Ahluwalia is the only Indian director to have had his work premiere in the official selections of the Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Toronto and SXSW festivals. 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." His directorial debut, John & Jane (2005), premiered at the Toronto and Berlin Film Festivals in 2006. It was the first Indian film to be released theatrically by HBO Films. His second feature, Miss Lovely (2012), had its world premiere in the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival. His third film, the true-life gangster epic Daddy (2017) opened on 2000 screens worldwide on Sept 8th, 2017.