Piyush Jha

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Piyush Jha
Piyush Jha.jpg
OccupationFilm director, Author, Screenwriter
Years active1999–present
Spouse(s)Priyanka Sinha Jha

Piyush Jha is a film director, screenwriter and author from India.

Early life[edit]

Piyush Jha was born in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh. He did all his schooling in Mumbai, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Psychology at the University of Mumbai and following it up with an MBA from K. J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research.[1] [2][3][4][5]



Jha began his career in advertising as an account executive at Grey Global Group- India. He later worked in DDB Mudra in strategic account management with clients such as Procter & Gamble and Godrej Group. He started getting interested in the creative aspect of advertising and began with directing in-house ad films for client companies and soon moved to directing corporate films as well.[6]

In 1998, he took this interest further to start his own ad film production company, where he made ads for Indian Oil, Hindustan Lever, and UB Group among many others.

Feature films[edit]

In 2000, the Government of India's NFDC produced his first feature film, Chalo America, about three Indian college boys obsessed with the American dream, and how they concoct various schemes to find a way to the US.[7][8] It was a selection at the Indian Panorama Section at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), and was shown at international film festivals such as those in Shanghai, Cairo, San Diego, Dhaka, and Atlanta.

After continuing to make ad films, Jha returned to the big screen in 2004, with the first Indian film in the "mockumentary" genre, King of Bollywood, starring Om Puri and British supermodel Sophie Dahl. It tells the story of an aging Bollywood movie star.[9][10]

In 2009, after his extensive travels around India and the world, Jha decided to pick up on another serious issue: terrorism in Kashmir. Sikandar is a story about a young boy who finds a gun on his way to school, and how that affects his life, and the life of the little village he lives in.[11] Sikandar was selected in the international film festivals in Dubai, IFFLA in LA, Edmonton in Canada, MIACC in New York, and Stuttgart in Germany, among others. The film was highly acclaimed by critics, including those of the mainstream popular media (Nikhat Kazmi, renowned film critic of the Times of India, India's largest selling English daily, gave it a 3.5 star rating).[12]

Personal life[edit]

Jha is married to news-media personality Priyanka Sinha Jha.


Piyush Jha has been called the Dashiell Hammett of Mumbai.[13] Jha is the author of bestselling crime and thriller novels.[14][15] His debut novel, Mumbaistan, is a collection of three crime fiction thriller novellas which explore the underbelly of Mumbai.[16] The books Compass Box Killer and Anti-Social Network revolve around a Mumbai-based policeman, Inspector Virkar, and his cat and mouse chase with murderers and serial killers.[17][18] Jha's latest crime fiction book Raakshas: India's No. 1 Serial Killer is about a female police commissioner Maithili Prasad's encounter with an anonymous serial killer, who murders women by decapitating them.[19][20]

Apart from crime fiction, Jha has also written a satirical e-novellas on the Juggernaut Books digital app, called The Great Indian Bowel Movement and The Urinationalist. These e-shorts talk about issues of open defecation, public urination and inadequate sanitation in India.[21]

Jha is also a columnist. He writes a regular column in the Hindustan Times and a guest column in The Tribune on books and book-related happenings.[22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29]


Writer and director[edit]



  • Mumbaistan (2012)
  • Compass Box Killer: An Inspector Vikrar Crime Thriller (2013)
  • Anti-Social Network: An Inspector Vikrar Crime Thriller (2014)
  • Raakshas: India's No. 1 Serial Killer (2016)
  • Girls Of Mumbaistan (2020)

Short stories[edit]

  • "The Great Indian Bowel Movement" (2017)
  • "The Urinationalist" (2019)

Festival official selections[edit]

  • Chalo America: Indian Panorama Section at the International Film Festival of India, 1999; and the international film festivals of Shanghai, Cairo, San Diego, Dhaka, and Atlanta, amongst others.
  • King of Bollywood: international film festivals in Bradford, UK (Bite the Mango Festival); Tel Aviv, Israel; New York City; Toronto, Canada; Melbourne, Australia, and others.
  • Sikandar: international film festivals, Dubai, IFFLA in LA, Edmonton in Canada, MIACC in New York, and Stuttgart in Germany, among others.

