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His debut film Khamoshi: The Musical was the touching narration of a daughters struggle to communicate with her deaf mute parents. Acclaimed by all the film garnered a bouquet of awards and Bhansali emerged as a director to watch. It proved to be a rewarding watch. His next film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam showcased another facet of the director enveloping the simple story of relationship, with visual splendour and an aura of celebration and festivity which bore a very individualistic stamp. Stupendous success and awards came his way. His next film Devdas was Bhansali's ode to India's best known love story. This musical and visual extravaganza received a standing ovation at Cannes, where it premiered. It won many awards and was India’s official entry to the Oscars. Then came Black, his most compelling film to date. Time Magazine (Europe) selected the film as one of the 10 Best Movies of the Year 2005 from across the globe. The movie was positioned at number five. His works include Khamoshi: The Musical (1996), starring Salman Khan, Nana Patekar, Seema Biswas and Manisha Koirala; Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) starring Salman Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Ajay Devgan; Devdas, starring Shahrukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai amd Madhuri Dixit and Black (2005) starring Amitabh Bachchan, Rani Mukerji and child artiste Ayesha Kapoor.
His directing trademarks include lush visuals and loud melodrama. He has won the Filmfare Best Director Award three times; for Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas and most recently Black. Black broke a record at the 2006 Filmfare Awards winning eleven awards. His next project was to be Bajirao Mastani (2006), starring Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor in lead roles. He wanted to be the first to be able to cast Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor together, however both stars appeared together first in Kyonki. According to reports, Bhansali has now signed Shivani Kapoor in the role of Mastani . The film for now has been put off. The movie is planned to be completed in 2007 after Bhansali finishes work on Saawariya.
He is now working on his current project Saawariya, starring Salman Khan, Rani Mukerji and debutantes Ranbir Kapoor (son of actors Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh) and Sonam Kapoor (daughter of actor Anil Kapoor). This film is going to release on 9th of november,2007. In July 2007 Sanjay Leela Bhansali bought the rights of a book written by Mayank Austen Soofi titled "A Sudden Visit to Pakistan: Heera Mandi The Dream Home of The Whores". The Times of India reports Bhansali is planning to make a film on Lahore's Heera Mandi, starring Rekha and Shabana Azmi.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali