|Profession(s)||Director, Producer, Writer|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 173 cm
in meters- 1.73 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 8”
|Hair Colour||Salt & Pepper|
|Debut||• Film (Director): Jayate (1999)
• TV (Director): Khana Khazana (1993)
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||• Winner (2014): 1st KA Abbas Honor for Film with Outstanding Social Sensitivity in 2013 for Shahid (2012)
• Winner (2012): India Gold Silver Gateway for Shahid (2012)
• Winner (2014): Golden Lotus Award for Best Direction for Shahid (2012)
• Winner (2013): New York Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival Award for Best Director Shahid (2012)
• Winner (2014): Zee Anmol Award Shahid (2012)
• Winner (2013): National Film Award for Best Direction Shahid (2012)
|Date of Birth||29 April 1968 (Monday)|
|Age (as of 2021)||53 Years|
|School||Rose Manor International School, Mumbai|
|College/University||Dr. D. Y. Patil Institute of Technology, Pune|
|Educational Qualification||B Tech in Electronics from Dr. D. Y. Patil Institute of Technology LinkedIn|
|Religion||Hinduism National Herald|
|Hobbies||Cooking, Food Blogging|
|Controversies||• In 2017, Hansal directed a film titled "Simran" in which he cast Kangana Ranaut as the main lead. This film is about a girl who is addicted to gambling. The film was a fiasco causing a rift between Mr. Mehta and Kangana. He even called the experience of directing the film a painful memory. In an interview, while talking about his experience of working with Kangana, he said,
"I’ll be honest with you, I enjoyed Kangana’s company outside the set and I had a great time with her. (But on the sets) It went out of my control completely. That’s not a happy situation to be in. Other than dealing with the fact that she (Kangana) completely took charge of the set and began directing other actors, I lost a lot of money too." Hindustan Times
• In 2020, Hansal landed into a major controversy after he advised Indian filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri to convert his religion into Islam. Earlier, Vivek tweeted that the CAA protest at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi had turned into an Islamic conversion centre. Hansal accused Vivek of hate-mongering and advised him to convert his religion to better understand Islam. Mr. Mehta's remarks were faced with a severe backlash from the Twitterati.
|Relationships & More|
|Marriage Date||1989 (To Sunita)|
|Wife/Spouse||First Wife- Sunita Mehta (divorced in 2000)
Second Wife- Safeena Husain (Social Worker; met in 2005)
|Children||Son- Jai Mehta (Filmmaker; from Sunita)
Son- Pallava Mehta (from Sunita)
Daughter- Kimaya Mehta (from Safeena)
Daughter- Rihanna Mehta (from Safeena)
|Parents||Father- Deepak Subodh Mehta
Mother- Kishori Mehta
|Siblings||Brother- Parad D Mehta
Sister- Sheetal Mehta Vyas
|Film(s)||Bollywood- AndhaDhun, Stree
Hollywood- Star Is Born
|Car Collection||Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Some Lesser Known Facts About Hansal Mehta
- Hansal Mehta is a famous national award-winning Indian director with a career spanning over three decades. Some of his excellent works include movies like ‘Shahid’ (2012), ‘CityLights’ (2014), and web series ‘Scam 1992.’
- Hansal Mehta was born into a Gujarati middle-class family. According to him, he had a phobia of examinations as it was very difficult for him to accept failure. In an interview, while talking about his fear of examinations, he said,
Examination brings a lot of anxiety to me. I don’t like to be judged in two hours. Rejection really scares me and it’s always been like that.”
- After completing his engineering and getting married by the age of 21, Hansal got a job in Australia in a company called South Pacific Recordings. His life there got monotonous, and soon, he realised that this job was not his calling. The company where he was working, rented stores for pirated films. He started working with their cameras and learned to edit the films they were pirating.
- He returned to India in 1993 with the aspiration of becoming a director. Mr. Mehta’s love for food made him send a proposal to Zee TV for a cooking show titled “Khana Khazana.” According to him, his proposal was accepted on a condition that he would have to find a pretty girl to host the show. In an interview, talking about his quest to find the host for his show, he said,
I went looking out for pretty chefs and landed at Hotel Centaur, where I didn’t find a pretty girl but discovered a tall chef called Sanjeev Kapoor. I decided to shoot with him without telling the channel. When they saw the episode, they freaked out and found it very boring without the pretty girl, with this man wearing a chef’s uniform. But they ran four episodes and kept extending it every four weeks, till he made a dish called Shaam Savera that became such a huge success that he became a household name.”
