Mahesh Bhatt (born 20 September 1948) is an Indian film director, producer and screenwriter known for his works exclusively in Hindi cinema. A stand-out film from his earlier period is Saaransh (1984), screened at the 14th Moscow International Film Festival, and became India’s official entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for that year.The 1986 film Naam was his first piece of commercial cinema. In 1987, he turned producer with the film Kabzaa under the banner, “Vishesh Films”, with his brother Mukesh Bhatt.
Bhatt went on to become one of the most recognized directors of the Indian film industry in the next decade, giving both art-house works such as Daddy (1989) and Swayam (1991, and launching his daughter Pooja Bhatt as a movie actress, ) as well as commercial romantic hits like Awaargi (1990), Aashiqui (1990) and Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin (1991), in which he cast Pooja with actor Aamir Khan. He next directed Sadak (1991) which remains his highest grossing either directed or produced under the banner, “Vishesh Films”.
Bhatt was born to Nanabhai Bhatt and Shirin Mohammad Ali.Bhatt’s father was a Gujarati Brahmin and his mother was a Gujarati Muslim of Dawoodi Bohra background.Among his siblings is the Indian film producer Mukesh Bhatt. Bhatt did his schooling from Don Bosco High School, Matunga. While still in school, Bhatt started summer jobs to earn money, while also making product advertisements. He was introduced to film director Raj Khosla through acquaintances.
At the age 26 Bhatt made his debut as a director with the film Manzilein Aur Bhi Hain in 1974. His 1979 Lahu Ke Do Rang, starring Shabana Azmi and Vinod Khanna in lead roles, won two Filmfare Awards in 1980 Helen received her first Filmfare as Best Supporting Actress and Madhukar Shinde won it for Best Art Direction. The film did “above average” at the box office.He was noticed and received great critical acclaim with art film Arth (1982), when he turned to his personal life for inspiration but doubt persists as to whether it is an original film.Bhatt believes the Congress party is committed to secularism. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he campaigned in a Karvan-e-Bedari (caravan of awareness) asking people to vote for Congress and defeat BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, as he believes that Mr. Modi is communal. Bhatt also criticizes communal record of Congress Party, for its role in Rajiv Gandhi Sponsored 1984 Sikh genocide. He is planning to make a film, which will address the 1984 Sikh genocide that took place in Delhi.