Yograj Bhat(ಯೋಗರಾಜ್ ಭಟ್) is a Kannada film director, screenwriter and lyricist. He is most prominently known for Mungaru Male(2006) which he co-wrote with Preetam Gubbi. He was also the director of the film and was also one of the lyricists in the film. The film recorded the highest box-office collections in Kannada cinema history and holds the record for the longest running film at a multiplex. He has also rendered lyrics to several other movie songs from films like Gaalipata, Inthi Ninna Preethiya and Circus. He has directed the movies Mani,Ranga S.S.L.C.,Gaalipata and ಮನಸಾರೆ(Manasare) being the latest one
Personal life Yograj Bhat was born in Mandarthi in Udupi district. He did his schooling in Dharwad. Then he went to Mysore for college studies, where he was a student of Kannada Literature. He is married to Renuka and the couple have a daughter
Career During his college days he watched a lot of foreign classics like Coppolla’s Godfather, Kurasawa’s Ran. He is a great fan of Kurosawa and fed upon a staple diet of Fellini and Godard films. These films inspired him a lot. He came to Bangalore at the age of 22 hoping to be a film cameraman.
As a new entrant to the film industry, Yograj Bhat served as an assistant director under Girish Kasaravalli, V. Ravichandran, Sunil Kumar Desai and B Suresh. Talking about this experience he says "It was not about who the guru was. It was about being employed, It was the thrill of watching filmmaking at close quarters. I even enjoyed being admonished by these directors. The thrill of standing next to a camera and listening to its sound is inexplicable." He directed a TV serial, Chakra before making his first feature film.
It took him eight years before found a producer to back him as an independent director. His first kannada movie as a director was Mani. The highlight of the film was memorable performances by Umashree and Rangayana Raghu, both of whom won Karnataka State's Best Supporting Actor award for their respective roles in the movie. His second movie Ranga S.S.L.C.(2004) was a moderate box office hit. The film included Sudeep and Ramya in the lead, and Umashree as Sudeep's mother and Rangayana Raghu as bomb naga. The story of the film was written by his friend Soori. The music of the film was composed by Sandeep Chowta.
For the next two years he did not direct any movie as it was testing times for him. He spent his time doing a lot of corporate films and documentaries. He had also decided to give himself a bit of time before he ventured into another film project. That was when the idea of Mungaaru Male came up. He almost spent one year writing the script. "Comedy Time" Ganesh liked the script very much, and he introduced a producer E Krishnappa who eventually produced the film. And rest is history.
His latest movie Manasaare got rave reviews from the critics and it is going packed houses all over Karnataka.