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Neeraj Pandey
Director • Screenplay • Writer • Producer • Dialogue Writer • Executive Producer
Born: December 16, 1973 in Kolkata, West Bengal, India
An Indian film director, writer, and producer, Neeraj Pandey made his Hindi film directorial debut with A Wednesday for which he bagged the National Award for Best First Film of a Director. He then directed films like Special 26 and Baby, both starring Akshay Kumar.

Early Life
Born and brought up in a Brahmin family in the City of Joy, Kolkata, Neeraj moved to New Delhi, where he graduated in English Literature. He was employed by Legacy Entertainment, a company started by the Dalmia group to make television programs where he learned his fundamentals about films and film-making.

Acting career
A self-taught director, he soon started his own production house Quarter Inch Productions, along with a friend, Shital Bhatia. The duo later formed another company called Friday Filmworks, which was one of the producers for his debut movie A Wednesday. Released in 2008, the movie starred Anupam Kher and Naseeruddin Shah in the lead roles and was a sleeper hit all over India. Despite its low-key promotions, it was a box office success due to critical acclaim and positive word-of-mouth. Written also by Neeraj Pandey, the film was later remade in Tamil as Unnaipol Oruvan and Telugu as Eeenadu, both starring Kamal Haasan in Naseeruddin Shah`s role.

After the stellar success of his first film, Neeraj directed the 2013 crime thriller Special 26, starring Akshay Kumar in the lead role and Anupam Kher, Manoj Bajpayee, Kajal Aggarwal, and Jimmy Shergill in supporting roles. Regarded as one of the best movies of 2013, the movie was both critically and commercially well received, with Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama saying "Special Chabbis is an intelligently woven, slick and smart period thriller with its subject matter as its USP. It`s sure to get listed as one of the most gripping heist dramas based on real life occurrences."

He then penned the screenplay for movies like The Royal Bengal Tiger and Total Siyapaa. In 2015, Neeraj gave the hit film, Baby, once again starring Akshay Kumar in the lead, and Danny Denzongpa, Anupam Kher, Rana Daggubati, Taapsee Pannu, and Kay Kay Menon, in supporting roles. The movie about how an undercover agent works to uproot the international terrorist organization which is plotting to strike at the heart of India opened to positive reviews from the critics and audiences alike. Subsequently, Neeraj produced the movie Rustom in 2016. Based on the real life incident of Naval Officer K.M. Nanavati and businessman Prem Ahuja, the movie opened to mixed reviews and failed to leave much of an impact.

His other releases include Naam Shabana, Toilet - Ek Prem Katha, Aiyaary, Missing, Chanakya and Crack.
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Did You Know? (3)

  • Neeraj Pandey makes his directorial debut with this movie.
  • The director of the film, Neeraj Pandey had initially planned to release the film in Marathi language as well but scrapped the Marathi version because the dubbing was not completed on time.
  • Aiyaary marks the seventh collaboration between Neeraj Pandey and Anupam Kher; the rest being A Wednesday (2008), Special 26 (2013), Total Siyapaa (2014), Baby (2015), MS Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016), and Naam Shabana (2017).
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