Karan Johar – Most Publicized Bollywood Film Maker In India

September 24, 2016

Guerrilla Filmmaking

Karan Johar is the one of the most illustrious and the most publicized Bollywood film-maker in India. His films have been huge commercial blockbusters that have been hugely popular with the masses all over the world and have been responsible for gauging more and more global audience to Bollywood.

Name:Karan Johar
Born:25th May, 1972 Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Years Active: 1995- Present

Early Life

Karan was born to Hiroo and Yash Johar in the year 1972. His father, Yash Johar, was the founder of the film production house Dharma Productions, and was among the top film producers in the 80s. Hence, Karan was very much influenced by the Hindi film industry at a very young age. He was less into studies and was more engrossed by films right from his childhood, particularly commercial Indian cinema. He was greatly inspired by film-makers Raj Kapoor, Yash Chopra and Sooraj R. Barjatya.

As a child, Karan always dreams of being a famous celebrity. His father was a highly influential figure in Bollywood, so Karan grew up amidst the company of the Bachchans, the Kapoors, the Roshans, the Yash Raj family among whom Hrithik Roshan, Uday Chopra, Abhishek Bachchan were among his best of friends. Karan would attend their birthday parties and would hang out with them discussing just films.

On the other hand, while studying at Green Lawn High School in South Mumbai, Karan would never disclose to his school friends that his father was a film producer in Bollywood. When asked about his father, Karan would insist that his father had nothing to do with films, and that he was just a businessman. So he often denied any connection with the film industry. Karan’s peer group, in his school, looked down upon Bollywood and hence, he kept all his admiration for films within himself.

As Karan grew up, he realized that his love for cinema kept growing too: rushing home after school to catch movies on video, collecting the latest Hindi films, attending review screenings and bursting into tears when his parents would refuse to take him for preview shows. Karan couldn’t restrain himself from his biggest passion – cinema.

It was while studying at H R College of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai, Karan bonded deeply with Yash Chopra’s eldest son, Aditya Chopra, who himself was equally passionate about movies. Together, they would discuss films and just films open-halfheartedly. It was this Aditya, who had kept something waiting for the film-maker in Karan.


One day, Aditya wanted to narrate a story he had written to Karan. Karan soon developed a keen interest in the story. The next two months saw Karan working along with Aditya on the scripting of the film, till one day Aditya asked Karan to assist him on the making of that story into a film. But, Karan was all set to go to Paris to get a degree in Mass Communications. He dropped the plan, to help Aditya make the film. That film was ‘DILWALE DULHANIA LE JAYENGE’.

Along with co-writing the screenplay, Karan became the assistant director on the Aditya Chopra directorial debut ‘DILWALE DULHANIA LE JAYENGE’. He also appeared in the film in a cameo as Rocky who was a friend of Raj (Shahrukh Khan) who travels with him on his Euro-trip. The film released in the year 1995 and went on to become one of the top 7 biggest blockbusters in the history of Indian cinema and the longest running film in the world.

In the year 1998, for Dharma Productions’ ‘DUPLICATE’, starring Shahrukh Khan and directed by Mahesh Bhatt, Karan helped develop the script and also assisted in the production.

It was while the filming of ‘DILWALE DULHANIA LE JAYENGE’ that Shahrukh suggested Karan to direct his own film. Karan couldn’t wait longer.


1998 – In the year 1998, came Karan Johar’s directorial debut, ‘KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI’ (also written by him) which starred Karan’s closest friend Shahrukh Khan along with Kajol, Rani Mukherjee and Salman Khan in a special appearance. It was a film about three college friends and their journey of friendship infused with some heart-warming romance. The film ended up been one of the biggest blockbusters of the decade in Bollywood. It was a huge success in the overseas market as well, and was responsible for widening the market to a greater level. The film won 8 Filmfare Awards (including the Filmfare Award for Best Director). It became the first Indian feature film to figure in the UK Top 10.

