Motwane was a long-time assistant of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and collaborated with Bhansali on the films Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) and Devdas (2002). He directed the song sequences in Anurag Kashyap's unreleased film Paanch (2003) and was Choreographer on Deepa Mehta's Academy Award-nominated film Water (2005).
Motwane released his debut feature film, entitled Udaan (2010), for Anurag Kashyap's production house, Anurag Kashyap Films, on 16 July 2010., which won seven Filmfare awards including Filmfare critics award for best movie and also won him the Best Director Award at the 2011 Star Screen Awards.
Motwane's second film, a period romance called Lootera, was released on 5 July 2013.
Motwane's third film was a survival drama called Trapped. The film had its world premiere at the Mumbai Film Festival on October 26, 2016, where it was praised and received a Standing ovation. The film was released theatrically on March 17, 2017 to universal critical acclaim. The movie also won the award for 'Best Asian Film' by Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival in 2017.