Ashim Ahluwaliawas born in Mumbai, India in 1972. He studied film at Bard College in New York.
His first film, the feature-length documentary, John & Jane, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2005. A blend of observational documentary and science fiction, John & Jane follows the stories of six ‘call agents’ that answer American 1-800 numbers in a Mumbai call center as they aspire for the American Dream. Exploring an imperialism of a different kind – a psychological one that explored virtual existence, John & Janewas described by Toronto Star, Canada's largest daily newspaper, as the “No.1 pick” at TIFF.
John & Jane had its European premiere at the Berlin Film Festival and screened at the Edinburgh Film Festival, New Directors/New Films in New York, Vancouver Film Festival, Cinema Du Reel and others. It won the international award at the European Media Art Festival, the Director’s Guild of America Jury Award and the Maysle Brothers Award at the Belfast Film Festival.
Ahluwalia’s first fiction feature, Miss Lovely had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012. It was also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and the International Film Festival Rotterdam.
Ashim Ahluwalia’s non-conformist works, a middle ground between pulp and high art, have been exhibited at the Tate Modern, the Museum of Modern Art and the Centre Pompidou.
His short film, made in collaboration with modernist painter Akbar Padamsee, Events In A Cloud Chamber, premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September 2016. It was made both as a single-screen film as well as an installation that reimagined Padamsee’s 1960s apartment-studio as one of the primary sites of Indian avant-garde practice.
Sight and Sound’s Jonathan Romney has described Ahluwalia as “a very impressive talent”. He was named "one of the ten best emerging film directors working today" by Phaidon Press in "Take 100: The Future of Film."