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Subhash Ghai (born 24 January 1945) is an Indian film director, producer and screenwriter, known for his works predominantly in Hindi cinema. His most notable works include 'Kalicharan' (1976), 'Vishwanath' (1978), Maeri (1976), Karz (1980), Hero (1983), Meri Jung (1985), Karma (1986), Ram Lakhan (1989), Saudagar (1991), Khalnayak (1993), Pardes (1997), Taal (1999), and Black & White (2008).[2] In 1982, he started Mukta Arts Private Limited which, in 2000, became a public company, with Subhash Ghai as its executive chairman. In 2006, he received the National Film Award, for producing the social problem film Iqbal, in the same year he founded the Whistling Woods International film and media institution in Mumbai.[3] In 2015, he received the IIFA Award for outstanding contribution to Indian Cinema.[4]

Subhash Ghai
Subhash Ghai 2007 - still 27030.jpg
Born (1945-01-24) 24 January 1945 (age 74)
Alma materFilm and Television Institute of India
OccupationFilm director, producer, actor, screenwriter,music director
Years active1970–present
Mukta Ghai (m. 1971)


Early lifeEdit

Subhash Ghai was born in Bareilly in a Punjabi Khatri family. His father was a dentist who practiced in Delhi. Subhash did his higher secondary in Delhi and thereafter graduated in Commerce from Rohtak,[5] Haryana. In 1963, he moved to Pune, Maharashtra, to join the Film and Television Institute of India.


In an interview with Rajya Sabha TV, Ghai recounted that after passing out from FTII, he came to Bombay, but was not allowed to enter any studio as he was unknown. He then read self help books like Dale Carnegie's How to make friends and influence people, and used techniques given in it to help him try and enter the film industry. At the same time, he learnt of and entered a United Producers Filmfare talent contest. Of the 5,000 participants, three people were selected in it, he, Rajesh Khanna and Dheeraj Kumar. While Khanna received a role soon after, Ghai received a role an year later.[6]

Ghai started his career in Hindi cinema as an actor with small roles in films including Taqdeer (1967) and Aradhana (1971). He was the male lead in the 1970s Umang, and Gumraah (1976).[1] His directorial debut was the film Kalicharan (1976) which he obtained through a recommendation by Shatrughan Sinha. As of 2016, he has written and directed a total of 16 movies.

In the 1980s and 1990s, he formed a successful collaboration with Dilip Kumar whom he directed in Vidhaata (1982), Karma (1986) and Saudagar (1991), the latter for which he won the Filmfare Best Director Award.[7] He introduced Jackie Shroff as a leading actor in Hero (1983) and helped establish Anil Kapoor's rising career with Meri Jung (1985). He went on to frequently work with Shroff and Kapoor, casting them together in the films Karma (1986), Ram Lakhan (1989) and Trimurti (1995), the latter which he had produced and it was directed by Mukul S. Anand. His 1993 release Khalnayak starring Sanjay Dutt, Madhuri Dixit and Shroff featured the hit songs "nayak nahin khalnayak hu main" and the controversial "Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai".

In 1997, he directed Pardes which starred Shahrukh Khan and newcomers Mahima Chaudhry and Apoorva Agnihotri. In 1999 he directed Taal which starred Akshaye Khanna, Aishwarya Rai and Anil Kapoor. Both Pardes and Taal were released internationally and were super-hits at the box office. His following films were Yaadein (2001) and Kisna (2005), which were box office flops.

He then took a break from directing and turned producer with films including Aitraaz (2004), Iqbal (2005), 36 China Town (2006) and Apna Sapna Money Money (2006). In 2006, he set up his own film institute Whistling Woods International in Mumbai.[8] The institute trains students in filmmaking: production, direction, cinematography, acting, animation. Ghai has done brief cameos in his directorial ventures.

After a three-year hiatus from directing, he returned in 2008 with Black & White released on 7 March 2008 and, later Yuvvraaj released in November 2008 which didn't perform well at the box office.[9] A. R. Rahman stated in an interview that Ghai had asked him to use the words "Jai Ho" in a song.[10]

At the Cannes International Film Festival in May 2018, Ghai announced that he is co-producing a biopic on Osho Rajneesh along with an Italian production house. The movie would be directed by Lakshen Sucameli.[11][12][13]

Whistling Woods

In 2006, Ghai founded Whistling Woods International, a film, communication and creative arts institute located in Mumbai, India. Currently, he serves as the Chairman of the institute.


National Film Awards
Filmfare Awards
IIFA Awards
  • 2015: IIFA Award for outstanding contribution to Indian Cinema
Other Awards
  • 2013: Skill Tree Education Evangelist of India


Year Film Role
1969 Aradhana Supporting actor only 1970 Umang
1976 Kalicharan Director
1978 Vishwanath Director
1979 Gautam Govinda Director
1980 Karz Director
1981 Krodhi Director
1982 Vidhaata Director
1983 Hero Director
1985 Meri Jung Director
1986 Karma Director
1989 Ram Lakhan Director
1991 Saudagar Director
1993 Khalnayak Director
1995 Trimurti Producer only
1997 Pardes Director
1999 Taal Director
2001 Yaadein Director
2003 Ek Aur Ek Gyarah Producer only
2003 Joggers' Park Producer only
2004 Aitraaz Producer only
2005 Kisna: The Warrior Poet Director
2005 Iqbal Producer only
2006 36 China Town Producer only
2006 Shaadi Se Pehle Executive Producer only
2006 Apna Sapna Money Money Producer only
2007 Good Boy, Bad Boy Producer only
2008 Black & White Director
2008 Yuvvraaj Director
2013 Samhita (film) Producer only
2014 Double Di Trouble Producer only
2014 Kaanchi: The Unbreakable Director, music director (only one song)
2015 Hero Producer only

Personal lifeEdit

In 1970, Ghai married a girl from Pune named Rehana alias Mukta. Today, he lives in Mumbai with his wife, Mukta Ghai and daughters, Meghna Ghai Puri and Muskaan Ghai. Meghna Ghai Puri is the President of Whistling Woods International Institute.[6]


  1. ^ a b Profile Archived 14 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine Mukta Arts.
  2. ^ "53rd National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Directorate of Film Festival". Archived from the original on 15 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Showman Subhash Ghai to receive IIFA Lifetime Achievement award 2015". 28 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 April 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2015.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ a b K, Irfan. "Guftagoo with Subhash Ghai - an interview". Rajya Sabha TV. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  7. ^ "Filmfare Awards (1992)".
  8. ^ Subhash Ghai unveils dream project IndiaFM, Monday, 27 March 2006.
  9. ^ "Slumdog's 'Jai Ho' was composed for Yuvvraaj". OneIndia. 25 February 2009. Archived from the original on 2 March 2009.
  10. ^ “Subhash Ghai is the one who asked me...”, The Times of India, 24 February 2009.
  11. ^ "After Wild Wild Country, Subhash Ghai announces a film on Osho". 16 May 2018. Retrieved 5 May 2019. External link in |website= (help)
  12. ^ "Subhash Ghai's biopic on Osho would be different from Wild Wild Country, asserts filmmaker | Bollywood News". Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Subhash Ghai to produce international biopic on Osho Rajneesh - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 May 2019.

External linksEdit