Born in 1974 to prolific Indian film writer and poet, Javed Akhtar and writer-director, Honey Irani, Farhan grew up in an environment where creativity and originality of thought were encouraged.
Farhan teamed up with Ritesh Sidhwani in 1999, forming their company Excel Entertainment. Debuting with ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ (2001), a film that would affect a generation of filmmakers to come, Farhan was lauded for his honest, path-breaking writing and extracting mature performances from the cast. He was bestowed the prestigious National Award for ‘Best Hindi Feature Film’ and Filmfare Awards for ‘Best Feature Film – Critics’ Choice’ and ‘Best Screenplay’.
In 2008, he debuted as an actor/singer in ‘Rock On!!’ The film won him a second National Award for ‘Best Hindi Feature Film’ and a Filmfare award for ‘Best Debut Performance’.
In 2011, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara released to popular and critical acclaim, winning him three Filmfare awards for ‘Best Film’, ‘Best Actor in a Supporting Role’ and ‘Best Dialogue’.
Now, more than a decade since his debut and in the wake of his performance in ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, which won him the Filmfare award for Best Actor, he is looked upon as a multi-talented leader of a new sensibility that has taken hold of the popular conscience of Indian Film.
In 2012, he co-founded MARD (Men against Rape & Discrimination), an initiative that raises awareness about gender related issues among the youth of India. For his sustained efforts, he was made the first male UN Women goodwill ambassador (South Asia) in 2014.
His most recent release ‘The Sky Is Pink’ premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and received a 15 minute standing ovation from the audience at the Roy Thomson Hall.