R. Balki

  • Director, Writer, Producer, Screenplay

Apr 22, 1965  in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, India

Also Known as: R. Balakrishnan, Balki

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One of the most critically acclaimed filmmakers in India, R. Balki is a director, screenwriter, and producer who mainly works in Bollywood and rose to fame with his maiden directorial venture Cheeni Kum (2007) and later got more fame and recognition with Paa (2009). The former Group Chairman of one of the most popular and biggest advertising agencies in India, Lowe Lintas, R. Balki started his career at the age of 23.

Although he worked in the agency, he was always passionate about filmmaking since college and he had even applied to the Madras Film Institute to pursue a course in direction. However, he did not enroll at the institute because he did not like the panel that interviewed him and he walked out on them. Later, he enrolled for his post-graduation degree in Masters in Computer Applications (MCA), however, he was thrown from the college after studying there for three years because of lack of attendance.

He began his stint in the advertising industry when he saw an advertisement in the papers for Mudra, he applied for it and eventually got the job. In his advertising career, he has developed revolutionary and super hit campaigns for several renowned brands like `Daag Achche Hain` for Surf Excel and `Walk when you Talk` for the Idea Cellular network. After working in the advertising agencies for a considerable period, R. Balki took a major leap in his career as he made his maiden feature film Cheeni Kum (2007). Although the movie did perform well commercially, it received wide positive critical reviews.

In 2009, R. Balki collaborated with the superstar of Indian cinema, Amitabh Bachchan once again after Cheeni Kum for Paa and it turned to be one of the biggest hits of R. Balki`s career. The movie not only performed phenomenally well at the box office but was also well received critically. Post-2009, the director took a sabbatical from making films, before eventually making his directorial comeback with Shamitabh (2015) and thereby completed a hat-trick of films with Amitabh Bachchan. His other notable directorial ventures include Dear Zindagi (2016) and Pad Man (2018), a biographical drama starring Akshay Kumar, Radhika Apte, and Sonam Kapoor. His 2019 release includes Mission Mangal.