Vidhu Vinod Chopra, born on 5th September 1956, is an Indian producer and director, best known for Munna Bhai M.B.B.S., Lage Raho Munna Bhai and 3 Idiots.
Born in a Punjabi family of Kashmir, he grew up in Srinagar. Veteran Filmmaker Ramanand Sagar was his half-brother. He loved Hindi cinema since childhood. With the help and support of his family, and since there were no institutes for film studies in North-India, he went to Pune to study film direction at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). Chopra claims to have learnt English by watching numerous Hollywood films.
As a student, his first short film, Murder at Monkey Hill, won the National Film Award for the Best Shory Experimental Film and the Guru Dutt Memorial Award for Best Student Film, followed by a short documentary, called An Encounter with Faces, highlighting the plight of India's distitute children. The documentary was nominated for an Academy Award in the Documentary Short Subject category in 1979.
He made his directorial debut with Sazaa-E-Maut, on a shoestring budget, with fellow FTII students and then amateurs - actor Naseeruddin Shah and editor Renu Saluja - which was a feature-length remake of his own short film, Murder at Monkey Hill.
Later, he went on to making films like Khamosh (1985), Parinda (1989), 1942: A Love Story (1993), Kareeb (1998), Mission Kashmir (2000), Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. (2003), Parineeta (2005), Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006), Eklavya: The Royal Guard (2007), 3 Idiots (2009) and Taalismaan (2011).
His first marriage to film editor Renu Saluja ended in a divorce. Yet they continued to work together on several films. Later he married Shabnam Sukhdev, the only daughter of a well-known documentary maker, but eventually seperated with her, after which he married writer Anupama Chopra, previously an NRI from the US. Anupama currently works as a movie reviewer with NDTV and India Today.
Chopra's upcoming ventures are Ferrari Ki Sawaari, to be released in April 2012, and the long awaited 3rd helping of the Munna Bhai platter - Munnai Bhai ki Aatma Katha, which was previously named as Munna Bhai Chale Amrika. This movie is believed to release not before 2013.