Onir was born in Samchi, a small town in Bhutan, on the 30th of April, 1969. He did his schooling in Bhutan after which he went to Kolkatta (India) for college in the year 1986. Onir graduated as a student of Comparative literature from Jadavpur University in 1989. While in University, he studied German, Russian, Bengali, and Tamil. He also joined the film studies course at Chitrabani, Kolkatta.
He was offered a Scholarship to train at an advanced editing course with SFB/TTC Berlin.
In 1999, he was working as the film editor, song designer, and song director of the film “Daman” directed by Kalpana Lajmi.
This was where he met the actor Sanjay Suri. They began talking about Onir’s concepts and it was because of Sanjay’s pushing that Onir started work on his first script. “Five years …five scripts and no producers!” Finally, in 2004 Sanjay and Onir decided to produce his first film: “MY BROTHER NIKHIL”, which became the first mainstream film that addressed homosexuality apart from issues of human rights and HIV/AIDS. Yash Raj released this film on 25th march 2005.
For many months after its release, Onir traveled across the globe with “MY BROTHER NIKHIL”. This was an experience he still treasures.
In Jan 2006, He started shooting his second feature film: “BAS EK PAL” starring Juhi Chawla, Urmila Matondkar, Jimmy Sheirgill, Rehaan Engineer and Sanjay Suri. The film was released on the 15th of Sept 2006.
In 2007, actor Sanjay Suri and Onir started their third film together under their home production ANTICLOCK FILMS: “SORRY BHAI!” The film marked the return of Chitrangda Singh to the Hindi film industry. It also starred Shabana Azmi, Sanjay Suri and Boman Irani and was shot in Mauritius.
In 2009, Onir started the unique, citizen-funded film project: “I AM” under the banner of ANTICLOCK FILMS. “I AM” would be the first of its kind in India. The film had four stories which were interlinked by characters and shot across four cities in India. The film dealt with stories that had never been addressed by mainstream Hindi cinema. The funds for the film had been secured through Facebook and blogging. “I AM” is probably the first and largest crowd-sourced film through social networks in India. Over 400 people in 47 cities across the world came together to make the film. “I AM” was released to wide critical acclaim on 29th April 2011.