is an Indian film producer, screenwriter and director.Rao was born into a family from Telangana on 7 November 1973. Her paternal grandfather was J. Rameshwar Rao, Raja of Wanaparthy, Mahabubnagar district, Telangana state.
She was raised in Kolkata where she attended Loreto House. In 1992, her parents decided to leave Kolkata so she moved to Mumbai.She graduated with an economics major from the Sophia College for Women (Mumbai) in 1995. She attended the Social Communications Media course at the Sophia Polytechnic for two months, but then quit and left for Delhi.
She got her Masters at AJK Mass Communication Research Center at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.
Actress Aditi Rao Hydari is Rao's first cousin.
Rao started her career as an assistant director in the epic film Lagaan directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, whom she also assisted later on Swades: We, the People. Lagaan was nominated for 74th Academy Awards in the foreign language film category.
Aamir Khan produced and starred in the same film. Before Lagaan, she has also done minute role of supporting actress in Dil Chahta Hai. She also worked as second assistant director with Academy Award nominated director Mira Nair on the indie hit Monsoon Wedding.
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