Making magic, breaking taboos: My story

Karan Johar at AIMA’s 9th National Leadership Conclave.

Karan Johar at AIMA’s 9th National Leadership Conclave.

The celebrated Producer, Director, Talk Show Host and Entrepreneur, Mr Karan Johar shared his journey into the Indian film industry, his vast knowledge of film direction and execution, and industry insights at AIMA’s 9th National Leadership Conclave.

Two things I think that I can say at age 52 having completed 25 years in the business where I’m at right now. One, I’m definitely going through a midlife crisis, and which is meant to be a joke by the way. And secondly, I’m immensely grateful to the masters that taught me their passion for celluloid that translated so beautifully on celluloid. The great works of Mr. Yash Chopra, Mr. Raj Kapoor, Mr. Suraj Bajatia, Mr. Satyajit Ray, Mr. Guru Dutt.

Filmmakers that taught me that love and passion supersede your box office expectations and should never be directed towards business. You know, it has to be first. Of course, what we do is a blend of commerce and art. But the most integral aspect of it all is to first believe, come with the courage of your convictions and translate that conviction to passion on celluloid.

I’ve only tried to do that in my journey of 25 years. I’ve built a studio, which was my father’s dream. Dharma Productions began in the year 1980. On October 8th, we released our first film, ‘Dostana’. In 2024, which is now 44 years later, I’m just so, so happy and grateful to the industry and to everyone who allowed me to take my father’s dream and legacy forward. It is all about loving your parents. It’s something that I have stated before through my work, but I do believe it. I believe we are a result of our parenting and it’s in our DNA to always try and you know take our legacy of our families forward if we have the ability and the passion to do so. Today where we stand, I’ve directed my seventh film with ‘Rocky Aur Rani Ke Prem Kani’.

It’s been an incredible journey and I’m just always, always grateful that I do what I love. I always say, where else can you sing, dance, laugh and cry and still be at work? It’s only at the movies. We can tell stories. We continue to tell stories and that’s what I’m here to do till I hope that I can. When I eventually leave the universe, I want to leave a legacy of work that I can truly, truly be proud of.

Watch the full Session-




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