Prakash Jha was born and raised on his family's farm in Champaran, Bihar, India in 1953. He studied physics at Delhi University until deciding to work on the family farm in 1970. Jha moved to Bombay in 1972 to study at the Film & Television Institute of India. He has been making films independently since 1974 - completing over 25 documentaries, five features, along with numerous television projects. Jha's feature films include the award - winning Damul (1984), award-winning Hip Hip Hurray (1984), 'Parinati' (1986), Bandish (1996) and Mrityudand (1997).
Some of his documentaries include - Pas de deux (1981), award-winning Faces After Storm (1982), Shree Vats (1982), May I Thank Sir (1983), Parampara (1986), Ek Aur Itihaas (1987) and Ek Abihbyakti (1988). Jha has worked on many acclaimed television serials and documentaries. He is also associated with the grassroots movements for social and cultural renaissance. He has been associated with good cinema all along. He has been responsible for some good work, regardless of the BO success rate his films see.
His next venture Dil Kya Kare had impressed Ajay Devgn to the extent that he even agreed to finance it. That the film did not create ripples at the box-office is a different story all together. His next Rahul, which he directed for Subhash Ghai's production house did not do too well at the box-office either.
In 2002, his golden phase began with Gangaajal, starring Ajay Devgn, turning out to be a huge hit at the box-office. Not only did the film rake in the numbers, but won a lot of acclaim and awards as well. 'Gangaajal' bagged the National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues. His next Apaharan in 2005, also starring Ajay Devgn, also bagged the National Film Award for Best Screenplay.
Apart from direction, his films as a producer, Dil Dosti Etc, Khoya Khoya Chand, Turning 30 and Yeh Saali Zindagi, managed to tackle different issues and garnered acclaim as well.
In 2010, his multi-starrer Raajneeti won a lot of accolades and turned out to be a huge box-office hit. After politics, he moves on to the issue of Reservation. His film Aarakshan, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone, despite dealing with an important issue did not find too many takers.
His latest release was the Arjun Rampal-Abhay Deol-Manoj Bajpayee starrer Chakravyuh. The film got mixed reviews from the critics and did not do too well at the box-office.
He has already announced his next film, Satyagraha, which is based on the anti-corruption movement.