Award nominations[edit]

  • Sikandar was nominated for the Ramnath Goenka Award for 'Movies That Make a Difference' at the 2010 Star Screen Awards.
  • Parzaan Dastur was nominated for Best Child Artiste for his eponymous role in Sikandar at the 2010 Star Screen Awards.
  • Parzaan Dastur was nominated for BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE – MALE at The Max Stardust Awards 2010.
  • Mumbaistan was long-listed for the Tata Lit Live Best First Book Award-2012.


  1. ^ "I feel Mumbai in my gut: Piyush Jha". The Hindu. 30 March 2019.
  2. ^ "I'm a male who has a female gaze, says author-filmmaker Piyush Jha". The Indian Express. 19 January 2016.
  3. ^ Ravi, S. (13 June 2014). "Extortion reinvented". The Hindu.
  4. ^ Siddiqui Zaman, Rana (20 August 2009). "Cinema valley-wise". The Hindu.
  5. ^ "Om Puri is the king of Bollywood!". rediff.com. 24 September 2004.
  6. ^ "Small talk with Piyush Jha: Pulp fixation". Mumbai Mirror.
  7. ^ "Film review: Piyush Jha's 'Chalo America', starring Aashish Chowdhry, Deven Bhojani". India Today.
  8. ^ "Home Videos". nfdcindia.com. National Film Development Corporation of India. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  9. ^ "Om shakti". Tribune India. The Tribune. 12 September 2004. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  10. ^ "Dig at Bollywood". The Hindu. The Hindu. 27 September 2004. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  11. ^ ""In Sikandar I'm depicting that militancy is on wane in Kashmir" – Piyush Jha". 19 August 2009.
  12. ^ Moview Review: Sikandar by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India, 20 August 2009.
  13. ^ "The next heady rush". livemint.com. livemint. 24 August 2013.
  14. ^ "Vidya Balan launches Piyush Jha's book 'Rakshas India's No 1 Serial Killer'". Bollywoodlife.com. India Webportal Private Limited. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  15. ^ "Book Review: Raakshas by Piyush Jha". tell-a-tale.com. Tell-A-Tale. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  16. ^ Raghavan, Nikhil (10 December 2012). "Crime in Maximum City". The Hindu.
  17. ^ "Mumbai murders". Deccan Herald. 26 October 2013.
  18. ^ Ravi, S. (13 June 2014). "Extortion reinvented". The Hindu.
  19. ^ "Book review: The making and unmaking of a serial killer". The Indian Express. 22 December 2015.
  20. ^ Kumar, Sheila (13 February 2016). "On a knife's edge". The Hindu.
  21. ^ "Open defecation is a social malaise that affects every Indian: Author Piyush Jha". theweek.in.
  22. ^ "Fiction: A Tonic For Doctors". hindustantimes.com/. 3 October 2019.
  23. ^ "Tsundoku and the antilibrary". hindustantimes.com/. 19 September 2019.
  24. ^ "scents and sensibility". hindustantimes.com/. 6 September 2019.
  25. ^ "In Mumbai's Good Books: Lit Fests in big cities have turned into selfie-ops". hindustantimes.com/. 10 December 2016.
  26. ^ "Filmy food for thought". tribuneindia.com. January 2016.
  27. ^ "In Mumbai's Good Books: Bookshelves are making a comeback in living rooms". hindustantimes.com/. 11 April 2017.
  28. ^ "From John to Emraan: Bollywood celebrities have taken over the book shelf". hindustantimes.com/. 13 November 2016.
  29. ^ "A place in Mumbai where the bookstores have no names". hindustantimes.com/. 22 July 2016.

External links[edit]