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Madhur Bhandarkar (born 26 August 1968) is an Indian film director, script writer, and producer. In 2016, Bhandarkar was honoured with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour, by the Government of India.[1]

Madhur Bhandarkar
Madhur Bhandarkar on the Sets of Heroine
Born (1968-08-26) 26 August 1968 (age 54)
OccupationFilm critic, Film director
Years active1995-present
Renu Namboodiri
(m. 2003)
HonoursPadma Shri (2016)

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 National Film Award, Filmfare Awards nominations for Best Director and Best Screenplay. Madhur Co-Produced a Bengali film Avijatrik based on the novel Aparajito by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay, The film won National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Bengali in 2021 and this was Madhur's 5th National Award [2]

Madhur Bhandarkar has been nominated as society member of the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.[3]


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.

Personal life

Bhandarkar hails from a Marathi and Konkani[4] speaking Gaud Saraswat Brahmin 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.[5]

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.[6] They have a daughter named Siddhi.


[7] While in 2012, Supreme Court justices H L Dattu and C K Prasad passed an order quashing the ongoing criminal proceedings, noting that Preeti Jain did not want to pursue the case against Bhandarkar and that the Mumbai police had earlier called the claim false and thus given him a clean chit. Initially, in 2004, Preeti Jain, a model and actress, accused Madhur Bhandarkar of rape and lodged a complaint with the Versova Police where she alleged that the filmmaker had raped her 16 times between 1999 and 2004 with the promise of casting her in his films. She also alleged that he promised to marry her and produced SMS texts, where he had reportedly asked for sexual favours, as evidence. Bhandarkar claimed that the complaint was cheating-related, not about rape. In 2011, a Mumbai court found substance in her complaint and asked Bhandarkar to face the trial. He challenged the lower court's order before the higher court, which too rejected his plea. In 2011, the police filed a report where it stated that the claim against the filmmaker was 'maliciously false'. The court rejected this report and held there was prima facie a case against Bhandarkar. The Bombay High Court confirmed the magisterial court's decision to continue with Bhandarkar's prosecution. In 2011, the Bombay high court asked the filmmaker to face the trial in the case. He challenged the court's order in Supreme Court. A Supreme Court bench quashed a rape case that had been filed against Bollywood director Madhur Bhandarkar on November 05, 2012. [8]

However, prior to this, in 2005, in a bizarre turn of events, Preeti was arrested for hiring a contract killer to murder Bhandarkar. She was to pay Rs 75,000 to Naresh Pardeshi, the associate of infamous Mumbai don Arun Gawli to kill the filmmaker. Reports suggest that the model demanded her money back because the execution failed to take place. When Gawli was made aware of this, he instructed his lawyer to file a complaint against her at the Agripada police station. The rape case was cited as one of the reasons why she wanted the filmmaker dead. After a week long probe, the police arrested her while she was on her way to the Versova Police station. The initial trial began at a fast-track court in Sewri, which shut down, and consequently, the case was transferred to the sessions court. She was awarded a three-year imprisonment and found guilty of conspiracy, aiding and abetting crime.

Directorial style

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.".[9] Madhur is known for his hard-hitting and realistic films.[10][11]


Year Film Role Notes
2022 Babli Bouncer Director at OTT Platform ( Disney Plus Hotstar)
2021 Avijatrik Producer National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Bengali
2017 Indu Sarkar Director Won the Best Director award at the prestigious Bollywood Festival Norway [12]
2015 Calendar Girls Director
2012 Heroine Director
2011 Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji Director
2009 Jail Director, co-Writer
2008 Fashion Director, Writer (Story & Screenplay), producer Nominated-Filmfare Award for Best Director
Nominated-Filmfare Award for Best Screenplay
Nominated-Screen Award for Best Story
Nominated-IIFA Award for Best Director
Nominated-IIFA Award for Best Story
Nominated-Stardust Award for Best Film
Nominated-Stardust Award for Best Director
2007 Traffic Signal Director,
Writer (Dialogue, Screenplay & Story)
National Film Award for Best Director
2006 Corporate Director,
Writer (Screenplay)
Case Study for IIM Ahmedabad
2005 Page 3 Director,
Writer (Dialogue)
National Film Award for Best Feature Film
Nominated-Filmfare Award for Best Director
2004 Aan: Men at Work Director,
Writer (Dialogue & Story)
2003 Satta Director,
Writer (Dialogue & Story)
Won All India Human Rights Association Award
2001 Chandni Bar Director,
National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues
1999 Trishakti Director
1995 Rangeela Actor


Specials @ 10Sony TV



International awards

Other awards


  1. "Rajinikanth gets Padma Vibhushan; Padma Shri for Priyanka Chopra, Ajay Devgn". The Indian Express. 25 January 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  3. "Madhur Bhandarkar to join society of Satyajit Ray's institute". The Indian Express. 9 January 2017.
  4. "मधुर भांडारकर : परिस्थितीचे चटके खात मोठा झालेला, आता स्वतःशीच झगडत असलेला गुणी दिग्दर्शक!".
  5. "I've no friends in Bollywood: Madhur". The Times of India. 27 September 2009. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  6. "Madhur Bhandarkar's wife Renu Namboodiri hates dark films : EYECATCHERS". India Today. 29 December 2003. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  7. "Preeti Jain-Madhur Bhandarkar: Rape charges to conspiracy to kill, how the case unfolded-Entertainment News , Firstpost". 29 April 2017.
  8. "Victim withdraws, SC quashes rape case against Madhur Bhandarkar -Entertainment News , Firstpost". 5 November 2012.
  9. "My films just hold up a mirror to society' - Madhur Bhandarkar". Business Of Cinema. 25 January 2007.
  10. "Madhur: Hard-hitting movie again! - News".
  11. "6 unforgettable hard-hitting films of Madhur Bhandarkar".
  12. "Madhur Bhandarkar wins best director award for Indu Sarkar at Bollywood Festival Norway : Bollywood News". 11 September 2017.
  13. "'Lage Raho Munnabhai' best popular film". Archived from the original on 5 October 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2022.
  14. "Madhur Bhandarkar honoured with Sophia Award in New York". Indo-Asian News Service. 12 October 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  15. "Bhandarkar honoured at the House of Commons". Hindustan Times. 8 November 2014. Archived from the original on 16 February 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  16. "Madhur Bhandarkar to receive Raj Kapoor Smriti Awards". The Indian Express. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  17. "Star-studded Society Leadership Awards 2017". BizAsia. 27 March 2017.
  18. "About The Kalakar Awards - Kalakarawards" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 April 2012.
  19. "Madhur Bhandarkar at Mirchi Music Award Jury Bollywood Helpline". Retrieved 11 March 2016.

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