Sanjay Leela Bhansali (born 24 February 1963) is an Indian director, producer, screenwriter, and music director who is known for his work in Hindi cinema. Bhansali is the recipient of several awards, including five National Film Awards, eleven Filmfare Awards, and a BAFTA nomination. In 2015, the Government of India honored him with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award.
Bhansali made his directorial debut with Khamoshi: The Musical (1996), for which he received the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Film. He rose to prominence in Hindi-language cinema with the commercially successful romantic drama Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999), the epic romantic drama Devdas (2002) — for which he received a nomination for the Best Film Not in the English Language at the British Academy of Film & Television Awards (BAFTA) — and the drama Black (2005), for all of which he received multiple Best Director Awards and Best Film Awards along with additional Critics Award for Best Film for the latter at Filmfare Awards, and multiple National Film Awards for the latter two. He followed it by directing consecutive commercially unsuccessful films such as Saawariya (2007) and Guzaarish (2010), however, Guzaarish received positive reviews from critics and audiences.
This changed with his adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet — the tragic romance Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela (2013) — opened to positive reviews and strong box office collections, for which he received several awards and nominations. His home production biographical sports film Mary Kom (2014), had him receive his third National Film Award. His period dramas Bajirao Mastani (2015) and Padmaavat (2018) both rank among the highest-grossing Indian films of all time. For the former, he won the National Film Award for Best Direction, as well as Filmfare Awards for Best Director and Best Film; and for the latter, he won National Film Award for Best Music Direction and Filmfare Award for Best Music Director.
He is an alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India. He is the founder of the production house Bhansali Productions.