Excel Entertainment is an Indian production company, founded by Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar in Mumbai in 1999,[1][2] they mainly produce Hindi films.

Excel Entertainment
Company typePrivate limited company
IndustryMotion pictures
Founded1999
FounderFarhan Akhtar
Ritesh Sidhwani
Headquarters,
Key people
Farhan Akhtar
Ritesh Sidhwani
ServicesFilm production
Film distribution
WebsiteExcel Entertainment

Their debut production, Dil Chahta Hai,[3] received critical acclaim and was a huge rage for the youth, at that time. They won National Film Awards for both Dil Chahta Hai and Rock On!!. With productions such as Don,[4] Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara,[5] Fukrey,[6] Dil Dhadakne Do, and Raees, they are known for presenting unique characters and a contemporary style of cinema. Gully Boy was also India's official entry to the 92nd Academy Awards.[7]

Excel Entertainment also ventured into distribution and distributed the Hindi dubbed versions of the 2018 Indian Kannada-language period action thriller, K.G.F: Chapter 1, and its sequel, K.G.F: Chapter 2, both starring Yash. They also distributed the 2019 Telugu epic period film, Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy, starring Chiranjeevi.

Films edit

2001 - 2010 edit

The company's first production was the critically acclaimed, Dil Chahta Hai (2001), which marked the directorial debut of Farhan Akhtar. The film received a National Award in the category of Best Feature Film Hindi and was also screened at IFFI[8]


The company then went on to produce the war-drama, Lakshya (2004).[9] While it was critically acclaimed, it did not fare well at the box-office. Over the years, it has developed a huge cult following and is considered to be one of the greatest coming-of-age films in Hindi cinema. Excel also produced Don (2006),[10] the official remake of Amitabh Bachchan's Don (1978), which did commercially well, though it received mixed reviews from both the critics and audience, alike. This was followed by Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. (2007), which marked the directorial debut of Reema Kagti.

They then produced a short film, Positive (2007), directed by Farhan Akhtar. It was a part of the AIDS JaaGo (AIDS Awake) joint initiative of Mira Nair's Mirabai Films and the voluntary organizations, Avahan and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Excel's next release was Rock On (2008), a musical drama written and directed by Abhishek Kapoor. It opened to overwhelmingly positive reviews from both the critics and audience, alike. It did well at the box office. It also won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi and National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for Arjun Rampal.

This was followed by Zoya Akhtar's directorial debut, Luck by Chance (2009). The film was well received by critics, but it did not do well at the box-office. It was followed by Vijay Lalwani's, psychological thriller, Karthik Calling Karthik (2010), starring Farhan Akhtar, Deepika Padukone, and Ram Kapoor. To indulge and prepare for the role, Farhan isolated himself at home and turned off his cellphone. He also learned to solve the Rubik's Cube, an activity that his character completes in only one try.

2011 - 2015 edit

In 2011, Excel produced the action thriller, Game, directed by Abhinay Deo. It featured a large ensemble cast of Abhishek Bachchan, Kangana Ranaut, Anupam Kher, Boman Irani, and Jimmy Sheirgill. Later that year, Zoya Akhtar's Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011) released, becoming a critical and commercial success. It also had an ensemble cast of Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol, Katrina Kaif, and Kalki Koechlin. This was followed by Farhan Akhtar's second installment in the Don series, Don 2 (2011), starring Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Boman Irani, and Om Puri. With a box office gross of over ₹202 Crores, the film was one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time and the third highest-grossing Indian film of 2011.

Excel's second collaboration with Aamir Khan, Talaash, was their only release in 2012. Along with Aamir Khan, it starred Rani Mukerji, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and Shernaz Patel. This was followed by Mrighdeep Singh Lamba's light comedy, Fukrey (2013), starring Pulkit Samrat, Varun Sharma, Manjot Singh, Ali Fazal, Vishaka Singh, and Richa Chadda. It was a sleeper hit, though it received mixed reviews. It was also re-released in September 2013, owing to public demand.

Excel produced the dark humour, Bangistan (2015), starring Riteish Deshmukh and Pulkit Samrat. Later that year, the production house produced the social satire family drama, Dil Dhadakne Do (2015), directed by Zoya Akhtar. Like Zoya's previous films, it had an ensemble cast of Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar, Anushka Sharma, Rahul Bose, Anil Kapoor, and Shefali Shah. The film grossed ₹1.45 billion at the box office against a budget of ₹830 million, and earned a number of accolades.

2016 - present edit

In 2016, Excel produced Nitya Mehra’s rom-com, Baar Baar Dekho (2016), along with Karan Johar's Dharma Productions. It starred Sidharth Malhotra, Katrina Kaif, Ram Kapoor, Sarika Thakur, and Rajit Kapur. They also produced Rock On 2 (2016), starring Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal, Shraddha Kapoor, amongst others. Unlike Rock On!, it was a huge commercial disaster.

