Amit Rai is an Indian director and writer who gained prominence in 2023 after the release of his directorial Bollywood film OMG 2.
Amit Babulal Rai was born in 1977 (age 46 years; as of 2023) in Goldinganj, Chapra, Bihar, India. He later moved to Ulhasnagar, Thane, Maharashtra. He completed his schooling at KSP Jai Hind Acadamy in Ulhasnagar. He nurtured a passion for filmmaking since his teenage years; however, his father wanted him to become an engineer or a doctor, hence he pursued a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at R.K. Talreja College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Ulhasnagar and later pursued a master’s degree in Computer Science. After completing his college education, he started giving tuition and became known as Masterji in his locality. After giving tuition for around three years, he became financially independent and decided to work in the entertainment industry. He later convinced his father to allow him to pursue a career in filmmaking and pursued a Master of Arts degree in Dramatics at the Centre For Performing Arts, Savitribai Phule Pune University (popularly known as Lalit Kala Kendra). He worked in theatre as an actor, director, and set designer for 14 years before working on films.
Height (approx.): 5′ 9″
Weight (approx.): 70 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
He belongs to a middle-class family.
Parents & Siblings
His father’s name is Babulal Rai. He has a younger brother.
Wife & Children
He is married and has a son.
He follows Hinduism.
After completing his education in filmmaking, he ventured into the field of filmmaking and worked as an assistant to many reputed directors including Anurag Basu and Anurag Kashyap. He worked on the Marathi film Tingya in 2009.
His debut directorial film was Road to Sangam in 2010, featuring Paresh Rawal, Pavan Malhotra, Om Puri, and Mahatma Gandhi’s great-grandson, Tushar Gandhi. He got the idea for his film in 2006 after hearing a story about a Muslim mechanic named Hasmatullah who repaired the vehicle which carried Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes in 1948. The film was praised by critics and won more than 10 international awards including the Best Feature Film award at the Radar Hamburg Fest, Germany, and the Best Narrative Feature at White Sands Fest in New Mexico.
Popularity with OMG 2
Amit Rai gained worldwide fame with the release of his film OMG 2, featuring Akshay Kumar, Pankaj Tripathi, Yami Gautam, and Aarush Varma, in 2023 which was praised by the public and critics for its subtle plot. Many people applauded his work as the director and said that he explained the complicated and sensitive topic of sex education in a very simple way without any vulgar scenes. The film was given an A rating by CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification); however, after the release, Amit Rai criticised CBFC’s decision and requested the board to change the rating.
He made his debut short film in 2017 which was titled Ipad, and it was based on sanitary pads for women. He showed a story of a man who makes a machine to make cheap sanitary pads, which was inspired by Arunachalam Muruganantham of Tamil Nadu. In 2020, he directed a short film titled In Pursuit of Light, about a man who travels to remote areas of Maharashtra to treat cataracts of Adivasi people; the film won many awards at several international film festivals.
He has written the story of OMG 2 (2023) and Dear Jassi, expected to be released in 2023.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- Director’s First Film Award in International Film Festival of South Africa in 2009
- Director’s Vision Award in Indian film festival ‘Bollywood and Beyond’ Germany
- Gollapudi Srinivas National Award in 2010
- Best Director Award in Jagran Film Festival
- Amit Rai developed an interest in filmmaking when he used to work with his father in his teenage years. Interestingly, his father worked in a mill and gave a loan to one of his friends, who went to Dubai. His father had given up hope that his money would be returned; however, his friend came back and brought a world-class VCR set. They did not have a TV, hence his father tried to sell the VCR; however, the shopkeeper advised his father to buy a TV in instalments and start a video parlour as he knew that Amit’s father was out of a job. Amit started helping his father in the video parlour business and used to watch films with the customers, and over time, he got interested in the process of making films.
- After passing his school examinations, Amit Rai cleared the entrance exam of the National School of Drama (NSD), Delhi; however, his father stopped him from moving to Delhi. After convincing his father, a few years later, to work in the entertainment industry, he appeared in the entrance exam of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, but failed by one mark.
- When he appeared in the interview for admission to the Centre For Performing Arts, Savitribai Phule Pune University, he did not know Marathi; however, Waman Kendre, a member of the interview panel, had seen Amit at NSD workshops, hence he asked Amit to enact any solo play. Amit performed an act of Tughlaq play in Bhojpuri following which he was selected. He later learnt Marathi and also topped the course.
- Amit Rai’s father did not like him working as a director; however, during the screening of his debut film, Road to Sangam, in 2010, his father became emotional after watching and hearing many people praising Amit’s direction. Reportedly, while going back to his home from the screening, Amit’s father kept talking about him and his applause.
- In 2010, after the release of his debut film, Road to Sangam, Amit requested the Uttar Pradesh government to make the film tax-free in the state. When an official said that Amit had not submitted the required documents, Amit replied by saying that he had submitted a few documents during their meeting and faxed the remaining documents on the same day.