Ritesh Batra is an Indian film director and screenwriter most known as the writer, director and executive producer of The Lunchbox (2013).
Ritesh was born and brought up in Bandra, Mumbai. His father is in the merchant navy and his mother, a yoga teacher. Batra also has an elder sister who runs a tea business in Mumbai. He attended New York University briefly and dropped out of the film program. He studied economics as an undergraduate at Drake University in Des Moines, IA and worked as a consultant for 3 years before he went back to school to study film. He married Claudia Munoz, a Mexican from Puebla in 2009 and became a father in 2012, his daughter was born during the shoot of his debut feature Lunchbox.
His shorts have travelled to several festivals and one of them was even acquired by Arte, he became known for his nuanced portrayals of characters who are regular people in his shorts. Before this he has written and directed short films like Café Regular Cairo, Gareeb Nawaz's Taxi and The Morning Ritual. He has also acted in a short film named Super. Full.
His debut feature The Lunchbox premiered at the Cannes Critics Week section in 2013. The film was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics and Artificial Eye. It went on to play at Telluride, Sarajevo, Toronto and London film festivals. The Lunchbox released in India in September 2013 and crossed 23 crores or USD 4 million in the Indian box office, a record for an art house film in India, it was still playing in over 300 screens in its 5th week.
He is currently based in Mumbai and New York. He is married to Claudia and has a daughter named Aisha.