Sandeep Kulkarni

Sandeep Kulkarni (born 16 November) is an Indian actor and painter.[1] He has worked in Marathi films as well as theatre.

Sandeep Kulkarni
Sandeep Kulkarni.jpg
Years active1994–present
Spouse(s)Kanchan Naik
  • Shrikant Kulkarni (father)

Early life and backgroundEdit

Born in Pune, Sandeep was raised in a Maharashtrian middle-class family by father Shrikant Kulkarni and mother Lata Kulkarni. He is an alumnus of J. J. School of Arts, Mumbai.[2]

During his journey of becoming an artist at Sir J. J. School of Art, he was mentored by Prabhakar Kolte and Atul Dodia. In 1986, Kulkarni participated in a group monsoon show — the first exhibition of his work at the Jehangir Art Gallery. In the same year, he completed his graduation (Bachelor of Fine Arts). While pursuing painting and freelancing for advertising agencies, Sandeep was also exploring acting until he met Pandit Satyadev Dubey and did rigorous theater and workshops with him which includes a big production of a Hindi classical play called "Andha Yug" where he could share stage with amazing actors like Naseeruddin Shah, Amrish Puri, Akaash Khurana and Mohan Bhandari. Heavily influenced as well as inspired by Dubeyji's teachings and simultaneously working with renowned theater directors like Vijaya Mehta, Sunil Shanbhaug and Chetan Datar, Sandeep found himself perfectly fit to be an actor and theater director.


After intense theatre for four years in English, Marathi and Hindi, his career started to take shape in television. He played varied roles such as that of young Muslim lawyer Salim in love with a local Muslim woman on 9 Malabar Hill on Zee TV, a press reporter in Farz on DD Metro, an underworld don who deals with drugs in Swabhiman on DD, a counselor in Nyay on DD Metro. He also played the role of a cop who solves the mystery behind an old couple refusing to accept the dead body of their son in the much-talked-about one-hour suspense thriller First Kill directed by Shriram Raghavan.

Sandeep’s career in films began with his first role in the movie Mammo (1994) directed by the legendary Shyam Benegal, set in the backdrop of India-Pakistan partition (1947). He was seen playing the role of an immigration officer (Apte) who tries to help the immigrant protagonist Mammo.

He played the role of a gangster, Shankar, who chases the hero throughout the plot wearing a new pair of shoes that bite and eventually hurt him in Is Raat Ki Subaah Nahin (1996) directed by Sudhir Mishra. His role added to the black humor of the film.

He played a Naxalite who later becomes an activist, in spite of his colleagues being caught and killed in Hazar Chaurasi Ki Maa (1998), directed by Govind Nihalani.

Shwaas (2004), directed by Sandip Sawant, put Sandeep’s performance in the spotlight. He played the role of an oncologist who attempts to convince the grandfather of a child suffering from eye cancer to agree to a life-saving surgery although he is faced with the reality of child becoming permanently blind. Sandeep's biggest compliment of his career was earned when, after watching the film, the legendary actor Shabana Azmi asked him if he had studied medicine. Shwass won Sandeep numerous awards: the State Award being one of them. The film won the National Award as well and was India's official entry to the Oscars.

In a 2005 film, Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, directed by Sudhir Mishra, Sandeep played a Naxal leader, Probir, involved in spreading the Naxalite movement from Bengal to India.

2005 saw another success in Sandeep's career when he played a common man from downtown (Dombivali), on the edge of busy, frustrating, unimproved and deteriorating daily lifestyle who eventually starts straightening things around him in the critically acclaimed Dombivali Fast, directed by Nishikant Kamath. This film got the National Award and Sandeep won the best Acotr Award from the State and other award functions too.

In 2005 Sandeep also played the role of Sane Guruji, a biopic teacher, poet, freedom fighter, also known as Gandhiji of Maharashtra in Sane Guruji. Sandeep’s career includes other series of films such as Adhantari (2005), Maay Baap (2006), Rajkaran (2007).

