Shashank Khaitan

Shashank Khaitan is an Indian film writer, director, former actor and recently turned producer, who is known for his work in Hindi cinema. He has directed films like Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania and Badrinath Ki Dulhania, which released in 2017.[1][2] His work on the latter garnered him a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Director.[3] His film Dhadak (2018) is an adaptation of the Marathi film Sairat. Later, in 2019, he turned into a producer at Dharma Productions, his first production being Good Newwz.

Shashank Khaitan
Born (1982-02-28) 28 February 1982 (age 39)
OccupationFilm maker, Director, Screenwriter

Early lifeEdit

Khaitan was born in Kolkata and raised in Nashik, Maharashtra, in a Marwari business family.[1]

Although he was interested in watching films since a very young age, he was initially more into sports, playing in cricket and tennis tournaments. At the age of 17, he decided to pursue a career in entertainment.[1][4] He started off as a dance instructor and held events across the country. He soon moved to Mumbai.[5]

Khaitan joined Whistling Woods International Institute, a film institute started and supported by veteran filmmaker Subhash Ghai, to break into the film industry. He credits the institute with giving him the technical background, and also credits the institute's faculty (who work actively in the film industry) with making him feel comfortable on set by inviting the students to accompany them to set.[4] While at Whistling Woods, Khaitan worked on his first attempted film, Sherwani Kahaan Hai, with some of his fellow students at Whistling Woods, but it was not successfully completed.[6]

In 2008, Khaitan starred as Manohar in Roorkee By-Pass, a 22-minute drama directed by Arundhati Sen Verma,[7] and assisted on the set of Ghai's film Black & White and Yuvvraaj.[4] He also made a brief appearance in the Varun Dhawan starrer Disney's ABCD 2, a sequel to the dance-drama ABCD: Any Body Can Dance, in which he played one of the Bengaluru prelims judges of the World Dance Championship qualifiers. Previously, he had made an appearance in Habib Faisal's romantic action-drama film Ishaqzaade by Yash Raj Films, which marked the debut of Arjun Kapoor in a lead. He was seen playing Dharma Chauhan, one of two brothers to Parma Chauhan, played by Kapoor.

Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (2014)Edit

Khaitan's initial plan with Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania was to make it a story of two con artists, similar to Bunty Aur Babli. However, as he worked on the script, he found the characters turning out sweeter than he had anticipated and falling in love.[8] Khaitan cites Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ) and Casablanca as inspiration for his script, and the film itself pays homage to DDLJ as well as Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.[1]

Khaitan, who believed that Bollywood had not produced a great love story since Jab We Met, strove to keep the characters more real and grounded, while at the same time conveying a grand love story. In response to critics who claimed that the film continues some old Bollywood cliches such as approval of parents, he called this a reflection of how Indian society has not changed all that much since the making of DDLJ.[1]

After finishing the first draft of his script, then with the title Humpty Sharma Di Love Story, Khaitan sent it to Dharma Productions. Karan Johar looked at the script, said he liked it, and said that Dharma Productions would make the film, though he was not sure if Khaitan would direct it. Khaitan made some improvements to the script and Johar decided to let Khaitan direct. This was a departure from precedents at Dharma, where most directors were people who had previously worked as assistant directors or assistant producers on Dharma films.[8] Khaitan selected Dhawan and Alia Bhatt for the film after watching their performance in Student of the Year.[9] One of Khaitan's goals with the filming was to "keep it real" and to make sure that all characters were well-prepared before they shot a scene.[9]

Badrinath Ki Dulhania (2017)Edit

In May 2016, it was announced that Khaitan will write and direct another romantic comedy under the Dharma Productions banner with Dhawan and Bhatt playing the lead roles. Although the two films were to have different plots and characters, the film was considered to be the second installment in a franchise that began with Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania. The second installment, titled Badrinath Ki Dulhania, was released on 10 March 2017.


His third directorial venture, Dhadak, starred debutantes Ishaan Khatter and Janhvi Kapoor, and was produced under Dharma Productions in its first of many collaborations with Zee Studios, which produced Sairat, on which the film itself was loosely based. The film released on 20 July 2018 to mixed responses with criticism of the handling of the caste-class issue in the original, but it was a financial success.

On 19 February 2018, his fourth film, Rannbhoomi, starring Dhawan, was announced, with a tentative release date of Diwali 2020. He turned into a producer at Dharma Productions in December 2019 with Good Newwz, starring Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Diljit Dosanjh and Kiara Advani, which was critically and commercially successful and emerged as the fifth highest-grossing Bollywood film of 2019.

He is set to direct Vicky Kaushal and Janhvi Kapoor alongside Bhumi Pednekar in the comedy Mr. Lele.[10]


  Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Title Director Writer Producer Notes
2014 Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania Yes Yes No Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Debut Director
2017 Badrinath Ki Dulhania Yes Yes No Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Director
2018 Dhadak Yes Yes No
2019 Good Newwz No No Yes
2020 Bhoot – Part One: The Haunted Ship No No Yes
Dil Bechara No Yes No
2021 Ajeeb Daastaans Yes No No Segment: "Majnu"; Netflix film
2022 Govinda Naam Mera Yes Yes Yes [11]
2022 Dono Mile Iss Tarah Yes Yes Yes Filming[12][13]
As Assistant Director
Year Film
2008 Black & White
2008 Yuvvraaj
As Actor
Year Film Role
2012 Ishaqzaade Dharma Chauhan
2015 ABCD 2 Dance Show Judge


Year Show Channel Role Notes
2018—2019 Dance Deewane Colors TV Judge Seasons 1 and 2


  1. ^ a b c d e Ghosh, Sankhayan (21 July 2014). "'Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania' director says he wanted to tell a story of "eternal love": For writer-director Shashank Khaitan his debut film Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania is a reaction to love in today's cynical times". Indian Express. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  2. ^ Singh, Prashant (22 December 2014). "New Direction: From Shashank Khaitan to Omung Kumar, freshers who made a mark in 2014". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  3. ^ "Filmfare Awards 2018: Complete list of nominations". The Indian Express. 18 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "In conversation with 'Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania' director Shashank Khaitan". Whistling Woods International Institute on YouTube. 8 July 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  5. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania is not Shashank Khaitan's debut film". Bollywood Hungama. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  7. ^ "Roorkee By-Pass". Internet Movie Database. 29 June 2008. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  8. ^ a b "The Making of Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania - Part 1". Dharma Productions via YouTube. 30 July 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  9. ^ a b "The Making of Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania - Part 2". Dharma Productions via YouTube. 30 July 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  10. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Not Varun Dhawan,Vicky Kaushal to now star in Shashank Khaitan's Mr Lele". Bollywood Bubble. 18 January 2021. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  11. ^ "Karan Johar announces Govinda Naam Mera starring Vicky Kaushal, Bhumi Pednekar and Kiara Advani". Bollywood Hungama. 12 November 2021. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  12. ^ "Shanaya Kapoor starts shooting for her debut film; father Sanjay Kapoor says, 'work hard, focus'". Bollywood Hungama. 11 November 2021. Retrieved 11 November 2021.
  13. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Shanaya Kapoor starrer Dharma Productions film titled Dono Mile Iss Tarah". Bollywood Hungama. 12 November 2021. Retrieved 12 November 2021.

External linksEdit