cast, including such actors as Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor and Rani Mukerji.It received tremendous critical acclaim and was listed among the best films of 2015 by many sources, besides emerging as a box-office success. Bhansali won the National Award for Best Direction for Bajirao Mastani.