Traffic Signal (2006) is a national award-winning film, directed by Madhur Bhandarkar, where Sandeep played an NGO volunteer who is seen helping street children.

In the Marathi film Made in China (2009), he took the role of a young farmer who is literate and updated on technology and who challenges his uncle, a politician who intends to bring in a special economic zone (SEZ). 2009 also saw him perform the double role of a young businessman creating identity crisis for his wife, family and friends. In 2009 Sandeep won the best actor award in the International Nigerian Film Festival[which?] for Ek Daav Sansaracha where he plays the role of a husband with a complex due to a failed marriage, blamed impotency and his struggle to make a second marriage work.

In 2010 other Marathi films that Sandeep acted in include Khel Saat Baaracha and Pratisaad - The Response. Other films in the pipeline scheduled for release in 2011 included Nirvana 13 and Paranoia (under production). Sandeep Kulkarni also influenced people by showing his tremendous work in the Marathi movie Duniyadari.

From 2012 he started his production house which executed films like "Premsutra" in Marathi and "Dombivli Return" in Hindi and Marathi (bilingual) which was a part of a few national and international festivals and he won the best actor from the Indian Critics Choice Awards in 2020. His webseries "City Of Dreams" directed by Nagesh Kukunoor on Hotstar has engaged a huge global audience and the 2nd season will be soon on air.


Year Film Role Language Notes References
1994 Mammo Inspector Apte Hindi
1996 Is Raat ki Subah Nahin Shankar Hindi
1998 Hazaar Chowrasi ki Maa Ritu Hindi
1999 Shool Gopalji Hindi
2002 Aadharstambh Iqbal Marathi
2004 Shwaas Dr. Sane Marathi [3]
2005 Dombivali Fast Madhav Apte Marathi [3]
Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi Probir (Naxalite) Hindi
Adhantari Marathi
2006 Sane Guruji Sane Guruji Marathi
2007 Traffic Signal Khadi (social worker) Hindi [3]
Rajkaran Marathi
2008 Maay Baap Vishvanath Marathi
Bedhund Army Major Marathi
Ek Daav Sansaracha Ajit Sawant Marathi
2009 Ladies Special Shivam Shinde Marathi TV Show on "SONY TV"
Made in China (2009 film) Mohit Jagdale Marathi
Gaiir Sameer Shroff Marathi
Waiting Room Ghanshyam Hindi
2010 Pratisaad - The Response Dr. Aditya Deshmukh Marathi
Ankganit Anandache Anand Marathi
Khel Saat-Baaracha Khobragade Marathi
2011 Nirvana 13 Naseer Hindi Filming
Fakira Hindi
2013 D-Day Atul Mishra Hindi
Duniyadari M.K.(Shreyas) Marathi
Ajinkya Anant Dharmadhikari Marathi
Premsutra Anand Joshi Marathi
2018 Dhaad Pranjivan Gujarati Released 17 years after being shot
2019 Krutant Marathi [4]


Awards and honorsEdit

International awardsEdit

  • 2004 - Official entry for the Oscars: Shwaas
  • 2008 - Nigerian International Film Festival Award - Best Actor, Ek Daav Sansaracha

National awardsEdit

State awardsEdit

Other awardsEdit

  • 2004 - Zee Award – Best Actor, Shwaas
  • 2005 - Zee Award – Best Actor, Maharashtra Times Awards – Best Actor, Dombivali Fast


  1. ^ "Sandeep Kulkarni". Saffronart. Archived from the original on 28 March 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  2. ^ Kadapa-Bose, Surekha (28 September 2014). "From Marathi theatre to Bollywood". The Tribune. Archived from the original on 28 March 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Shetty, Anjali (14 February 2019). "I look out for like-minded people: Sandeep Kulkarni". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 28 March 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Sandeep Kulkarni makes a comeback with Krutant". The Times of India. 4 July 2018. Archived from the original on 7 July 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2018.

External linksEdit