These are what make up our celluloid dreams at Dharma Productions. Enrapturing audiences all around the world, our films have raked in success for the company and its associates.
Established by Late Shri Yash Johar in 1976, Dharma Productions endeavor has always been to produce high quality cinema that is accepted and appreciated by audiences across the world. Soon after its inception, Dharma Productions became a buzzword for stellar productions such as 'Dostana', 'Duniya', 'Muqaddar Ka Faisla', 'Agneepath' and 'Gumrah'.
Dharma's reputation as a clean, honest company grew with each of these films and helped build a tremendous amount of goodwill within the fraternity and outside of it.
What followed next was cinematic history from Dharma Productions.
1998 saw the release of Dharma Productions' Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, the directorial debut of Karan Johar that featured the most loved on-screen couple of contemporary Indian cinema, Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol. This massive production turned into a huge box office blockbuster and became the first Indian feature film to figure in the UK Top 10 (Empire, December 1998).
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai not only broke box-office records but also accumulated a number of National and International awards. Hailed for its superlative performances and excellent craftsmanship Kuch Kuch Hota Hai is acclaimed for its unparalleled standards in presentation, styling and production mounting till this date. Its landmark recognition has been the Indian National Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.
All of these landmark achievements set up a huge expectancy and anticipation for the next movie from Dharma Productions, and Karan Johar did not fail to deliver. 2001 saw the release of Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, ('Laughter and Sadness'), which was scripted and directed by Karan and featured a line-up of Indian megastars across generations. This movie lit up the silver screen with its casting coup of industry stalwarts Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan, contemporary megastars Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, and current heartthrobs Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor.
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham represented everything that was ever expected of a Dharma Productions movie in terms of its grandeur, exquisiteness, and touching storyline and it won millions of hearts across the world. The movie established new box-office benchmarks, featured in both the US and UK Top Ten Listings, and went on to win awards at a host of National and International Film Festivals.
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham made its debut at No. 3 on the UK chart (behind Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings) and was on the Top Ten Films in UK for 4 consecutive weeks in a row. Besides being invited at various International Film Festivals across the Globe, it has also been listed in the Top 20 Asian Films by admission in Europe in the Cannes Film Festival 2002. In fact Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham is the first Indian film to have a mainstream release in the territories of Germany, France and Poland. It was very well received with Five Awards including the Best Actress Awards for Kajol at the Valenciennes International Film Festival, France.
With a clear vision of how he wanted to nurture Dharma Productions, Karan Johar embarked on producing films with independent directors under his banner. The first step towards this goal was Kal Ho Naa Ho a film produced by Dharma Productions, written by Karan Johar and directed by his long time associate and assistant Nikhil Advani.
Kal Ho Naa Ho, besides starring old favourites like Jaya Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan, also had Preity Zinta and Saif Ali Khan. Besides being hugely successful in the domestic market, this film also became a top grosser in UK and USA. Kal Ho Naa Ho also screened at the International Film Festival - Faces of love, MOSCOW and International Film Festival Berlinale, BERLIN.
The Screenplay of 'Kal Ho Naa Ho' has found a place in the Oscar Archives at the Library of Motion Pictures, Arts and Science, an academy where scripts are collected and preserved mainly for the use for research by actors, students, film-makers and writers who are regular patrons of the library.
Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (Never Say Goodbye), the third directorial venture from Karan Johar dealt with the mature and bold theme of infidelity and was received with a tremendous response internationally. Apart from being a commercial success, the film raised a lot of debate in the country on the changing views on marriage in India. The varied opinions on the film's point of view only added to the company's profile as a production house unafraid to raise issues that are less discussed.
Released in August 2006, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (Never Say Goodbye) has grossed a record-breaking sale of US $ 30 million worldwide. It holds the distinction of having the biggest opening worldwide ever in the history of Indian Cinema and has gone on to become the highest grossing Indian film in the Overseas Market to date.
Around this time, Karan also embarked on a journey to actively nurture young directors. To give them a voice and to make their kind of cinema...cinema for the young, by the young. His protégés went on to create a world within a world...with beautiful stories told.
Dostana (Friendship), Tarun Mansukhani's directorial debut, was released worldwide in November 2008. Rated as one of the finest comedies of the year, Dostana continued Dharma Productions' endeavor to push the envelope thematically. The film initiated debates all over India about homosexuality and attained pop-culture status for the subject - a mammoth task in a country where homosexuality is still not legally recognized. By the use of humor, Dostana helped homosexuality enter the drawing rooms and board room discussions in India. Dostana was a commercial success as well, raking in over US $ 20 million worldwide.
Oct 2, 2010 saw the release of Wake up Sid. Helmed by debutant Ayan Mukherjee, this film saw both critical and commercial acclaim. Shot entirely in Mumbai, the film starred today's youth icon, Ranbir Kapoor in the leading role. A coming of age film, Wake Up Sid takes a look at young India's aspirations and their sense of purpose. The film won many laurels in the awards circuit including the best debut award (direction) for Ayan Mukherjee at the Film fare awards in 2009.
November 2009 was marked by another release Kurbaan. Rensil D'Silva's directorial debut had Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor in leading roles. The film talks about the times we live in and an individual's take on terrorism. Once again, Dharma Productions looks at a new theme, albeit controversial, taking story telling and pushing the envelope to newer heights.
