Chandrakant Kulkarni

Chandrakant Kulkarni (born 1963) is an Indian director, script writer and actor associated with Marathi theatre and film. He is known for his works of directing the plays Wada Chirebandi, Dhyanimani, Gandhi Virudh Gandhi and most recently the remake of Hamidabaichi Kothi. He has also directed the acclaimed films Bindhaast (1999) and Tukaram (2012).

Chandrakant Kulkarni
Born1963 (1963) (age 58)[1]
Hamdapur, Wardha, Maharashtra, India
OccupationFilm director

At the 61st National Film Awards, his film Aajcha Divas Majha won the award for Best Feature Film in Marathi.[2]



Chandrakant Kulkarni came to Mumbai from Aurangabad, Maharashtra, aspiring to work in the entertainment industry. After working on various plays Kulkarni directed the eight-hour-long trilogy play Wada Chirebandi written by Mahesh Elkunchwar in 1994. The play was written in three parts as Wada Chirebandi, Magna Talyakathi and Yuganta. Kulkarni directed the play under the production banner of "Awishkar" which was founded by director Arvind Deshpande and his actress wife Sulabha Deshpande.[3][4][5] The first part of the play was earlier directed by Vijaya Mehta in 1985. Kulkarni directed the whole trilogy after Elkunchwar completed it in 1994. In 2006, director Chetan Datar edited and staged it in a single play.[6]

In 1995, Kulkarni directed the Marathi play Dhyanimani written by Prashant Dalvi. The play was later also adapted in Hindi after fifteen years as Bas Itna Sa Khwab Hai...! with lead roles played by Shefali Shah and Kiran Karmarkar and Vipul Shah as the presenter. Kulkarni has also directed this Hindi version.[7][8]

In 1995–96 he directed the play Gandhi Virudh Gandhi which was written by Ajit Dalvi. The play was originally based on another Gujarati play of same theme by Dinkar Joshi. The play brought forth the conflicts between Mahatma Gandhi and his eldest son Harilal Gandhi and staged veteran actress Bhakti Barve and actor Atul Kulkarni as Mahatma.[9] Seeing the success of the play, Kulkarni also directed the Hindi version of it. Barve's role was played by actress Seema Biswas in the Hindi version. The play was later adapted into an English version Mahatma verses Gandhi directed by Feroz Abbas Khan. Later on, Khan adapted the line for his 2007 Hindi film Gandhi, My Father.[5]

Kulkarni presented monologues in the 2009 play Maunaraag which were based on essays written by Elkunchwar.[10] In 2011, he directed the play Adhi Basu Mag Bolu that discussed the trend of marriages breaking due to miscommunication. Written by Vidyasagar Adhyapak and starring Sanjay Narvekar in lead role, the play was produced by Lata Narvekar's Chintamani Productions.[11] Same year he also directed the remake of the play Hamidabaichi Kothi under the banner Herbarium run by actor Sunil Barve. The play was directed by Vijaya Mehta thirty-three years ago.[12][13]

Kulkarni has also directed various popular plays like Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe,[14] Varyavarchi Varaat[15] and Batatyachi Chal[16] for their CD/DVD versions. He has about 65 plays to his credit.


Kulkarni stepped into films as an actor. His earlier roles include the one for the 1995 Marathi film Bangarwadi, directed by Amol Palekar based on the 1954 novel of the same name written by Vyankatesh Madgulkar. His first directorial venture was the much acclaimed 1999 film Bindhaast. Known for the all-women cast, the film was a thriller suspense and bagged numerous Maharashtra State Film Awards.[17] Kulkarni was presented with the Second Best Director Award and the film won the Third Best Film Award.[18] With Bindhaast, Kulkarni broke the Marathi film industry's slapstick-comedy trend of the 1980s and 90s.[19] The film was adapted by Priyadarshan in 2000 as Snegithiye in Tamil language.[20]

Kulkarni's next film Bhet released in 2002. The film was a yearning story of a mother (played by Prateeksha Lonkar) wanting to meet her son (played by Apoorva Korgave) who lives with her ex-husband (played by Atul Kulkarni) after the couple's divorce.[21] The film brought various awards for Prateeksha Lonkar[22][23] and Atul Kulkarni.[24]

In 2005, Kulkarni directed the comedy Kaydyacha Bola, a satire on the judicial system with lead role played by Makarand Anaspure. His 2007 film Kadachit was a drama that marked the come back of actress Ashwini Bhave who also produced the film. With the 2008 film Meerabai Not Out, Kulkarni stepped into Bollywood. The film was based on the love of Cricket in India with lead title role played by Mandira Bedi. The film proved to be average.[25][26][27]

In 2012, Kulkarni's next venture was a biographical film Tukaram on the life of Varkari saint Tukaram. Kulkarni had been preparing for over three years on the film.[28] The film received good reviews from critics as well as audience with Skati Salgaonkar from DNA calling it "one of the best Marathi films of 2012".[29] Kulkarni was adjudged as the Best Director at the 19th Annual Colors Screen Awards and the film won the Best Film award.[30]

Personal lifeEdit

Kulkarni was born in Hamdapur in 1963.[1] He was married to the film actress Sonali Kulkarni for a brief time but later got divorced.[31]

