Sanjay Leela Bhansali was born on 24th February, 1963 in Mumbai, India and was raised in South Mumbai. Growing up around his father, Navin Bhansali, who already was a producer in the Indian Film Industry, only pushed Bhansali more towards filmmaking.
As soon as Bhansali graduated with a Bachelor's of Commerce degree from Lala Lajpatrai College in Mahalakshmi, he went on to pursue his passion at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune. From there, Bhansali went on to assist documentary filmmaker Shukla Das.
Bhansali began assisting filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra in his film Parinda. In Chopra's second film, 1942: a Love Story, Bhansali was the director of songs. After which, he made his first independent film, Khamoshi- The Musical.
Khamoshi- The Musical, starring Salman Khan, Manisha Koirala, Nana Patekar and Seema Biswas, released in 1996, was a critically acclaimed film that won several awards.
His second film, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999), starring Salman Khan, Ajay Devgan, and Aishwarya Rai, was Bhansali's first box office hit and marked him as one of India's finest directors. Bhansali became known for his larger than life artistic perspective and only got better with each film:
Devdas (2002), the Indian entry at Cannes Film Festival 2002 starring Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai.
Black (2005) (winning a record 11 Filmfare Awards) starring Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukherji.
Saawariya (2007), produced by Sony Columbia Tri-Star, where Bhansali introduced two newcomers, Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor.
In 2008, Bhansali became the first Indian film director to direct an opera in France, Padmavati, which was an international success.
Bhansali then went on to make, with UTV Motion Pictures, Guzaarish (2010), starring Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai. Bhansali debuted as a music director with the film.
Bhansali also became a jury member of popular TV shows such as Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, and X- Factor India.
Bhansali produced My Friend Pinto (2011), Rowdy Rathore (2012), and Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi (2012). In 2013, Bhansali forayed in television as a producer with the show Saraswatichandra, which currently airs on India's popular channel, Star Plus.
Bhansali's current directorial projects include this year's most awaited film Ram-leela, releasing on 15th, Nov. 2013 starring Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh. Also, Bhansali is producing a biopic on the Olympic medalists boxer, Mary Kom, played by Priyanka Chopra; and Gabbar starring Akshay Kumar which are both lined up for 2014.