The company's first film in 2017 was Rahul Dholakia's Raees. It featured Shah Rukh Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, and Mahira Khan. Though it was commercially successful, it received mixed reviews from both the critics and audience, alike. It was followed by Mrighdeep Singh Lamba's Fukrey Returns (2017), the sequel to Fukrey. It received mixed-to-negative reviews.

In 2018, Excel produced the thriller drama, Three Storeys (2018). It was followed by Reema Kagti's historical sports drama, Gold (2018), starring Akshay Kumar, Kunal Kapoor, Amit Sadh, Mouni Roy, Vineet Kumar Singh and Sunny Kaushal. The film netted ₹25.25 crores on its opening day, becoming one of the year's biggest opening day releases.

Excel Entertainment then teamed with Anil Thadani and distributed K.G.F:Chapter 1. It received a positive response from the audience, though it received mixed reviews from the critics. On the day of release, collected ₹25 crores worldwide, which was the highest opening in Kannada cinema.

2019 saw the release of Zoya Akhtar's hugely acclaimed Gully Boy, starring Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Vijay Varma, and Kalki Koechlin. It won a record 13 Filmfare Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor for Ranveer Singh, Best Actress for Alia Bhatt, and Best Supporting Actress for Siddhant Chaturvedi. It became the second film to win all four acting awards. Additionally, the film was India's official entry for the Academy Awards in 2020, in the Best Foreign Film category. It received positive reviews from critics, with praise directed to Akhtar's direction, Maurya's dialogues, and the performances of all the cast.

In October that year, Excel distributed the Hindi-dubbed version of Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy, starring Mega Star Chiranjeevi and Amitabh Bachchan, which was originally filmed in Telugu. The movie has also been touted as one of the most expensive films to date, with a budget of about ₹ 300 crores.

On 16 July 2021, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's sports drama, Toofaan, released directly on Amazon Prime Video. It starred Farhan Akhtar, Paresh Rawal, and Mrunal Thakur. It opened to highly mixed reviews. Bollywood Bubble stated Toofan, literal meaning ‘storm’ lives up to its name in all honestly. It is a film about life and choices.[11]

OTT edit

In July 2017, Excel pioneered into the OTT sphere with a sports-drama series Inside Edge created by Karan Anshuman starring Vivek Oberoi, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Richa Chadha, Angad Bedi, Tanuj Virwani, Sayani Gupta among others. The series was critically acclaimed for its strong performances and story line. The series was also nominated for the 46th International Emmy Awards in the category for Best Drama Series.

Their second web series was a Crime-Thriller named Mirzapur (2018) created by Karan Anshuman and Puneet Krishna starring Ali Fazal, Vikrant Massey, Pankaj Tripathi, Divyendu Sharma, Shweta Tripathi. The series was well received by audiences, but received mixed to negative reviews from critics. Pankaj Tripathi won the Best-Actor Drama at the iReel Awards for the series.

The TV series Made In Heaven (2019) released in March. The show was created by Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti starring Sobhita Dhulipala, Arjun Mathur, Kalki Koechlin, Jim Sarbh among others. The web-series was appreciated heavily by several critics and multiple positive online reviews. The web-series received an award at the ITA awards for the category Best Series Jury Award and prize for the Best Direction.

A show named Fukrey Boyss (2019) was launched on Discovery Kids.

December 2019 saw the release of Karan Anshuman's Inside Edge season 2. The second season invites viewers to look at cricket much beyond just a game and manifested a huge public demand.

On 23 October 2020, season 2 of Mirzapur released on Amazon Prime Video.

The second collaboration of Farhan Akhtar and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra happened after their first successful film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. An action sports drama entertainer Toofaan released on July 16, 2021, on Amazon Prime Video starring Farhan Akhtar, Paresh Rawal, Mrunal Thakur. The film was directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.[12]

Upcoming projects edit

Phone Bhoot, a horror comedy, is currently slated to release in November 2022. It stars Katrina Kaif, Siddhant Chaturvedi, and Ishaan Khatter in the lead roles, directed by Gurmmeet Singh, of Mirzapur fame.

On 15 February 2021, Yudhra, starring Siddhant Chaturvedi, Malavika Mohanan and Raghav Juyal was announced. The film is being helmed by Ravi Udyawar, of Mom fame. It is slated for a spring 2023 release.

On 11 August 2021, Jee Le Zaraa, starring Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Katrina Kaif and Alia Bhatt was announced. The female-centric road film will be directed by Farhan Akhtar, from a story written by Zoya Akhtar, Reema Kagti, and himself.[13]

Filmography edit

 
Shah Rukh Khan has worked with Excel Entertainment on three projects, including company highest grosser Raees.
 