2001 – Karan brought together Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan , Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor in the family drama ‘KABHI KHUSHI KABHIE GHAM’. The film became the second biggest grosser of the year. It revived the Hindi film industry, which was running very low at that time, and opened more overseas markets all over the globe. ‘KABHI KHUSHI KABHIE GHAM’ also holds the prestigious record of being the first Indian film to enter the US top ten charts. In fact, it is the first Indian film to have a mainstream release in the territories of Germany, France and Poland.

2006 – Karan supposedly conceived the story of his third directorial venture when he overheard a couple breaking up in a most civilized fashion in a restaurant on the adjacent table. ‘KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA’ was a romantic drama film which explored themes of adultery and extramarital affairs. The film starred Shahrukh Khan, Rani Mukherjee, Abhishek Bachchan, Preity Zinta, Amitabh Bachchan and Kirron Kher. The film was met with a highly mixed response in India because of its bold theme on infidelity. But in the overseas, the film saw record breaking collections and became the biggest ever Bollywood grosser overseas until the year 2009.

2010 – ‘MY NAME IS KHAN’ was about Khan (Shahrukh Khan), an autistic

Muslim from India, who embarked on an extraordinary journey across the United States, discovering love & humanity, inspiring people to create an accidental revolution. The film received generally positive reviews. The film was a huge success all over, especially the overseas where it grossed 20 million dollars (the highest for any Indian film).


Karan, under his banner Dharma Productions, co-produced ‘DUPLICATE’ in 1998. His first sole film as a producer was ‘KAL HO NA HO’ (2003) which was written by Karan himself and directed by his assistant Nikhil Advani. In 2005, Karan co-produced ‘KAAL’ with Shahrukh’s Red Chillies Entertainment.

In the year 2007, Karan became a full-fledged producer and announced about half a dozen films to be directed by newcomers who had been his assistants on his films. The first one been Tarun Mansukhani’s ‘DOSTANA’ (2008), followed by Ayan Mukerji’s ‘WAKE UP SID’ (2009), then Renzil D’Silvas ‘KURBAAN’ (2009) and Punit Malhotra’s ‘I HATE LUV STORIES’ (2010). Except ‘KURBAAN’,

all the other films have performed well enough.
Upcoming films are Siddharth Malhotra’s ‘WE ARE FAMILY’ (2010) and Tarun Mansukhani’s ‘KOOCHIE KOOCHIE HOTA HAI’ (2010).


Karan had appeared on the small screen in the sci-fi series “Indradhanush” (1989) based on time travel which was directed by Anant Mahadevan.

Karan is also the host of the television chat show “Koffee with Karan” where he interviews renowned celebrities from Bollywood and India’s glamor world. Two seasons of the show have already been aired, the first in 2004-06 and the second in 2007. He’s ready with the third season and it promises to be even bitchier.

In 2010, Karan hosted the talk show “Lift Kara De” which featured 20 Bollywood actors on a quest for their biggest fan.


Karan is known to have a great taste in clothes. He had designed costumes for Shahrukh Khan for ‘DIL TO PAGAL HAI’ (1997), ‘DUPLICATE’ (1998), ‘VEER ZARA’ (2004) and ‘MAIN HOON NA’ (2004), ‘MOHABBATEIN’ (2000) and ‘OM SHANTI OM’ (2007).

Personal Life

Karan Johar is on the board of the television entertainment company NDTV Imagine, where he will work with the company to achieve new levels of excellence in entertainment programming.

In 2007, Karan was chosen as one of the 250 Global Young Leaders by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum 2006.

On 30 September 2006, Karan became the first Indian filmmaker to be a jury member in the Miss World competition, in Warsaw, Poland.
Categories: Directors Producer.

Riddhi Mehta is editor of http://www.bollywoodchaska.com/content/karan_johar-210. She has over 3 years writing experience for bollywood movies. She says whatever she feels. She is not worried how bollywood will react to her views.

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