Actor, Founder of Men Against Rape and Discrimination Campaign
Farhan Akhtar (born 9 January 1974) is an Indian film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, playback singer, and television host. Born in Mumbai to screenwriters Javed Akhtar and Honey Irani, he grew up under the influence of the Hindi film industry. He began his career in Bollywood by working as an assistant director in Lamhe (1991) and Himalay Putra (1997).
Akhtar, after establishing a production company named Excel Entertainment along with Ritesh Sidhwani, made his directorial debut with Dil Chahta Hai (2001) and received critical acclaim for portraying modern youth. The film also won a National award. Following it, he made Lakshya (2004) and had his Hollywood debut through the soundtrack of Bride and Prejudice (2004), for which he wrote the lyrics. He went on to make the commercially successful Don (2006). He directed a short film titled Positive (2007), to spread awareness on HIV-AIDS.
Although he initially started his acting career with “The Fakir of Venice”, his official debut was with Rock On!! (2008), for which he won a second National Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi as producer, and indulged in further experimentation before he wrote the dialogues, produced and acted for the critical and commercial success Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011), which won him two Filmfare Awards, including Best Supporting Actor. In the same year, he directed a sequel to Don titled Don 2 (2011), which remains his highest-grossing film till date. He achieved further success by portraying Milkha Singh in the 2013 film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, earning him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor. In 2016, Akhtar received praise for starring in the crime thriller Wazir and the comedy-drama Dil Dhadakne Do.
Men Against Rape and Discrimination or MARD is a social campaign launched by Akhtar. The idea came to the mind of Akhtar when in August 2012, Pallavi Purkayastha, a lawyer by profession, was sexually assaulted and then killed by her home watchman.