Not many know that he is one who conceptualized Khana Khazana & discovered Sanjeev Kapoor 🙂 Thanks Hansal
— Sanjeev Kapoor (@SanjeevKapoor) August 3, 2017
- The show turned out to be a milestone in the careers of both chef Sanjeev Kapoor and director Hansal Mehta. Hansal also recalls a few oversights committed by them to make the show different; they once tried to make tandoori roti without a tandoor. While talking about this in an interview, he said,
You stick rotis on the walls inside the pressure cooker and it works. We showed that and it was pretty successful but the pressure cooker company sent us a legal notice. They felt pressure cookers are not made for this and it could be explosive. Once we made softy without the ice cream maker. I remember trying it and telling Sanjeev that it was not working. He gave it to my limited understanding and I allowed it to go on air. All hell broke loose after the episode went on air. Women started writing that their in-laws have stopped talking to them. Someone said her husband was angry.”
- While working on Khana Khazana Hansal was also hired to edit a song for the famous Indian filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj, who was then working as a composer. In an interview, Mr. Mehta revealed that Vishal was rude to him in the beginning as Vishal was not paid, but after seeing his work, Vishal apologized to him, and they became friends.
- He has also directed other television series like Amrita (1994), Highway (1995), Yaadein (1995), Lakshya (1998), and Neeti (1998). Hansal’s first independent film as a director was ‘Jayate’ that was released as a part of the Indian Panorama (1999-2000) during a film festival in Hyderabad. Jayate was inspired by the 1984 Bollywood film ‘Saaransh,’ but it never got released.
- The bankable director went through a dark phase at the beginning of his career. In 2000, he directed a Bollywood film, “Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar!!,” starring Manoj Bajpayee and Tabu. The film was critically acclaimed for its dark humour even though it failed badly at the box office. While talking about this film, he said,
- During this period, he gave a series of washouts with movies like Chhal (2002), Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai? (2002), and Woodstock Villa (2008). It was the failure of Woodstock Villa that made him take a three-year-long sabbatical from directing movies. He then left his job as the COO at the White Feather Films Ltd, a production company founded by famous producer and filmmaker Sanjay Gupta. In a media interaction with The Times of India, he said,
I went off to a small village Malavali between Lonavala and Pune with my partner Safeena Hussain. At 10,000 to 15000 a month we could survive. I wanted to free the knots in my head. I cooked, I blogged. Through blogging my political thoughts also found a voice. That drew me to Shahid Azmi’s (slain Human Rights lawyer) story.”
- The director made a comeback in 2012 with the biographical drama film “Shahid” based on the life of human rights lawyer and activist Shahid Azmi who was assassinated in 2010. He was known for defending cases of only those who were allegedly accused of terrorism. The film was premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, and it was awarded the Silver Gateway Trophy at the Mumbai film festival where Mehta won the award for Best Director. He also won the Best Director Award for the film at the 61st National Film Awards ceremony.
- Hansal was very impressed by Rajkummar Rao‘s performance in Shahid. He also collaborated with Rao in movies like CityLights (2014), Aligarh (2015), Omerta (2017), and Chhalaang (2020). Aligarh received a standing ovation at the 20th Busan Film Festival and the 17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival.
- Hansal Mehta earned popularity as a critically and commercially successful director with the humongous success of SonyLiv’s web series Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story, released in 2020. Scam 1992 is based on the life of stockbroker Harshad Mehta who is infamous for committing the Indian stock market scam in 1992.
- Hansal got separated from his wife Sunita after 11 years of marriage. His son Pallava is a special child suffering from Down syndrome.
When he was born I'd no idea what Down's Syndrome meant let alone knowing what life would have in store for him and us. I learnt later that all it meant for all of us was pure, unconditional love. Happy Birthday Darling Pallava. We are blessed to have you in our lives. pic.twitter.com/sWSHNtsZpK
— Hansal Mehta (@mehtahansal) October 4, 2018
- Hansal’s daughters, Kimaya and Rihanna (from his wife Safeena), were born out of wedlock.
- He has his own production company, Karma Pictures.