Television Career of Hansal Mehta
Born on April 29, 1968 in Mumbai, Maharashtra, Hansal Mehta started his career in the year 1993, in Indian television by directing the very popular cookery show ‘Khana Khazana’, broadcast on Zee TV and hosted by Indian celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor. He worked on the show till 2000, alongside also directing several television series like ‘Amrita’ (1994), ‘Kalakaar’ (1994-1995) featuring Manoj Bajpayee, ‘Highway’ (1995), ‘Yaadein’ (1995), ‘Lakshya’ (1999-2000) featuring Sachin Khedekar and Kay Kay Menon, and many more. He directed the TV drama series ‘Family Business’ (2004-2005), which featured Dara Singh.
Film Career of Hansal Mehta
Hansal Mehta made his debut as a feature film director with the Hindi drama film ‘...Jayate’, which was a part of the Indian Panorama 1999-2000 at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Hyderabad. This was followed by another drama film ‘Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar!!’, released in 2000, based on the issue of migrants in Mumbai. Starring Manoj Bajpayee, Tabu and Aditya Srivastava in pivotal roles with Mehta himself playing a minor role, the film met with positive critical response but was an average grosser at the box office. It has achieved a cult status for its dark humour and also twisted exploration of characters and betrayal. His next film was ‘Chhal’ (2002), a slick gangster film that received more praise than his previous films. By his own admission, the films post ‘Chhal’ were disappointing and his career entered a phase where he flirted with themes that were more mainstream, directing films like the Bollywood comedy ‘Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai?’ (2002), a box office flop and the marital thriller ‘Anjaan’ (2005).
Mehta made his presence felt again with his short film in the 2007 anthology film ‘Dus Kahaniyaan’, comprising 10 short films telling 10 different stories directed by a host of 6 directors. Inspired from the Hollywood movie ‘The Ten’, the film featured some of the top actors of Bollywood. Mehta directed the short film ‘High on the Highway’, featuring Jimmy Shergill and Masumeh Makhija, in the film which was an overall average grosser at the box office. The same year his directed film ‘Raakh’ released, an underworld tale of revenge and blood, and he also acted in the short musical film ‘Meri Ada’, alongside Xenia Ali. In 2008, his film ‘Woodstock Villa’ released, a musical thriller that earned mostly favourable reviews but performed poorly at the box office. Post that, Mehta went on an extended sabbatical to explore life as a food enthusiast and entrepreneur, and to explore themes that mattered to him. He is also a blog writer, writing on food recipes, films and different social issues and life.
Mehta returned into the limelight with his film ‘Shahid’, a Hindi biographical film based on the life of lawyer and human rights activist Shahid Azmi, who was assassinated in 2010 in Mumbai. Released in 2013 in India and starring Rajkummar Rao as Shahid Azmi, the film had had its world premiere at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival's 'City to City' programme. It received positive response from critics upon release in India, and considering its budget, the film tasted commercial success at the box office. It went on to win the National Film Award for Best Actor for Rajkummar Rao and Best Director for Mehta at the 61st National Film Awards ceremony.
After his success with Rajkummar Rao, Hansal Mehta teamed up again with him for the acclaimed film ‘City Lights’, an official adaptation of the British Indie hit 'Metro Manila', produced and presented by Fox Star Studios and Mahesh Bhatt. The drama film is about a poor farmer from Rajasthan coming to Mumbai in search of livelihood. Released in 2014, it won rave reviews from most critics. Despite releasing in merely 350 screens, ‘CityLights’ became a success for its low cost of production and consistent box office collections. After his last two successful films, Mehta directed ‘Aligarh’, another biographical drama film on Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, a Marathi professor and poet who was suspended by his university for being gay. Featuring Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao in the lead, the film had its world premiere at the 20th Busan International Film Festival in October 2015, receiving a standing ovation. It was released worldwide in February 2016, to unanimous critical acclaim. Bajpayee won huge critical acclaim for his portrayal of Professor Ramchandra Siras.
Hansal Mehta’s upcoming directorial project is ‘Simran’, featuring Kangana Ranaut. Reportedly, the film is inspired by the life of an NRI nurse in the United States, Sandeep Kaur, who was sent to prison in 2015 for robbing banks to pay off her gambling debts. Produced by Bhushan Kumar and Shailesh Singh, ‘Simran’ is scripted by Apurva Asrani, and the first look of Kangana as the character in the film was revealed in July 2016.
Awards received by Hansal Mehta
Hansal Mehta’s work in ‘Shahid’ has been recognised with the following credible film awards:
Personal Life of Hansal Mehta
Hansal Mehta is married to Safina, daughter of actor Yusuf Hussain. They have a daughter named Kimaya. His son Jai Mehta, from his first marriage, is an upcoming director.
Indian Film Directors
Indian Movie Producers
Indian Commercial Cinema
National Film Award for Best Direction
Indian Television Serials
Short Films in India
(Last Updated on : 12-09-2016)
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