Hrithik Roshan has worked with Excel Entertainment on two successful projects
 
Priyanka Chopra has worked on four projects with the company
 
Aamir Khan has starred in two top-grossing films of the company, Dil Chahta Hai and Talaash (2012)
 
Katrina Kaif has collaborated on three projects, beginning with Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
 
Ranveer Singh has worked with the company two times
 
Founder and lead producer Farhan Akhtar made his acting debut with Rock On (2008) after which he starred in seven more of the company's projects
 
Siddhant Chaturvedi made his acting debut with Gully Boy (2019) after which he worked with the company three more times
Key
Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Title Director Producer Cast Notes Ref.
2001 Dil Chahta Hai Farhan Akhtar Ritesh Sidhwani Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Preity Zinta, Dimple Kapadia, Sonali Kulkarni National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi, 7 Filmfare Awards, 7 Screen Awards, 4 IIFA Awards, 2 Zee Cine Awards [14]
2004 Lakshya Farhan Akhtar Ritesh Sidhwani Amitabh Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan, Preity Zinta, Om Puri, Boman Irani Co-produced with UTV Motion Pictures, National Film Awards for Best Choreography - Mai Aisa Kyun Hoon, 2 Filmfare Awards
2006 Don Farhan Akhtar Ritesh Sidhwani Shahrukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Arjun Rampal, Kareena Kapoor, Isha Koppikar, Boman Irani Winner of Best Asian Film at Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival
2007 Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. Reema Kagti Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Shabana Azmi, Boman Irani, Kay Kay Menon, Raima Sen, Amisha Patel, Karan Khanna, Vikram Chatwal, Sandhya Mridul, Diya Mirza, Ranvir Shorey, Abhay Deol, Minissha Lamba and Arjun Rampal
Positive Farhan Akhtar Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Arjun Mathur, Shabana Azmi and Boman Irani Positive was a part of AIDS JaaGo (AIDS Awake), a series of four short films [15]
2008 Rock On!! Abhishek Kapoor Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal, Purab Kohli, Luke Kenny, Prachi Desai, Shahana Goswami Co-produced with Big Pictures, National Film Awards for Best Feature Film and Best Supporting Actor, 7 Filmfare Awards, 6 Screen Awards, 3 IIFA Awards. [16]
2009 Luck by Chance Zoya Akhtar Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Farhan Akhtar, Konkona Sen Sharma, Rishi Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia, Isha Sharvani, Juhi Chawla, Sanjay Kapoor, Aly Khan, Sheebha Chadda and Hrithik Roshan Co-produced with Big Pictures, 22 Actors made a guest appearance in the film
2010 Karthik Calling Karthik Vijay Lalwani Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Farhan Akhtar, Deepika Padukone Co-produced with Magic Beans Films [17]
2011 Game Abhinay Deo Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Abhishek Bachchan, Boman Irani, Anupam Kher, Jimmy Shergill, Kangana Ranaut, Shahana Goswami, Gauhar Khan and Sarah-Jane Dias Co-produced with Eros International
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara Zoya Akhtar Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Abhay Deol, Katrina Kaif, Kalki Koechlin Co-produced with Eros International, National Film Awards for Best Choreography and Best Audiography, 9 IIFA Awards, 7 Filmfare Awards, 6 Star Guild Awards, 4 Zee Cine Awards, 2 Mirchi Music Awards, 2 Screen Awards, 1 Stardust Awards, 1 Big Star Entertainment Awards
Don 2 Farhan Akhtar Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Shah Rukh Khan Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Boman Irani, Om Puri, Kunal Kapoor, Lara Dutta Co-produced with Reliance Entertainment & Film Base Berlin, 2 Filmfare Awards, 2 Producers Film Guild Awards, 2 Screen Awards, 2 Lions Gold Awards, 1 ETC Bollywood Business Awards, 1 Zee Cine Awards
2012 Talaash Reema Kagti Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Aamir Khan Aamir Khan, Rani Mukerji, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Shernaz Patel Co-Produced with Reliance Entertainment & Aamir Khan Productions, 1 Mirchi Music Award [18]
2013 Fukrey Mrighdeep Singh Lamba Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Pulkit Samrat, Manjot Singh, Ali Fazal, Varun Sharma, Richa Chadda, Priya Anand, Pankaj Tripathi and Vishakha Singh 1 Screen Award, 1 Star Guild Award [19]
