Shashank Khaitan

Director, Screenplay, Story Writer, Dialogue Writer

Personal Info

  • Place of Birth: Born in India

Biography

Shashank Khaitan is an Indian film writer and director who is best known for his film Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (2014) and Badrinath Ki Dulhania (2017).

Early Life

Khaitan was born in Kolkata and raised in Nashik, Maharashtra in a Marwari business family. He was interested in watching movies since a very young age, he was initially more into sports, playing cricket and tennis tournaments. At the age of 17, he decided to pursue a career in entertainment.

Khaitan joined Whistling Woods International Institute  to break into the movie industry. He credits the institute with giving him the technical background, and also credits the institute’s faculty  with making him feel comfortable on set by inviting the students to accompany them to set. In 2008, Khaitan starred as Manohar in Roorkee By-Pass, a 22-minute drama directed by Arundhati Sen Verma, and assisted on the set of Subhash Ghai’s Black & White.

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Career

Khaitan, who believed that Bollywood had not produced a great love story since Jab We Met, strove to keep the characters more real and grounded, while at the same time conveying a grand love story. In response to critics who say that the movie continues some old Bollywood cliches such as approval of parents, he calls this a reflection of how Indian society has not changed all that much since the making of DDLJ.

After finishing the first draft of his script, then with the title Humpty Sharma Di Love Story, Khaitan sent it to Dharma Productions. Karan Johar looked at the script, said he liked it, and said that Dharma Productions would make the film, though he wasn’t sure if Khaitan would direct it. Khaitan made some improvements to the script and Johar decided to let Khaitan direct. This was a departure from precedent at Dharma, where most directors were people who had previously worked as assistant directors or assistant producers. Khaitan selected Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt for the movie after watching their performance in Student Of The Year. One of Khaitan’s goals with the filming was to “keep it real” and to make sure that all characters were well-prepared before they shot a scene.

In May 2016, it was announced that Khaitan will write and direct another romantic comedy under the Dharma Productions banner with Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt playing the lead roles. Although the two films will have different plots and characters, the film is considered the second installment in a franchise that began with Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania. The second installment, titled Badrinath Ki Dulhania, has been released on 10 of march 2017

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