Vikas Bahl is an Indian film producer, director, and screenwriter. A winner of three National Film Awards, he is best known for his work as the director and screenwriter of the 2011 family comedy ‘Chillar Party’. He has also garnered critical acclaim for his 2014 film ‘Queen’ that earned him many accolades. Born and brought up in Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar, Bahl graduated from Ramjas College before pursuing an MBA in Mumbai from SVKM's NMIMS. He kicked off his career in the advertising industry before joining UTV Spotboy and eventually founded Phantom Films alongside Madhu Mantena, Vikramaditya Motwane, and Anurag Kashyap. He has also headed the business department of Sab TV and the marketing department for Radio Mirchi. Both the companies made it to their peak positions during his tenure with them. One of the most controversial filmmakers in Bollywood, Bahl was accused of sexual harassment in October 2018, following which Phantom Films disbanded. He was earlier married to Richa Bahl.
Vikas Bahl initially worked for client servicing. In 2005, he served as an associate producer on Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s hit ‘Black’. This was followed by another drama film ‘Dev.D’. Starring Abhay Deol, Kalki Koechlin and Mahie Gill, it was released in 2009. He then joined UTV Spotboy and worked as a creative producer on their 2011 biographical thriller ‘No One Killed Jessica’. Based on the real Jessica Lal murder case of 1999, the flick starred Rani Mukerji and Vidya Balan.
Also, in 2011, Bahl started Phantom Films with Madhu Mantena, Vikramaditya Motwane, and Anurag Kashyap. That year, he made his directional debut with Salman Khan’s family comedy ‘Chillar Party’ as well. The movie grossed Rs. 650 million at the box office and won the National Film Award for Best Children's Film along with other national honors. His second directional venture was the 2014 successful comedy drama ‘Queen,’ released by Phantom Films. Featuring Kangana Ranaut as the lead, the flick depicts the story of a timid Punjabi girl who embarks on her honeymoon all by herself after her marriage is called off at the last moment.
Bahl then went on to produce several films, including 'Ugly', 'NH10', 'Bombay Velvet', and 'Masaan' in the mid-2010s. In 2015, he wrote, directed, and produced the romantic comedy ‘Shaandaar’. The movie failed to impress the masses. He followed it with the controversial black comedy crime film 'Udta Punjab'. Made on a budget of Rs. 470 million, the film was an average grosser domestically.
In 2017, Bahl produced 'Trapped', a survival drama flick about a call centre worker who gets trapped in his apartment without basic amenities. Although the movie didn’t do well commercially, it won many awards, including the Critics Award for Best Actor for its lead Rajkummar Rao. His projects in 2018 included the sports drama ‘Mukkabaaz’, the stoner comedy ‘High Jack’, and the romantic drama ‘Manmarziyaan’.
In the year 2019, he directed ‘Super 30’ featuring Hrithik Roshan. The biographical flick became the 7th-highest-grossing film of the year.
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Controversies & Scandals
In October 2018, Vikas Bahl was accused of sexual misconduct by a former employee of Phantom Films who stated that he misbehaved with her on the sets of the 2014 film ‘Queen.’ Later, the film’s lead Kangana Ranaut came forward and spoke out in support of the employee. This eventually led to the disbandment of Phantom Films and the other co-founders released statements against Bahl.
Family & Personal Life
Vikas Bahl was born on May 29, 1971, in New Delhi, India, to Ravish Bahl, an Indian Oil Corporation employee. He graduated from Sardar Patel Vidyalaya and later attended Ramjas College in Delhi. He then moved to Mumbai where he earned his MBA degree from SVKM's NMIMS.
Vikas Bahl was previously married to Richa Bahl.