Ali Abbas Zafar

Ali Abbas Zafar is an Indian film director, producer and screenwriter. He is known for directing the films Sultan (2016), Tiger Zinda Hai (2017) and Bharat (2019).

Ali Abbas Zafar
Ali Abbas Zafar.jpg
Zafar in 2020
Sultan Ali Abbas Zafar
Alma materKirori Mal College
  • Film director
  • producer
  • screenwriter
Years active2007–present
Known forSultan, Tiger Zinda Hai, Bharat
Alicia Zafar
(m. 2021)

Personal lifeEdit

He married Alicia Zafar on 4 January 2021.[1]


Zafar is a graduate of Kirori Mal College, New Delhi.[2] He entered the film industry as an assistant director, with multiple projects for the production company Yash Raj Films (YRF). He then made his own directorial and screen-writing debut with the romantic comedy Mere Brother Ki Dulhan (2011). The film revolved around a young man (Imran Khan) who finds a bride (Katrina Kaif) for his older brother (Ali Zafar), but then finds that he himself has fallen in love with her.[3]

His next film was the action drama Gunday (2014), set in Calcutta in the 1970s and 1980s. The film starred Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor as powerful bandits, Priyanka Chopra as a cabaret dancer whom they both fall in love with, and Irrfan Khan as a police officer pursuing them.[4][5] Gunday received mostly positive reviews from critics.

Zafar's next film was the blockbuster sports drama Sultan (2016) starring Salman Khan as a wrestling champion from Haryana, with Anushka Sharma as a female wrestler who becomes a love interest for Khan's character. The film received positive reviews from critics and has emerged as one of the highest-grossing Indian films.

His next film is the action thriller Tiger Zinda Hai (2017) the sequel to YRF's Ek Tha Tiger (2012). The film stars Salman Khan as a RAW agent and Katrina Kaif as an ISI spy reprising their roles from the first film and is about the both of them accepting a rescue mission to free 40 nurses, 25 Indian and 15 Pakistani, from a ruthless militant. The film released in December 2017 and received generally positive reviews from critics, and became a major commercial success emerging as the highest-grossing films of the year and one of the highest-grossing Indian films.[6]

In May 2018, he began pre-production of the film Bharat, which is slated to be released on Eid, 2019. The trailer of this film was released on 22 April 2019[7] It stars Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Disha Patani, Sunil Grover and Tabu (actress), and is an official adaptation of the Korean film, Ode to My Father. It marks the third collaboration between Khan and Ali.[8]

In 2020, Zafar made his debut as the producer for Khaali Peeli, an action-comedy directed by debutante Maqbool Khan that starred Ishaan Khatter and Ananya Pandey in lead roles.[9]

Zafar's first web series Tandav, which is a political drama that stars Saif Ali Khan who will be portraying the role of a powerful politician will be streaming by 15 January 2021 on Amazon Prime Video.[10] This 9-episode series will also star Dimple Kapadia, Sunil Grover, Kumud Misra, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Gauahar Khan, Sarah Jane Dias, Kritika Kamra, Dino Morea, Sandhya Mridul, Amyra Dastur, and Anup Soni.[11]

Accusations of hurting religious sentimentsEdit

On 18 January 2021, an FIR was filed against the makers of Tandav, including Zafar for 'hurting religious sentiments' of the Hindus. The charges also include "promoting enmity between different religious groups, race, place of birth, making destruction, damage, or defilement of a place of worship or an object held sacred".[12][13] On 23 January 2021, a metropolitan magistrate has adjourned a criminal complaint filed by member of the right-wing group, Hindu Sena, alleging hurting religious sentiments.[14]


  Denotes feature films that are not yet released

As directorEdit

Year Title Director Writer Producer Notes
2011 Mere Brother Ki Dulhan Yes Yes
2014 Gunday Yes Yes
2016 Sultan Yes Yes
2017 Tiger Zinda Hai Yes Yes
2019 Bharat Yes Yes
2020 Khaali Peeli Yes
2021 Tandav Yes Yes Amazon Prime Video web series
2022 Bloody Daddy   Yes Yes Filming[15][16]

As assistant director

Year Title
2007 Marigold
2007 Jhoom Barabar Jhoom
2008 Tashan
2009 New York
2010 Badmaash Company

Awards and nominationsEdit

Film Award Category Result Ref
Mere Brother Ki Dulhan Stardust Awards Best Debut Director Won
Sultan Stardust Awards Best Director Nominated
62nd Filmfare Awards Best Director Nominated [17]
Tehran International Sports Film Festival Best Director Won
Zee Cine Awards Best Director Nominated
Best Story Nominated


  1. ^ "Filmmaker Ali Abbas Zafar welcomes wife Alicia Zafar to the family with a dreamy picture from their wedding - Times of India". The Times of India. 4 January 2021. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  2. ^ "Meet Director Ali Abbas Zafar". 8 January 2019. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  3. ^ Kapoor, Jaskiran (13 October 2010). "Director's Cut". Indian Express. Retrieved 28 July 2016.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ IANS (16 October 2012). "Priyanka Chopra joins 'Gunday' gang". Mid Day. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  5. ^ Iti Shree Misra (24 August 2012). "Ali Abbas and Yash Raj team up again". The Times of India. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Tiger Zinda Hai first look: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif are back in this thriller". The Indian Express. 14 September 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Times Of India".
  8. ^ "'Bharat': Director Ali Abbas Zafar gives us a sneak peek from the first day of the film's shoot - Bollywood celebs' Instagram pics you should not miss! - The Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  9. ^ Jain, Arushi (28 August 2019). "Ali Abbas Zafar turns producer with 'Khaali Peeli', starring Ishaan Khattar and Ananya Panday". National Herald. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  10. ^ "Streaming in January 2021: The White Tiger, Kaagaz, Tandav and more". The Indian Express. 2 January 2021. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  11. ^ Parashar, Shivam (4 January 2021). "Tandav trailer out. 10 unmissable moments from new Saif Ali Khan web series". India Today. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  12. ^ "FIR Against Makers of 'Tandav' For 'Hurting Religious Sentiments'". The Quint. 18 January 2021. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  13. ^ Sinha, Smriti (18 January 2021). "FIR registered in UP against makers of web series 'Tandav'". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
  14. ^ PTI (23 January 2021). "Court Adjourns Hearing In Complaint Against Web Series Tandav To April 19". Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  15. ^ "Ali Abbas Zafar starts shooting for his next with Shahid Kapoor, calls it a 'mad ride of guns and gangs' – See pic". The Times of India. 12 November 2021. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  16. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Shahid Kapoor's next film with Ali Abbas Zafar gets a title – Bloody Daddy". Bollywood Hungama. 27 November 2021. Retrieved 27 November 2021.
  17. ^ "62nd Jio Filmfare Awards 2017 Nominations". 10 January 2017.

External linksEdit