Selected filmographyEdit


Year Title Medium Notes
1994 Wada Chirebandi Play
1996 Gandhi Virudh Gandhi Play Marathi and Hindi versions
Chahul[32] Play
Yelkot Play
Doctor Tumhi Sudha...[33] Play
Sati Play
1995 Dhyanimani[34] Play
Char Chaughi[35] Play
1999 Bindhaast Film
Pimpalpaan TV series
2002 Bhet Film
2005 Kaydyacha Bola Film
2007 Kadachit Film
2008 Meerabai Not Out Film Hindi language
2009 Maunraag Play
2009 Carry On Pandu[36] Film Hindi language
2010 Bas Itna Sa Khwab Hai...! Play Hindi version of his play Dhyanimani
2011 Hamidabaichi Kothi Play
2011 Adhi Basu Mag Bolu Play
2012 Tukaram[28] Film
2013 Aajcha Divas Majha Film
2014 Dusari Goshta Film Fictional biopic of Sushilkumar Shinde[37]
2016 Family Katta Film

Other rolesEdit

Year Title Credited as Medium
1995 Bangarwadi Actor Film
2002 Bhet Co-producer Film
2005 Kaydyacha Bola Story and screenplay writer Film
2012 Pipani Actor
Role: Narrator, Dnyaneshwar Tembhre
2019 Mogra Phulaalaa Actor Film



  1. ^ a b Gokhale, Shanta (2000). Playwright at the Centre: Marathi Drama from 1843 to the Present. Seagull Books. p. 430. ISBN 9788170461579.
  2. ^ "61st National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. 16 April 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  3. ^ Gehi, Reema. "Shantata! Awishkar Chalu Aahe". Mumbai Theatre Guide. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  4. ^ "Surviving change". Mumbai Mirror. 21 January 2009. Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  5. ^ a b Dharwadker, Aparna Bhargava (2005). Theatres of Independence: Drama, Theory, and Urban Performance in India Since 1947. University of Iowa Press. p. 81. ISBN 9780877459613. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
  6. ^ Jiwani, Subuhi (27 May 2006). "Putting a spin on a classic". DNA. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  7. ^ "Vipul-Shefali Shah's comeback play Bas Itna Sa Khwab Hai...!". Mumbai Theatre Guide. 31 July 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  8. ^ Sharma, Aditi (14 August 2010). "Peek into the lives of Mr & Mrs Singh". Mumbai: Mid Day. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  9. ^ N, Anjum (27 June 2003). "I would love to do a Mogambo". Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  10. ^ Ancheri, Saumya (4 February 2011). "Dead men walking – Find echoes of Mahesh Elkunchwar's past in Necropolis". Time Out Mumbai. Archived from the original on 22 February 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  11. ^ Hattangadi, Sandeep (28 June 2011). "'Adhi Basu Mag Bolu'- A play about marriages". Afternoon DC. Archived from the original on 13 August 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  12. ^ "Hamidabaichi Kothi". Mumbai Theatre Guide. 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  13. ^ "Classic Hamidabaichi Kothi stages a comeback". Afternoon DC. 22 February 2011. Archived from the original on 13 August 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  14. ^ "Shantata Court Chalu Aahe". Rhythm House. Archived from the original on 13 August 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  15. ^ "Varyavarchi Varaat". Rhythm House. Archived from the original on 13 August 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  16. ^ "Batatyachi Chal". Rhythm House. Archived from the original on 13 August 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  17. ^ "Bindhaast sweeps state Marathi film awards". Indian Express. 2 May 2000. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  18. ^ "37th Maharastra state film awards announced : "Gaabhara" bags best film award". 22 May 2000. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  19. ^ Banerjee, Piali (25 September 2000). "Mercury rising…". Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  20. ^ Warrier, Shobha (31 March 2000). "Ladies Only". Chennai. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  21. ^ "Hedging his bhets". Mid Day. 18 June 2002. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  22. ^ Ambarish Mishra (3 March 2003). "Marathi stars rock and roll on Mata night". Mumbai: Times of India. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  23. ^ Aarti Kulkarni (8 March 2003). "अंधुक रेषा जपताना... : प्रतीक्षा लोणकर" (in Marathi). Maharashtra Times. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  24. ^ Kulkarni, Atul. "Awards". Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  25. ^ Chopra, Sonia. "Review: Mandira sparkles in Meerabai Not Out". Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  26. ^ N, Patcy (5 December 2008). "Meerabai Not Out entertains in parts". Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  27. ^ Malani, Gaurav (5 December 2008). "Meerabai Not Out: Movie Review". The Economic Times. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  28. ^ a b Phadke, Aparna (6 June 2012). "Tukaram is not a devotional film: Chandrakant Kulkarni". Times of India. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  29. ^ Salgaokar, Shakti (8 June 2012). "Review: Tukaram one of the best Marathi films of 2012". Mumbai: DNA. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  30. ^ a b c "The Best wins". Mumbai: Screen India. 18 January 2013. Archived from the original on 13 August 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  31. ^ "Sonali Kulkarni marries second time". Times of India. 25 May 2010. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  32. ^ Kulkarni, Sonali. "THEATRE". Archived from the original on 27 June 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  33. ^ "Drama details". Mumbai Theatre Guide. Archived from the original on 26 May 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  34. ^ Phadke, Aparna (20 August 2011). "Doing TV is like working in a factory: Shefali Shah". Times of India. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
  35. ^ Chavan, Shaan (20 April 1998). "Still Waters". Indian Express. Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  36. ^ "Carry On Pandu". Screen India. 29 May 2009. Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  37. ^ Bhanage, Mihir (2 May 2014). "Review: Dusari Goshta". Times of India. Retrieved 17 June 2014.

External linksEdit