Hansal Mehta (born 29 April 1968) is an Indian filmmaker. He started his career with television show Khana Khazana (1993–2000) and later moved on to directing films like Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar!! (2000), Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai? (2002) and Woodstock Villa (2008). He received critical acclaim with Shahid (2013), for which he also won the National Film Award for Best Direction. He then went on to direct City Lights (2014), Aligarh (2016), Simran (2017), Omerta (2018), Scam 1992 (2020) and Scoop (2023).
|Born||29 April 1968|
|Relatives||Yusuf Hussain (father-in-law)|
Early life edit
Mehta was born on 29 April 1968 in a middle-class Gujarati family from Mumbai. He grew up learning classical music and studied computer engineering. He worked in Fiji before returning to India to start his career in films.
Mehta started his career in 1993, by directing with TV cookery show Khana Khazana, thus launching the television career of celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor on Zee TV. Alongside, Mehta also directed several television series like Amrita (1994), Highway (1995), Yaadein (1995), Lakshya (1998), Neeti (1998) and many more.
He made his debut as a feature film director with ...Jayate, a part of the Indian Panorama 1999–2000 at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Hyderabad. This was later followed by Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar!! (2000) a bittersweet migrant tale set in Mumbai. This film, though not a huge box-office success continues to enjoy a following for its dark humour and its exploration of life on the fringes of Mumbai. Later that year he came up with Chhal (2002) a stylised gangster film that met with 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 formulaic mainstream themes. He made his presence felt with a short film in Dus Kahaniyaan, (2007) titled High on the Highway, which was basically a retelling of a short (Highway) that he directed for television in 1995, based on a script by Vishal Bhardwaj. In 2008, after the release of Woodstock Villa, he went on an extended sabbatical to explore life as a foodie, entrepreneur and to explore themes that mattered to him.
Mehta truly came into the lime-light with his film, Shahid (2013), starring Rajkummar Rao. Shahid had its world premier at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival following which it had an extended run at various international film festivals around the world. This film was later acquired by Disney-UTV and commercially released in October 2013. A biographical film on the life of human rights lawyer Shahid Azmi, who was murdered in 2010. This film continues to shine a light on human rights and the Indian judicial system and is highly rated on various digital streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Hansal was honoured with the 61st National Film Award for Best Direction while Rajkummar Rao won the 61st National Film Award for Best Actor for Shahid.
After their success together, Hansal Mehta teamed again with Rajkummar Rao to make the acclaimed CityLights (an official adaptation of the British Indie hit Metro Manila) for Fox Star Studios and Mahesh Bhatt. After CityLights, Mehta directed, Aligarh (2016) based on a Marathi professor and poet who was suspended by his university for being gay. This film premiered at the 20th Busan International Film Festival followed by the BFI London Film Festival. Aligarh was the opening film at the 17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival. Based on a script by his long time collaborator Apurva Asrani (previous collaborations Chhal, Shahid, CityLights), Aligarh featured three of Mehta's favourite actors Manoj Bajpayee (with whom he reunited after Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar in 2000), Ashish Vidyarthi (after Highway in 1995) and Rajkummar Rao (their third collaboration since Shahid). Aligarh was presented and co-produced by Eros International.
In October 2020, he co-directed Sony Liv show Scam 1992 with his own son Jai Mehta. It was based on the 1992 Indian stock market scam committed by many stockbrokers including Harshad Mehta, the series is adapted from journalist Sucheta Dalal and Debashish Basu's 1992 book The Scam: Who Won, Who Lost, Who Got Away. It received critical acclaim from critics and audience for performances (especially Gandhi's), direction, writing and other technical aspects. Sayan Ghosh of The Hindu wrote "Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story is a well-written show with its lead characters doing all the heavy lifting. Despite its flaws, it provides an intriguing sneak-peek at the untapped potential of homegrown content creators — and what they are capable of — if allowed to run wild with their imagination." Ronak Kotecha, editor-in-chief of The Times of India gave three-and-a-half of five stating "The fact that it's a real story that captured the country's collective imagination makes for a riveting watch. It's almost like our very own desi version of The Wolf of Wall Street and we're quite bullish that it will keep you invested." Jyoti Sharma Bawa of Hindustan Times said, "Hansal Mehta digs deep into the India of 80s and 90s to tell us the story of the securities scam that shook up the country. Harshad Mehta's boom-to-bust story is emblematic of its time, but not limited to it." Subhra Gupta of The Indian Express stated "The Hansal Mehta directed series does a smart balancing act, never quite tipping over into Harshad Mehta adulation, nor showing him as an unmitigated villain." Devasheesh Pandey of News18, gave three-and-a-half out of five stars and stated "Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story does not pronounce guilty verdict on India's first financial sector scamster, but presents us with a morally dubious character and leaves it our sensibilities whether to make him a messiah or a pariah." Tatsam Mukherjee, writing for Firstpost, summarised "In spite of all the research, the show never quite transports us into Harshad's mind — the greed, the compulsive need to be surrounded by materialist things, the arrogance of taking on the government, and the tragedy of a 'pioneer' turned into an outcast." Scroll's chief editor Nandini Ramanath reviewed "Scam 1992 provides ample evidence of Mehta's dishonesty over 500-plus minutes, only to float the idea that the system was the bigger villain. This bull got big but then ran into the wolves who were stronger, the series lamely suggests." Moumita Bhattacharya of Rediff gave three-and-a-half out of five and stated "Hansal Mehta's nine-hour drama series Scam 1992 needs to be viewed by everyone, young and old." The News Minute's Saraswati Darar wrote "Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story, it's a compellingly told labour of love that deserves to be watched." Shefali Deshpande of Bloomberg Quint gave four-and-a-half out of five stating, "Scam 1992 taps into the psychological need to succeed and have prestige." Amman Khurana of Zoom TV, gave four out of five and stated "Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story, despite being significantly long, never goes off track and keeps you glued till the end. The deft direction, skilfully-stitched screenplay and thorough research do the job." Shubham Kulkarni of Koimoi, gave four out of five and stated "It is one of those rare shows where the primary layer is the only thing to hook on, and the writing does wonders here."
Hansal Mehta directed the 2023 film Faraaz, which is based on the attack on Holey Artisan Cafe, that shook Bangladesh in July 2016. Mehta has also helmed Captain Indian, which is inspired by true events, starring Kartik Aaryan.
Upcoming projects edit
Personal life edit
Mehta married Sunita in his 20s, with whom he has two sons—Jay, who is a director and Pallava. After divorcing Sunita, Mehta dated actor Yusuf Hussain's daughter Safeena, with who he has two daughters—Kimaya and Rehana. In 2022, Mehta married Safeena in a small ceremony in California.
|2000||Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar||Yes||No||No|
|Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai?||Yes||No||No|
|2007||Dus Kahaniyaan||Yes||No||Yes||Anthology film|
|2019||The Accidental Prime Minister||No||Creative||No|
|2023||The Buckingham Murders||Yes||No||No|||
|TBA||Dedh Bigha Zameen †||No||Yes||No||Post-production|
|†||Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|1999||Star Bestsellers||Yes||No||No||episode "Neeti (The Frog and the Scorpion)"|
|2020||Locked in Love||No||Yes||No|
|Scam 1992||Yes||Executive||No||Co-directed with Jai Mehta|
|2022||Modern Love: Mumbai||Yes||No||Yes|
|Award||Year||Category||Nominee(s) / work(s)||Result||Ref.|
|Asia Contents Awards & Global OTT Awards||2023||Best Asian TV Series||Scoop||Won|||
- "61st National Film Awards For 2013" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. 16 April 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
- Gupta, Priya (22 April 2014). "Hansal Mehta: Rejection really scares me". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 20 February 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
I am a Gujarati and come from a middle-class happy family from Mumbai.
- "Hansal Mehta – Verified account". Twitter. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
- Upadhayay, Karishma (18 November 2020). "With Scam 1992 and Chhalaang, Hansal Mehta ushers in a new wave of thought-provoking, entertaining content". Firstpost. Archived from the original on 24 November 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
- "Hansal Mehta warns young 'outsiders' of Bollywood trappings". Free Press Journal. 15 June 2020. Archived from the original on 30 June 2020. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
- "Film remembers Indian lawyer Shahid Azmi as symbol of hope". BBC. 28 September 2012. Archived from the original on 25 December 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- "The 'unlikely' lawyer as an unlikely hero". Indian Express. 9 August 2012. Archived from the original on 10 October 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
A movie based on the lawyer and human rights activist..
- "Hansal Mehta's 'Aligarh' to open MAMI Mumbai film festival". News18. 3 October 2015. Archived from the original on 23 November 2021. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
- Keshri, Shweta (25 September 2020). "Scam 1992: Pratik Gandhi plays infamous stockbroker Harshad Mehta in trailer of Hansal Mehta's web series". India Today. Archived from the original on 1 October 2020. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
- Ghosh, Sayan (20 October 2020). "'Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story' review: A gripping saga, shot artfully". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 22 November 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
- "Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story Season 1 Review: A dramatic retelling of India's biggest stock market scam", The Times of India, archived from the original on 12 October 2020, retrieved 15 October 2020
- "Scam 1992 The Harshad Mehta Story review: One of 2020's best web series resurrects the raging bull of Dalal Street". Hindustan Times. 11 October 2020. Archived from the original on 21 January 2023. Retrieved 21 January 2023.
