Madhur Bhandarkar (born 26 August 1968) is an Indian film director, script writer, and producer. He made his directorial debut with Trishakti and went on to direct several critically and commercially successful films.
The drama film Chandni Bar (2001), won him the National Film Award for Best Film on Social Issues. Bhandarkar received the National Film Awards for the Best Feature Film and Best Director for Page 3 (2005) and Traffic Signal (2007) respectively. The drama film Fashion (2008) garnered him several accolades including Filmfare Awards nominations for Best Director and Best Screenplay.
Madhur was recently invited as the special Guest of Honour for the First International Yoga Day celebrations at the United Nations in New York on June 21. In 2016, Bhandarkar was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, by the Government of India.
Madhur Bhandarkar has been nominated as society member of the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI) by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. He also received the Bharat Gaurav award at the UN hall in New York.
In April 2017, Madhur Bhandarkar was invited to represent India at BRICS Film Festival.
Madhur Bhandarkar worked in a video cassette library in Khar, a suburb of Mumbai. This gave him access to a large collection of movies and he studied film-making through it.
After trying his skills with small-time filmmakers as an assistant, Bhandarkar landed up as an assistant to Ram Gopal Varma. He even played his first cameo in his 1995 film Rangeela where he was the associate director to Ram Gopal Varma. A couple of years later he made his directorial debut with Trishakti which took more than three years to make and released in 1999. The film had a relatively low key cast and was largely ignored at the box office. After two years he directed Chandni Bar (2001) starring Tabu and Atul Kulkarni with a budget of Rs 15 million. The film was critically acclaimed and a box office success, which took Bhandarkar into the top league of filmmakers in Bollywood. He received his first National Award for this film and thereon won National awards for his films Page-3 and Traffic Signal. His movie Fashion (2008) also won National Awards for Best Actress (Priyanka Chopra) and for Best Supporting Actress (Kangana Ranaut).
Madhur was conferred PL Deshpande Award a.k.a. Zenith Asia Award for significantly shaping the film making culture in his unique works and he has been described as 'the Film Maker of the First Decade of the 21st Century'. On the Silver Jubilee Year of Aashay Film Club, award ceremony took place on 16 Nov at National Film Archive Theatre during the eighth Pulotsav – An Art Festival in Pune. PL Deshpande was a renowned writer, stage and film actor and his literary works are still revered in Maharashtra and others parts of the world. In his honour, Zenith Asia Award was given to Madhur Bhandarkar and his film Chandni Bar was also screened during the fest amongst landmark 25 films from world cinema.
In Nov, 2010 National Film Archive of India (NFAI) announced to preserve all the films of Madhur Bhandarkar. Chandni Bar, Page-3, Corporate, Traffic Signal, Fashion and Jail found space in Government's Archival data for Indian films.
Bhandarkar hails from a Marathi speaking family. He is a school drop-out. He came from a middle-class family. As a result, Madhur had to take up various jobs. He worked at a video store as an errand boy and dropped off cassettes to people from many walks of life including dance bar girls and film stars. He also sold chewing gum at traffic signals and worked as an assistant to small-time directors for a salary of ₹1000.
He is a great devotee of the Hindu God Siddhivinayak and has been walking from his house in Khar, Mumbai to the temple for the past 18 years on every Tuesday. Madhur also regularly visits Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu & Kashmir and the Golden Temple in Amritsar. According to him, the film Corporate was his most difficult film as people in corporate world would shun him after he bared Page 3 culture in his earlier film. He took inspiration for Corporate from the Coke – Pepsi controversy. He has been invited to deliver lectures on corporate issues to management students after the release of Corporate. (Interview to TV channel IBN Lokmat on 26 November 2008) Bhandarkar married his girlfriend Renu Namboodiri on 15 December 2003 in Mumbai. They have a daughter named Siddhi.
In most of his films, Bhandarkar's protagonist are females. (Tabu in Chandni Bar, Raveena Tandon in Satta, Konkona Sen Sharma in Page 3, Bipasha Basu in Corporate, Neetu Chandra in Traffic Signal, Priyanka Chopra in Fashion and Kareena Kapoor in Heroine.) The exception here being Neil Nitin Mukesh, who was cast as the protagonist in the movie Jail. He has also depicted gay characters in his movies like Page 3, Traffic Signal and Fashion.
In an interview, he said: "My movies are not exposes, maybe they just hold up a mirror to society. My movies are not judgmental; I just show what happens in our society, sometimes there could be a solution and sometimes there may be none. Life goes on.". Madhur is known for his hard-hitting and realistic films.2016: Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, by the Government of India.
National Film Awards
2007: Best Direction: Traffic Signal
Sophia Awards at Syracuse International Film Festival 2014.
Conferred with the prestigious British honour - the Creative Spirit and Visionary Director's Award for 2013-14 - at the House of Commons, London, UK
State of Maharashtra conferred Bhandarkar with the Raj Kapoor Smriti Award for contribution to Indian cinema.
Chandni Bar, Best Film at Zimbabwe International Film Festival 2003 and Technical Award for Best Background Music Score at Moscow International Film Festival 2003.
Page 3, Official Selection at the Raindance Film Festival, London 2006 and IFFLA Los Angeles 2006. Corporate, Official Selection at the Berlin Asia-Pacific Film Festival 2006.
Fashion, Official Selection at the 31st Moscow International Film Festival 2009, Festival de Festivals, St.Petersburg 2009 and Norway Bollywood Festival 2009.
Retrospective of Page 3, Traffic Signal and Fashion with Russian Sub-Titles held by the Ministry of Culture, Russia and SOVEXPORTFILM in Moscow 2009.
Retrospective of Chandni Bar, Page 3, Corporate, Traffic Signal, Fashion and Jail at the 33rd Cairo International Film Festival 2009.
In 2009 he was awarded the Best Director for his Outstanding Contribution to Indian Cinema by the Ministry of Culture, Russia.
A retrospective of five films made by the filmmaker were showcased at the 33rd Cairo International Film Festival in Egypt from 10–20 November 2009. The films included Chandni Bar, Page3, Corporate, Traffic Signal and Fashion. Bhandarkar was present for the International event.
Bhandarkar received the Society Leading Lights Leadership Award in March 2017.
Mayor of Mumbai – Excellency Award (2006)
Kalaranjani Awards – (2005)
Kalakar Awards for Best Director (2007) for Corporate
Pride of Nation Award
Kesari Gaurav Sanman
Lions Gold Award (2005–06) (2008–09)
Asian Film Foundation Award (2008)
Farsa Award (2009)
Jury Special Salute - Mirchi Music Awards (2016)