Learn Film Direction From Madhur Bhandarkar

Published by admin on

Madhur Bhandarkar is one of the most gifted Indian film directors who carved his niche by making movies that create a social impact. He is also a scriptwriter and producer. His first movie was Trishakti, which bombed at the box office, but he never lost hope and went on to direct several national award-winning films.

The hard-hitting film Chandni Bar released in 2001, won him the National Film Award for Best Film on Social Issues. Madhur Bhandarkar also received the National Film Awards for the Best Feature Film for Page 3 (2005) and Best Director and Traffic Signal (2007).

Fashion released in 2008 was greatly appreciated by both the critics and the general public and won him Filmfare Awards nominations for Best Director and Best Screenplay.

Madhur Bhandarkar worked as a delivery boy for a video cassette library in Khar. This gave him free access to an extensive collection of old and new movies, and he learned filmmaking by watching the great masters of cinema.

After assisting a few small-time filmmakers, Madhur Bhandarkar got the opportunity to work as an associate director to Ram Gopal Varma.

Two years later he made his first film as a director, Trishakti. It took more than three years to make the film and it released in 1999. The film had a relatively unknown cast and completely flopped at the box office. But his directing ability was well appreciated, and he made his mark as a director who understands the medium-well.

Just after two years, he directed Chandni Bar (2001) with Tabu in the lead role as a Bar Dancer with a budget of Rs 1.5 crores. The film was greatly appreciated by film critics and was a box office success.  Chandni Bar took Madhur Bhandarkar into the top league of film directors in Bollywood. He also received his first National Award for Chandni Bar.

Madhur Bhandarkar has also won National awards for Traffic Signal and Page-3. Also, Priyanka Chopra won National award for Best actress and Kangana Ranaut won National award for Best Supporting Actress for Fashion (2008).

Madhur has been described as ‘the Film Maker of the First Decade of the 21st Century and was conferred with PL Deshpande Award, Zenith Asia Award for significantly shaping the film making culture in his unique works.

Movies like Chandni Bar, Traffic Signal, Page-3, Corporate, Jail, and Fashion found space in Government’s Archival data for Indian films. As in November 2010, National Film Archive of India (NFAI) announced to preserve all the movies of Madhur Bhandarkar.

A school drop-out Bhandarkar hails from a Maharashtrian family. He came from a middle-class family. As a result, he had to take up different odd jobs. But what changed his luck was working at a video store as an errand boy. He dropped off video cassettes to people’s houses, even few dance bar girls and film stars. He has also sold chewing gum at traffic signals and worked as an assistant to many small-time directors for a salary of ₹1000.

According to him, the corporate world shunned him after he bared Page 3 culture in his film Corporate and so he considers Corporate as his most difficult film. His inspiration for Corporate came from the Pepsi and Coke controversy.  But today he is being invited to deliver lectures on corporate issues to management students by some of the top management institutes. 

Bhandarkar married his longtime friend Renu Namboodiri on 15 December 2003 in Mumbai, and they have a daughter named Siddhi.

Directorial style

  • Madhur Bhandarkar is known to make women-centric movies, and all his female protagonists have powerful roles,  Chandni Bar – Tabu, Satta – Raveena Tandon, Page 3 – Konkona Sen Sharma,  Corporate – Bipasha Basu, Traffic Signal – Neetu Chandra, Fashion – Priyanka Chopra and Heroine – Kareena Kapoor
  • He has also made movies which revolved around subjected that were never explored in Indian cinema. Example Jail in which Neil Nitin Mukesh was cast as the protagonist. He has also almost always shown gay characters in his films like in Page 3, Traffic Signal and Fashion.
  • In an interview, he said: “My films put a mirror in front of you and shows the real society. They are not judgmental; I just show what happens in our society, sometimes this could be a solution, and sometimes there may be none. Life goes on.” Madhur Bhandarkar is happy to be known for his hard-hitting and realistic films.
  • Bhandarkar was awarded the Padma Shri in 2016, the fourth highest civilian award, by the Government of India. On June 21 United Nations invited him as the special Guest of Honour for the First International Yoga Day celebrations at the in New York.
  • Information and Broadcasting Ministry has nominated Madhur Bhandarkar as society member of the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI). Madhur Bhandarkar also received the Bharat Gaurav award at the UN hall in New York.
  • His unique film making style and depiction of a society in such an honest manner won him an award in 2019 from Filmfare Middle East, Muscat. His contribution was described as path-breaking direction in Indian cinema.


  • 2017      Indu Sarkar     –    Director               
  • 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
    1. Nominated-Filmfare Award for Best Director
    2. Nominated-Filmfare Award for Best Screenplay
    3. Nominated-Screen Award for Best Story
    4. Nominated-IIFA Award for Best Director
    5. Nominated-IIFA Award for Best Story
    6. Nominated-Stardust Award for Best Film
    7. Nominated-Stardust Award for Best Director
  • 2007      Traffic Signal    –  Director, Writer (Dialogue, Screenplay & Story)
    1.  National Film Award for Best Director
  • 2006      Corporate      –     Director, Writer (Screenplay) Case Study for IIM Ahmedabad
  • 2005      Page 3  – Director, Writer (Dialogue)
    1.  National Film Award for Best Feature Film
    2. Nominated-Filmfare Award for Best Director
  • 2004      Aan: Men at Work    –       Director, Writer (Dialogue & Story)            
  • 2003      Satta  –   Director, Writer (Dialogue & Story)
    1. Won All India Human Rights Association Award
  • 2001      Chandni Bar    –   Director, writer
    1. National Film Award for Best Film on Social Issues
  • 1999      Trishakti        –    Director               
  • 1995      Rangeela      –     Actor
Categories: Film Direction

1 Comment

KIRAN KUMAR YADAV · September 13, 2020 at 1:50 pm

Hi sir
I had completed all the lessons in this course but 14th lesson is not opening
It was awesome experience
And also want to know that new lessons of filmmaking, videography and editing classes are going to launch

Comments are closed.