Manish Jha

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Manish Jha
Born (1978-05-03) 3 May 1978 (age 39)
West Champaran, Bihar
Nationality Indian
Occupation film director, screenwriter

Manish Jha (born 3 May 1978) is an Indian film director and screenwriter, most known for his films, A Very Very Silent Film (2001) and Matrubhoomi-A Nation Without Women (2003) which won him critical acclaim.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Narkatiaganj, in West Champaran district of Bihar, Jha grew up in Delhi where he had moved at an early age. He did his graduation in English from Ramjas College, Delhi University, where he also joined its theatre group aiming to become an actor.[1]


After completing his studies, Jha moved to Mumbai and began working as an assistant director in television serials hoping to get a break. When the break never came, he made a five-minute documentary on the homeless putting in Rs 30,000, A Very Very Silent Film, which won the Jury Prize for the Best Short Film at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.[3] Thereafter he made his feature debut with Matrubhoomi (2003) about effects of female infanticide, which won a series of awards and critical acclaim.[2][4] At the 2003 Venice Film Festival, it was presented in the Critic's Week (Parallel section) and later awarded the FIPRESCI Award "For it's important theme on women's issues and female infanticide handled with sensitivity by a first-time director".[5][6]

His next was Anwar (2007), a film set in Lucknow, about stereotyping of Muslims in the post 9/11 era, the film was inspired his own experience in New York when according to him, two-day after the 9/11 while walking on the road, he was detained by the police and interrogated for five hours, since he was unshaven and had long hairs and looked like a Muslim man.[7] In 2008, he directed the segment title, "And it Rained" in anthology film, with 11 directors, Mumbai Cutting, which became the closing film of 10th Osian's Cinefan Festival in Delhi.[8]

He next directed a two-hour yoga DVD, Shilpa's Yoga (2008) for actress Shilpa Shetty, shot against the coastal backdrop of Kerala.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Growing up he always wanted was to keep his hair long and act, though when tried enter the theatre group at Delhi's Ramjas College, he was asked to first cut off his long hair.[1]




A Very Very Silent Film


  1. ^ a b c "Where have all the girls gone?". The Telegraph. 22 May 2005. 
  2. ^ a b "Where women are extinct: Matrubhoomi". Indian Express. 23 July 2005. 
  3. ^ a b A Very Very Silent Film: Award IMDB.
  4. ^ "More Than Chick Flicks". TIME. 22 September 2003. 
  5. ^ "2003 Awards: Venice (Italy, August 27 – September 6, 2003)". FIPRESCI website. 
  6. ^ Derek Malcolm (8 September 2003). "Ovation for Emma Thompson as low-budget art wins over hype in Venice". The Guardian. 
  7. ^ "Indian makes film on post-9/11experience". Associated Press, CNN-IBN. 26 April 2006. 
  8. ^ "'Mumbai Cutting' brings curtains on Osian's film fete". The Hindu. 21 July 2008. Archived from the original on 6 November 2012. 
  9. ^ "Shilpa's New Poses". Indian Express. 9 January 2008. 
  10. ^ Matrubhoomi Awards IMDB.

External links[edit]