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), Karz (1980), Hero (1983), Meri Jung (1985), Karma (1986), Ram Lakhan (1989), Saudagar (1991), Khalnayak (1993), Pardes (1997), Taal (1999), and Black & White (2008). 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. In 2015, He received the IIFA Award for outstanding contribution to Indian Cinema.
Subhash Ghai was born in Nagpur in a Punjabi family. His father was a dentist who practised in Delhi. Subhash did his higher secondary in Delhi and thereafter graduated in Commerce from Rohtak, Haryana. In 1963, he moved to Pune, Maharashtra, to join the Film and Television Institute of India. In 1970, he 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.
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). 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. 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. 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 and White released on 7 March 2008 and, later Yuvvraaj released in November 2008 which didn't perform well at the box office. A. R. Rahman stated in an interview that Ghai had asked him to use the words "Jai Ho" in a song.National Film Awards
2006: National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues: Iqbal (Producer)
1998: Best Screenplay: Pardes
2015: IIFA Award for outstanding contribution to Indian Cinema
2013: Skill Tree Education Evangelist of India