Mahesh Bhatt (born 20 September 1948) is an Indian film director, producer and screenwriter known for his works exclusively in Hindi cinema. A stand-out film from his earlier period is Saaransh (1984), screened at the 14th Moscow International Film Festival. It became Indias official entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for that year. The 1986 film Naam was his first piece of commercial cinema. In 1987, he turned producer with the film Kabzaa under the banner, Vishesh Films, with his brother Mukesh Bhatt.
Bhatt went on to become one of the most recognized directors of the Indian film industry in the next decade, giving both art-house works such as Daddy (1989) and Swayam (1991), as well as commercial romantic hits like Awaargi (1990), Aashiqui (1990) and Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin (1991), in which he cast Pooja with actor Aamir Khan. He next directed Sadak (1991) which remains his highest grossing either directed or produced under the banner, Vishesh Films.
During the 1990s Bhatt won critical acclaim for Sir (1993), along with other hits such as Gumraah (1993) and Criminal (1994). In 1994 he won the National Film Award – Special Jury Award for directing Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993). In 1999, he directed the autobiographical Zakhm, which has garnered the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration. Bhatt has produced contemporary films such as Jism, Murder and Woh Lamhe. He co-owns film producing company Vishesh Films with his brother Mukesh Bhatt.