|Occupation||Director, producer, screenwriter, actor|
Ashutosh Gowariker (born 15 February 1964) is an Indian film director, actor, screenwriter and producer who works in Hindi cinema. He is known for directing films "set on a huge canvas while boasting of an opulent treatment".
His film Lagaan was nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category in 74th Academy Awards, which makes him a voting member of the Academy Awards. He returned to acting by playing the lead role in the critically acclaimed comedy drama Ventilator (2016).
Gowariker was born in a Marathi family to Ashok and Kishori Gowariker. His family hails from Kolhapur. He is married to Sunita (Deb Mukherjee's daughter from his first marriage) and they have two sons, Konark and Vishwang.
Gowariker started his career as an actor, making his debut in 1984 in director Ketan Mehta's picture Holi. On the Holi sets, Gowariker met Aamir Khan with whom he go on to collaborate with years later. After that, he acted in several television serials, including Kacchi Dhoop (1987), Circus (1989), C.I.D. (1998) and several films, including Naam (1986), Chamatkar (1992), and Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1993).
In 2001, Gowariker wrote and directed the period epic movie Lagaan, produced by and starring Aamir Khan. Lagaan was the story of a cricket match between British officers and Indian villagers in the late 19th century. It ranked third among 2001's Indian movies in terms of gross revenue.
Aamir had rejected the film within 5 minutes of narration and told Gowariker that it was a bizarre thought."When I heard Lagaan, in five minutes of its narration, I rejected it. I was like it is a story of people who are not able to pay lagaan as there are no rains and they play cricket with British people! I was like, ‘What a bizarre thought is this!’ I told Ashutosh, ‘This is a strange story.’ I told him to get me a different story," Aamir had told Pinkvilla in his 2018 interview.
After three months, Gowariker approached Aamir again, but this time with a complete script. Aamir was irritated that Gowariker kept working on it and rejected the film the second time. "But when I heard the story, I was into it. I loved the final script of Lagaan and found it unbelievable. I told him, ‘It is a fantastic script and it does break the record of mainstream cinema. But I am scared to say yes. I can't do it’,” he had said.
Later, when Gowariker narrated the story to Aamir's parents, they were moved to tears and told the actor to do the film.
Lagaan is set in 1893, during the late Victorian period of India's colonial British Raj. The story revolves around a small village in Central India, whose inhabitants, burdened by high taxes, accept a challenge to play a cricket match against a team of British officers. It they win the match, their taxes would be excused, but failing to win would mean having to pay triple taxes.
In 2016, Gowariker directed the film Mohenjo Daro, starring Hrithik Roshan. He returned to acting by playing the lead role in the critically acclaimed comedy drama Ventilator (2016), which was produced by Priyanka Chopra. Allegedly, he took about 6 months to agree to do the film.
|2001||Lagaan||Yes||Yes||No||Nominated – Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film|
|2004||Swades||Yes||Yes||Yes||Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Film|
|2008||Jodhaa Akbar||Yes||Yes||Yes||Filmfare Award for Best Film|
|2009||What's Your Raashee?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2010||Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey||Yes||Yes||Yes||Nominated – Zee Cine Awards for Best Story|
|2022||Toolsidas Junior||No||Yes||Yes||Winner - 68th National Film Awards, National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi|
|2024||Untitled Project with Aamir Khan||Yes||Yes||No|
|Year||Films and television series||Language|
|1994||Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa||Hindi|
|1989||Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro||Hindi|
|1989||Kamla Ki Maut||Hindi|
|1989||Ek Ratra Mantarleli||Marathi|
|1988||Bharat Ek Khoj (TV series), episode 10: "Gautama Buddha"||Hindi|
|1987||West Is West||English|
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