Bhandarkar made his directorial debut with 'Trishakti' in 1999. But the film had a relatively low key cast and was largely ignored at the box office.
After two years, he directed 'Chandni Bar' (2001) starring Tabu and Atul Kulkarni with a budget of Rs 1.5 crore.
The film garnered wide critical acclaim along with a huge box office success. It also took Bhandarkar into the top league of filmmakers in Bollywood.
He received his first National Award for this film and thereon won National Awards for his films 'Page-3' and 'Traffic Signal'.
His film 'Fashion' (2008) also won National Awards for Best Actress (Priyanka Chopra) and for Best Supporting Actress (Kangana Ranaut).
Having won these accolades, Bhandarkar added one more feather to his cap with the Gangasharan Singh Award (2009) by the HRD Ministry of India. This Presidential Award was given to him for his contribution to Hindi Cinema.
In most of his films, Bhandarkar's protagonist is a female like Tabu in 'Chandni Bar', Raveena Tandon in 'Satta', Konkona Sen Sharma in 'Page 3', Bipasha Basu in 'Corporate', Priyanka Chopra in 'Fashion' and Kareena Kapoor in 'Heroine'.
However, he also cast Neil Nitin Mukesh as the protagonist in the movie 'Jail'.
Bhandarkar, who is often acclaimed of portraying reality in celluloid, has depicted gay characters in his films like 'Page 3', 'Traffic Signal' and 'Fashion'.
His essaying of characters has made him count as one of the top directors of the Bollywood industry.
His upcoming films include 'Marr Jaawaa' and 'Society', scheduled to release in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
Actress Divya Dutta wished the filmmaker via Twitter saying: "@mbhandarkar268 a very happy bday sirji!hava (have a) grtttt (great) one!god bless."
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh tweeted:"Happy birthday @mbhandarkar268 . May the day and the year be filled with sunshine, smiles, laughter, love, cheer... and Blockbusters!"
Actor Satish Kaushik wished him by saying:"Wishing @mbhandarkar268 happy birthday.may god shower u with all the success and happiness.. Keep on making great movies and movies."
--IBNS (Posted on 26-08-2013)