Pushpendra Singh is an Indian actor, director, producer, and screenplay writer, who has worked in many Hindi short films and feature films including Lajwanti (2014), Maru Ro Moti (2019), and Laila Aur Satt Geet (2020).
Pushpendra Singh was born in 1978 (age 45 years; as of 2023) in Saiyan village, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. He completed his schooling at Birla High School in Pilani, Rajasthan, in 1996. Thereafter, he enrolled at the Jiwaji University in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Later, he joined the University of Lucknow, where he earned a master’s degree in tourism management in 2001. In 2006, he moved to Pune, Maharashtra, where he enrolled at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII); he underwent an acting course there till 2008.
In an interview, Pushpendra said that his interest in directing films arose after working as a theatre artist in Delhi. He said,
It was while working with Barry John in his theatre group in Delhi, we would not only act but even direct small acts based on certain themes. Barry exposed us to Cinema outside India and since then I was interested in directing a film one day.”
Later, Pushpendra attended the Berlinale Talents, a talent development programme of the Berlin International Film Festival, where he earned a degree in filmmaking in 2011. Before starting his career as a filmmaker and actor, Pushpendra served as a professor at the FTII for some time. Pushpendra Singh – Facebook
Height (approx.): 5′ 10″
Hair Colour: Salt and Pepper
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Parents & Siblings
There is not much information about his parents and siblings.
Wife & Children
His marital status is not known.
In 2009, he landed the roles of a character named Jainath and a carpenter in the Hindi drama film Aadmi Ki Aurat Aur Anya Kahaniya, which won the Venice Horizons Award in the Special Mention category at the Venice Film Festival. He bagged the role of Imran in the film Trishna in 2011. In the film, he shared the screen with the popular actress Freida Pinto.
In 2014, he made his directorial debut with the Hindi film Lajwanti in which he was also involved in producing, acting, and writing the screenplay. The film draws inspiration from Lalleshwari, a 14th-century Kashmiri poet also known as Lalla or Lal Ded, and is set against the backdrop of the Kashmir conflict. It was showcased at various film festivals in 2020 including the Berlin International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Hong Kong International Film Festival, and Jeonju International Film Festival.
In a conversation with the media, he asserted that he secured a portion of the financing for his film through a campaign that involved the public contributing funds, both during the process of making the film and after it was completed.
In the same year, he appeared in a short film titled Chaita Ki Ek Dupahari, a Summer Afternoon. He landed the role of a militant leader in the film Bioscopewala in 2017. He both directed and penned the screenplay for the film Ashwatthama, which was released in the same year. The film was showcased at the Busan International Film Festival, Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, and Dharamshala International Film Festival. While giving an interview, Pushpendra talked about the film and said,
It started with religion… How we see religion, the way it shapes us and affects us. It is all from my memory. I was brought up in Chambal. The whole film is like a dialogue with myself. How I was influenced… It had a negative as well as positive impact on me as well. The film addresses how religion can be misused and can be a support as well in our low days. It helps you overcome the bad times as well. You have something to do every day, a ritual to complete every day and it keeps you engaged.”
He directed and wrote the screenplay for the hybrid film Maru Ro Moti in 2019. He directed and wrote the script for the 2020 film Laila Aur Satt Geet. In 2023, he appeared in the short film Nocturnal Burger. In the same year, he directed and wrote the script for the film Ajmer 92. The movie is based on true events of a large-scale crime where over a hundred school and college-age girls in Ajmer were subjected to gang rape and extortion. An Islamic organization called Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind urged the Indian government to prohibit the screening of the film in June 2023. The organization’s president, Maulana Mahmood Madani, claimed that the film had the potential to cause division between Hindus and Muslims in the country. While giving an interview, he talked about it and said,
Movies and social media are being used to link criminal activities with a particular religion which certainly will harm our shared heritage. Chishti Ajmeri is popularly known as a messenger of peace and harmony in the country.”
Pushpendra defended the screening of the film by saying that the film shows reality and is not a propaganda film as claimed by the president of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind.
- In 2020, Pushpendra Singh won the Netpac Award at the Jeonju Film Festival for his film Laila Aur Satt Geet.
- In the same year, he won the Golden Heynal Award under the Best Music Documentary category at the Krakow Film Festival for his film Maru Ro Moti.
- At the Hong Kong International Film Festival in 2020, he received the Best Director Award for his film Laila Aur Satt Geet.
- Pushpendra Singh passionately follows his hobby of reading.
- While attending school, he developed a passion for cinema. In an interview, he shared that the school staff would screen films for the students on weekends. Not only did he watch the films, but he also made an effort to recreate scenes, including the dialogue. He talked about it and said,
I studied in a boarding school where every Saturday we were shown Hindi movies. Occasionally we were shown a Malayalam or an Hollywood film. But, it was during the vacations that once I saw ‘Pather Panchali’ on Doordarshan and related to the images despite it being in Bengali.”