2015 Bangistan Karan Anshuman Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Riteish Deshmukh, Pulkit Samrat, Jacqueline Fernandez Co-produced with Junglee Pictures [20]
Dil Dhadakne Do Zoya Akhtar Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Anil Kapoor, Shefali Shah, Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma and Farhan Akhtar Co-produced with Junglee Pictures, 3 Stardust Awards, 2 Screen Awards, 1 Big Star Entertainment Award, 1 Filmfare Award, 1 IIFA Award, 1 Times of India Film Awards [21]
2016 Baar Baar Dekho Nitya Mehra Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Karan Johar Sidharth Malhotra, Katrina Kaif Co-produced with Eros International & Dharma Productions, 1 Zee Cine Awards [22]
Rock On 2 Shujaat Saudagar Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Farhan Akhtar, Arjun Rampal, Shraddha Kapoor Co-produced with Eros International [23]
2017 Raees Rahul Dholakia Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Gauri Khan Shah Rukh Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Mahira Khan Co-Produced with Red Chillies Entertainment, 1 Mirchi Music Award, 1 Screen AWrds, 1 Zee Cine Awards, 1 Indian Recording Arts Awards [24]
Fukrey Returns Mrighdeep Singh Lamba Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Pulkit Samrat, Manjot Singh, Ali Fazal, Varun Sharma, Richa Chadha, Priya Anand, Pankaj Tripathy and Vishakha Singh [25]
2018 3 Storeys Arjun Mukerjee Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Priya Sreedharan Pulkit Samrat, Richa Chadda, Renuka Shahane, Masumeh Makhija, Sharman Joshi, Tarun Anand, Ankit Rathi and Aisha Ahmed Co-produced with B4U Motion Pictures & Open Air Films [26]
Gold Reema Kagti Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Akshay Kumar, Mouni Roy, Kunal Kapoor, Amit Sadh, Vineet Kumar Singh and Sunny Kaushal [27]
2019 Gully Boy Zoya Akhtar Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Vijay Verma, Kalki Koechlin, Vijay Raaz, Amruta Subhash Co-produced with Tiger Baby Films, The film was selected as the Indian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards,13 Filmfare Awards, 12 Screen Awards, 9 Zee Cine Awards, 1 Mirchi Music Awards [28][29]
2021 Hello Charlie Pankaj Saraswat Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Jackie Shroff, Aadar Jain, Shlokka Pandit, Elnaaz Norouzi Released on Amazon Prime Video [30]
Toofaan Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Farhan Akhtar, Paresh Rawal, Mrunal Thakur Co-produced with ROMP Pictures
Released on Amazon Prime Video
[31]
2022 Sharmaji Namkeen Hitesh Bhatia Farhan Akhtar, Ritesh Sidhwani, Honey Trehan, Abhishek Chaubey Rishi Kapoor, Paresh Rawal Co-produced with MacGuffin Pictures
Released on Amazon Prime Video
Phone Bhoot Gurmmeet Singh Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Katrina Kaif, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Ishaan Khatter [32]
2023 Friday Night Plan Vatsal Neelakantan Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar and Kassim Jagmagia Juhi Chawla, Babil Khan, Amrith Jayan, Medha Rana, Aadhya Anand, Ninad Kamat Released on Netflix [33]
Fukrey 3 Mrighdeep Singh Lamba Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Pulkit Samrat, Varun Sharma, Richa Chaddha, Manjot Singh, Pankaj Tripathi [34]
Kho Gaye Hum Kahan Arjun Singh Varain Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar Adarsh Gourav, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Ananya Pandey Released on Netflix [35]
TBA Yudhra Ravi Udyawar Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar Siddhant Chaturvedi, Malavika Mohanan TBA [36]

Television series edit

Year Title Platform
2017–Present Inside Edge Amazon Prime Video
2018–Present Mirzapur
2019–Present Made in Heaven
Fukrey Boyzzz[37] Discovery Kids
2022 Eternally Confused and Eager for Love Netflix
2023 Dahaad Amazon Prime Video
Bambai Meri Jaan
2024 Dabba Cartel Netflix

Film distribution edit

Year Title Director Producer Cast Notes Ref.
2018 K.G.F: Chapter 1 Prashanth Neel Vijay Kiragandur Yash, Srinidhi Shetty, Ramachandra Raju, Archana Jois, Anant Nag, Vasishta N. Simha and Mouni Roy Hindi only [38]
2019 Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy Surender Reddy Ram Charan, Konidela Production Company Chiranjeevi, Amitabh Bachchan, Kiccha Sudeep, Jagapathi Babu, Vijay Sethupathi, Nayanthara, Tamannaah Bhatia and Ravi Kishan Hindi only [39]
2022 K.G.F: Chapter 2 Prashanth Neel Vijay Kirugandur Yash, Sanjay Dutt, Raveena Tandon, Srinidhi Shetty Hindi only [40]

References edit

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External links edit