- "Scam 1992 review: A captivating cautionary tale". The Indian Express. 12 October 2020. Archived from the original on 24 December 2020. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
- "Scam 1992 Review: The Harshad Mehta Story is a Salute to Bombay's Indomitable Spirit". News18. 11 October 2020. Archived from the original on 28 January 2021. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
- "Scam 1992 review: SonyLIV show on Harshad Mehta mistakes jargon for complexity". Firstpost. 10 October 2020. Archived from the original on 24 December 2020. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
- Ramnath, Nandini (10 October 2020). "'Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story' review: Web series resurrects the Big Bull of Dalal Street". Scroll.in. Archived from the original on 25 January 2021. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
- Bhattacharya, Moumita. "Scam 1992 review". Rediff. Archived from the original on 25 February 2021. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
- "'Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story' review: Hugely watchable tale of ambition and greed". The News Minute. 11 October 2020. Archived from the original on 1 December 2020. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
- Deshpande, Shefali (10 October 2020). "From Writing to Acting, Hansal Mehta's 'Scam 1992' Packs a Punch". TheQuint. Archived from the original on 14 February 2021. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
- "Scam 1992 – The Harshad Mehta Story Web-Series Review: Hansal Mehta takes you on an adrenaline-pumping journey". www.zoomtventertainment.com. 9 October 2020. Archived from the original on 4 December 2020. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
- "Scam 1992 Review: Hansal Mehta's Attention To Detail & Pratik Gandhi-Shreya Dhanwanthary's Dedication Shine Like A Light-House In This Treat". Koimoi. 10 October 2020. Archived from the original on 17 January 2021. Retrieved 19 January 2021.
- "Hansal Mehta reveals his next film titled Faraaz, watch its first look". The Indian Express. 5 August 2021. Archived from the original on 25 April 2022. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
- "Kartik Aaryan's Captain India first look: Hansal Mehta film on India's successful rescue mission". The Indian Express. 24 July 2021. Archived from the original on 3 May 2022. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
- "Hansal Mehta to direct Netflix series Scoop based on ex-journalist Jigna Vora's prison memoir". Cinestaan. 8 February 2022. Archived from the original on 9 February 2022. Retrieved 10 February 2022.
- Farook, Farhana (18 February 2016). "Hansal Mehta talks about Aligarh". Filmfare. Archived from the original on 17 April 2021. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
- "Hansal Mehta questions govt's decision on vaccination, shares photo of son: 'Pallava has Downs Syndrome, does he want or need the vaccine?'". The Indian Express. 7 April 2021. Archived from the original on 7 April 2021. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
- Gaikwad, Pramod (16 November 2017). "Hansal Mehta shares a passionate lip-lock with wife in this throwback picture". IBTimes. Archived from the original on 17 April 2021. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
- Handoo, Ritika (30 October 2021). "Noted actor Yusuf Husain dies, Hansal Mehta turns emotional for father-in-law". Zee News. Archived from the original on 23 April 2022. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
- "Hansal Mehta marries Safeena Husain 'after 17 years, two children'". Hindustan Times. 25 May 2022. Archived from the original on 25 May 2022. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
- Mehta, Hansal (3 October 2000). "Manoj entrusted his faith in me". Quote Martial (Interview). Interviewed by Runima Borah Tandon. Mumbai: Rediff.com. Retrieved 20 June 2023.
Only a determined person such as he would spend seven years making TV programmes waiting for just the break. It happened. With Jayate. The film didn't get a decent release, though it was shown last year at the Indian Film Festival, winning him a lot of rave reviews.
- "rediff.com, Movies: A web of deceit, the story unfolds in Chhal". www.rediff.com. Archived from the original on 24 September 2004. Retrieved 20 June 2023.
- "Kareena Kapoor's 'The Buckingham Murders' all set to premiere at BFI London Film Festival". The Economic Times. PTI. 2 September 2023. Retrieved 13 September 2023.
- "Hansal Mehta unveils first poster of Pratik Gandhi starrer Dedh Bigha Zameen, shoot begins today in Jhansi". Bollywood Hungama. 18 August 2021. Archived from the original on 18 August 2021. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
- "Star Bestsellers - Watch Episode 1 - Neeti (The Frog and the Scorpion) on Disney+ Hotstar". Archived from the original on 1 May 2020.
- Shackleton, Liz (8 October 2023). "Disney's 'Moving' Sweeps Asia Contents Awards With Six Prizes Including Best Creative, Writer & Actor – Busan". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 8 October 2023.