Shakun Batra is an Indian screenwriter, filmmaker, and producer. In 2022, he worked as a director, writer, and producer in the Amazon Prime film ‘Gehraiyaan’ starring Deepika Padukone, Siddhant Chaturvedi, and Ananya Pandey.
Shakun Batra was born on Saturday, 1 January 1983 (age 39 years; as of 2022) in New Delhi. His zodiac sign is Capricorn.
He did his schooling at St. Xavier’s Senior Secondary School, Delhi. From 2001 to 2004, he attended St Stephen’s College, Delhi. He then did a course in cinematography at Vancouver Film School, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Height (approx.): 5′ 4″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
His father runs a business of mosquito repellent machines. His mother is a charitable doctor. Shakun has a brother and a sister. His brother, Shubham Batra, works as an architect.
He is not married yet.
In 2013, there were rumours that Shakun was dating the Indian director Sonam Nair.
He developed an interest in photography in his teens, he then started working as a nature photographer. After completing a course in cinematography, he started assisting a few Indian directors in Mumbai including Errol Morris and Christopher Wilcha. He has worked with various production houses in India such as Equinox Films, Excel Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., and Dharma Productions. In 2012, he debuted as a director and writer in the Hindi film ‘Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu’ in which the main lead was Kareena Kapoor and Emran Khan. After almost a gap of four years, he worked as director-writer in the Hindi film ‘Kapoor & Sons’ (2016) which was one of the super hit films of the year.
In 2021, he worked as a writer-director-executive producer in the Hindi documentary ‘Searching for Sheela.’
Shakun’s directorial film ‘Gehraiyaan’ was released on Amazon Prime in 2022. He also worked as a writer and producer in the film. Apart from films, has directed a few TV commercials for Google, Head & Shoulder’s, and Nestle.
- 2016: Indian Film Festival of Melbourne- People’s Choice Award for the Hindi film Kapoor & Sons
- 2017: Filmfare Awards for Best Story, Best Screenplay for the Hindi film Kapoor & Sons
- 2017: IIFA Awards for Best Story for the Hindi film Kapoor & Sons
- 2017: Stardust Awards for Best Story for the Hindi film Kapoor & Sons
- 2017: Zee Cine Awards for Best Story for the Hindi film Kapoor & Sons
- Novel: Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
- Film Director: Woody Allen
- Film(s): ‘Monsoon Wedding’ (2001) and ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ (2001)
- After completing his graduation, he wanted to pursue a post-graduation degree in the US, but his visa got rejected. He then enrolled himself in a cinematography course in Canada. Initially, his parents were reluctant of his idea of pursuing his career in cinematography, but he then asked one year time to do something in the field of cinematography.
- Shakun Batra is well-versed in playing the guitar.
- In an interview, he shared that his inspiration behind the story of the Hindi film ‘Kapoor & Sons’ (2016) was his own family. He said.
Families are like that. They’re chaotic and are always moving. Even when the members are fighting, they are moving between rooms. I felt that we’d never seen this in Hindi cinema, and, for me, that became the exciting challenge. I thought it would be fun if I could organise such scenes, and, if you recall the one with the plumber, you will know exactly what I am referring to. I’d seen my relatives behave like that. For the first eight years of my life, I lived in a joint family, so there was always chaos. The house felt full with functions, parties and other grand events. I had seen such scenes in Monsoon Wedding — they were so beautiful and fluid that I wanted to bring that element in.”
He further shared that the late Indian actor Rishi Kapoor was not happy while shooting for the film Kapoor & Sons. In an interview, in 2016, Rishi Kapoor shared the reason behind it, he said,
I didn’t have fun working for Shakun Batra in Kapoor & Sons. You see I worked for 30-32 days on this film. Not a single day passed when Shakun and I didn’t fight. It was not a creative fight. It was something else. We fought because I couldn’t agree with his method of working on my role. Shakun wanted to cover every shot of mine from many different angles. But I am old-school spontaneous actor. I couldn’t recreate the same expression several times over for every shot. I respect all schools of acting. But I am not a method actor. With every successive shot I lose my spontaneity. This new style of working where actors give the same shot repeatedly from different angles has gained acceptance because in the digital era no raw stock is wasted. Because they’ve the facility of editing a film on a digital platform they want more software. Thereby actors have turned into robots.”
- In 2022, while talking about the intimacy scenes in his directorial film ‘Gehraiyaan,’ he said,
I have been reading about intimacy in the west in post MeToo world. I wanted to encourage that system of security and safety. I wanted actors to feel mentally and emotionally in a more safe environment. We had intimacy workshops, which are not very different from theatre workshops. They are trust-building exercises to make sure that everyone understands each other’s boundaries, consent. I am glad that I did it.
This aspiration quality to the urban setting does not feel real anymore to me. There was a time when New York and London felt like the world we wanted to understand and know because it felt so much better than ours. But today, with the exposure that we have, we are very aware of what someone’s life could be like at least at a surface level.”