My Name is Khan, Karan Johar's fourth directorial venture and a mammoth production starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, released on February 12, 2010. Set against the backdrop of the aftermath of 9/11, the film deals with racial stereotyping suffered by Asians in America and one man's quest to spread the message of tolerance and love. The film opened to a thunderous response not only in India but all over the world. It premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, a first for an Indian film, where the film was received with a standing ovation from audiences all over the world. My Name is Khan has gone down in history as the most successful Indian film in the international markets raking in well over 209 cr INR. My Name is Khan is also the only Indian film to have widest mainstream release in the international markets thus establishing the unparallel goodwill and appreciation among the audiences all over the world. It opened newer markets for an Indian film like France, Poland, Puerto Rico, Spain, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Russia, China, Taiwan, South Korea to name a few. The film also became the first Indian feature to be released in a phased manner in certain part of the world.
With its fingers firmly entrenched on the pulse of the audience, Dharma released yet another enchanting love story in July of 2010. I Hate Luv Storys marked the debut of Punit Malhotra. Starring Imran Khan and Sonam Kapoor, the film was a major success across all markets. I Hate Luv Storys is a young, bubbly film which takes a look at the life of Jay (Imran) and his hatred towards sloppy, predictable love stories and how soon enough his life begins to resemble like one when he falls in love with Simran (Sonam Kapoor). Set amidst the Indian film industry, this film takes pot shots at several industry big wigs and looks at various clichés that mark the industry. The film generated tremendous amount of business making it a certified box office success.
We Are Family released with much fanfare and anticipation. An official remake of the acclaimed Hollywood film "Stepmom", through this Dharma achieved a coup of sorts by bringing together two of the biggest powerhouse performers of the Indian film industry, Kajol & Kareena Kapoor. In keeping with Dharma's tradition of nurturing new talent, this film also marked the directorial debut of Siddharth Malhotra. With power packed performances, emotional and heartfelt moment and superb production values, We Are Family was very well received by audiences in India and abroad. It brought back the old world charm of movies which could be viewed by the entire family together.
Moving forward Dharma Productions will continue its journey of bringing enjoyable, path breaking cinema which will be appreciated by both the masses and classes. Under the leadership of Karan Johar, Dharma is committed to nurturing and giving a voice to new talent across all spectrums of film making.
Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu marked the debut of another talent in the camp - director Shakun Batra. Starring Imran Khan & Kareena Kapoor, the film received great acclaim for its contemporary look & feel & for the music by Amit Trivedi.. Before the release of Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, we had Agneepath release in January which is a remake of the cult classic Agneepath and directed by Karan Malhotra. Agneepath was the 1st Blockbuster of 2012 and crossed the magical 100 Crore collection.
2012 saw the soaring success of “Student Of The Year” which launched three promising newcomers Varun Dhawan, Siddharth Malhotra & Alia Bhatt. Student Of The Year has been appreciated by the critics as well the audiences.
In early May 2013, debutant director Sonam Nair released her first movie with Dharma Productions, the coming of age story of Gurpreet Kaur, a.k.a. Gippi. The movie focused on the touching transformation everyone goes through with age. The movie, while dealing with a sensitive topic, was very quirky & light. Online buzz about the movie was at an all-time high. The target group connected with the movie and interacted at every instance.
Soon after Gippi came Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. The movie boasted big stars, a hit pair, and the music created massive anticipation for the release. It was a romantic, soulful story that connected with the masses, making it a film that not only enjoyed massive commercial success, but also earned tremendous critical acclaim for screenplay, director, performances and star cast! It went on to become the top 3 grossers of all time, nationally! Worldwide too, the movie enjoyed great commercial success as well as critical accolades.
Dharma productions next venture was Gori Tere Pyaar Mein, a romantic comedy written and directed by Punit Malhotra who previously directed I Hate Luv Storys. The story revolves around a Tamil boy Sriram (Imran), the black sheep of the family who meets Dia (Kareena), a social worker at a wedding in Delhi and instantly falls in love with her. The funny storyline captures the journey of Sriram who tries to get back his true love (Dia) which makes it all the more enjoyable. Imran & Kareena’s magical Jodi once again delivered a good performance which was well received by the Indian audience.
February 2014 saw collaboration between Karan Johar & Anurag Kashyap for yet another blockbuster, Hasee Toh Phasee, directed by debutant Vinil Mathew. The talk of the town was the pairing of Parineeti Chopra and Siddharth Malhotra who created sparkling chemistry on the screen. Vinil Mathew and writer Harshvardhan Kulkarni's perky take on love gained a win - win situation both with the critics & the audience in India & abroad. The film opened to positive reviews and did very good business at the box office. Dharma’s tradition of nurturing new talents yet again proved to be successful.
Moving forward Dharma Productions will continue its journey of bringing some classic, enjoyable movies to the audiences. Ungli, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya & Shhuddhi are the movies to look out for in the coming years.
Many miles to go before I sleep....is not merely a statement but an adage that we at Dharma Productions live by. Lots of stories to be told...lots of hidden talent to be discovered...and lots of movies to be made.
See you at the movies!!