Onir – The Famous Bollywood Director and Producer


Onir was born in Samchi, a small town in Bhutan on the 30th April, 1969. After his schooling in Bhutan he came to Kolkatta(India) and graduated as a student of Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University in 1989. While in University he was also learning German, Russian , Bengali, and Tamil. Apart from it he joined the Film studies course at Chitrabani, Kolkatta.

In 1991 he co-directed his first documentary film at a work shop organized by Max Muller Bhavan and Chitrabani in Kolkatta. The documentary film was called “Glimpses of College Street”. In the same year he was offered scholarship to train at an advanced editing course with SFB/TTC Berlin.

Returning from Berlin he made his first independent documentary (it was also produced by him). ‘Fallen hero’ (1992) was a documentary, which was a portrait of an ageing painter Bijon Chaudry and his dilemma with the changing political scenario in Bengal. Soon afterwards he shifted base to Mumbai to work as a freelance editor, music album producer, corporate filmmaker, etc. all the while trying to move towards films, which was his ultimate goal.

In 1999 he got his first experience with on the job filmmaking. He was the film editor, song designer, and song director of the film “Daman” directed by Kalpana Lajmi. This is where he met Sanjay Suri. Sanjay’s encouragement made Onir start working on his scripts. Five years, five scripts and no producers! Finally in 2004 Sanjay and Onir decided to produce Onir’s first film “My brother Nikhil” which was to become the first main stream film that addressed the issue of homosexuality apart from dealing with issues of Human rights and HIV AIDS. Yash Raj released this film on 25th March, 2005.

The film fetched many international awards…

o Saathi Rainbow film festival , Kolkatta (Best director)

o Audience choice award, Leceister (UK)

o 2nd audience choice award, Hamburg LGBT film festival

o 2nd audience choice award, Bremen LGBT film festival

o Winner Jury Award, Best Film

Source by Samit Nandi

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