Atlee (director)

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Atlee at the 8th Vijay Awards, 2014
Arun Kumar

(1986-09-21) 21 September 1986 (age 35)
Alma materSathyabama University[1]
  • Film director
  • screenwriter
  • producer
Years active2010–present
Krishna Priya
(m. 2014)

Arun Kumar, (born 21 September 1986) known mononymously as Atlee, is an Indian Director who makes Tamil-language films.[1] A former assistant director under S. Shankar on the films Enthiran (2010) and Nanban (2012), he is best known for his directorial debut, Raja Rani, produced by Fox Star Studios, for which he was awarded the Vijay Award for Best Debut Director. His next ventures as a director, screenplay and writer for Theri (2016), Mersal (2017) and Bigil (2019), all featured actor Vijay. He is making an upcoming movie with Shah Rukh Khan.


Arun Kumar began his career as an assistant director in Enthiran (2010) under director S. Shankar and continued to work with him in his next project Nanban (2012), a remake of the Hindi film 3 Idiots. In 2013, he made his directorial debut with Raja Rani. The film was produced by Fox Star Studios and AR Murugadoss, and was a romantic comedy featuring Arya, Jai, Nayanthara, Nazriya Nazim and Sathyaraj. Raja Rani earned over 500 million from the South Indian box office within four weeks[2] and won him the Vijay Award for Best Debut Director.[3] Arun Kumar’s next directorial project, Theri, became the second-highest-grossing Tamil film of 2016.[citation needed] This was his first film with actor Vijay.

He started his own production house called A for Apple Production and jointly produced his first film with Fox Star Studios; the film was Sangili Bungili Kadhava Thorae, a horror comedy film written and directed by Ike Radha and starring Jiiva, Sridivya and Soori.[4] His next film, Mersal, starring Vijay, Nithya Menon, Kajal Aggarwal, Samantha and S. J. Surya, with music by A. R. Rahman and produced by Sri Thenandal Films, was released on Diwali 2017. Critics praised Vijay's performance, A. R. Rahman's soundtrack, the cinematography, the social message and Kumar's direction; Mersal also proved a commercial success, grossing ₹251 crore (US$39.5 million) worldwide to become the fifth-highest-grossing Tamil film and Vijay's highest-grossing film of his career.[5][6]

Kumar's next film, Bigil, was his third collaboration with Vijay and released on Diwali 2019 to mixed reviews.[7] His next film, Andhaghaaram starring Arjun Das and Vinoth Kishan released on 24 November 2020 on Netflix. His upcoming film stars Shah Rukh Khan.

Personal life[edit]

Atlee married actress Krishna Priya on 9 November 2014.[8][9]


As director, writer and producer[edit]

Year Title Director Writer Producer Language Notes
2013 Raja Rani Yes Yes No Tamil
2016 Theri Yes Yes No Tamil
2017 Sangili Bungili Kadhava Thorae No No Yes Tamil [10]
2017 Mersal Yes Yes No Tamil co-writer: K. V. Vijayendra Prasad
2019 Bigil Yes Yes No Tamil third collaboration with Vijay
2020 Andhaghaaram No No Yes Tamil
2022 Untitled Shah Rukh Khan film Yes Yes No Hindi Filming[11]

Special appearances[edit]

List of special appearances by Atlee in film
Year Title Notes Ref.
2012 Nanban In the song "Asku Laska"
2019 Bigil In the song "Singapenney"


Film Award Category Result Ref
Raja Rani Tamil Nadu State Film Awards 2013 Best Dialogue Writer Won [12]
Edison Awards Best Debut Director Won
8th Vijay Awards Best Debut Director Won [13]
Best Story, Screenplay Writer Nominated
Best Dialogue Nominated
3rd SIIMA Awards Best Debut Director Nominated
Theri 2nd IIFA Utsavam Best Director – Tamil Won [14]
Behindwoods Gold Medal People's Choice Director Won [15]
6th SIIMA Awards Best Director – Tamil Won [16]
64th Filmfare Awards South Best Director – Tamil Nominated [17]
Mersal Edison Awards 2018 Best Director Won [18]
65th Filmfare Awards South Best Director – Tamil Nominated [19]
7th SIIMA Awards Best Director Won [20]
Techofes Awards Best Director Won [21]
10th Vijay Awards Favourite Director Won [22]
Best Dialogue Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Atlee Kumar (atlee) Biography, Life Story, Career, Awards & Achievements". Filmibeat. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Raja Rani crosses 50 crore mark". The Times of India. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  3. ^ "8th Annual Vijay Awards a grand success". The Times of India. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  4. ^ Suganth, M (19 May 2017). "Sangili Bungili Kadhava Thorae". The Times of India.
  5. ^ "Ilayathalapathy Vijay's Mersal creates history; breaches Rs 250-crore mark". International Business Times. 23 November 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Mersal box office collection: Vijay, Samantha's film completes 100 days". International Business Times. 25 January 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Thalapathy 63: Nayanthara to play Vijay's love interest in Atlee's next?". International Business Times. 15 November 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Director Atlee is engaged to his Rani, Krishna Priya". Behindwoods. 20 January 2016.
  9. ^ "Atlee-Krishna Priya Wedding Reception Photos". International Business Times. 9 November 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Before Thalapathy 63: The films Atlee has been accused of plagiarising". India Today. Chennai. 17 April 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  11. ^ "Tamil director Atlee's next film with Shah Rukh Khan; Nayanthara all set to roll". The Times of India. 3 September 2021. Retrieved 3 September 2021.
  12. ^ "TN Govt. announces Tamil Film Awards for six years". The Hindu. 14 July 2017.
  13. ^ Sangeetha, Seshagiri (6 July 2014). "Vijay Awards: Ajith's 'Arrambam', Kamal Haasan, Sivakarthikeyan Bag Awards [Winners List]". IB Times. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  14. ^ Upadhyaya, Prakash (14 March 2017). "IIFA South Utsavam Awards 2017: Here is the complete nomination list for Tamil movies". International Business Times. Archived from the original on 18 May 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  15. ^ "Complete list of award winners in Behindwoods Gold Medals 2017". Behindwoods. 14 June 2017. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
  16. ^ "SIIMA 2017 Nomination List – Tamil". South Indian International Movie Awards. Archived from the original on 31 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  17. ^ "Tamil Nominations for Filmfare Awards South 2017". Filmfare. Archived from the original on 9 June 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  18. ^ Upadhyaya, Prakash (26 February 2018). "Ilayathalapathy Vijay's Mersal sweeps Edison Awards [winners' list]". International Business Times. Archived from the original on 29 April 2018. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  19. ^ "Nominations for the 65th Jio Filmfare Awards (South) 2018". Filmfare. 4 June 2018. Archived from the original on 4 June 2018. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  20. ^ Goyal, Divya (15 August 2018). "SIIMA 2018 Nominations: Vijay's Mersal Beats Madhavan And Vijay Sethupathi's Vikram Vedha". NDTV. Archived from the original on 10 September 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  21. ^ "T-Awards Poll". Techofes. Archived from the original on 19 February 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
    "Pro Shows". Techofes. Archived from the original on 19 February 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  22. ^ Upadhyaya, Prakash (4 June 2018). "Vijay Awards 2018: Here is the complete list of winners [Photos]". International Business Times. Archived from the original on 4 June 2018. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  23. ^ "The Glitzy Night is Here!". Hotstar. 16 June 2018. Archived from the original on 18 June 2018. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
    "Stars of the Night". Hotstar. 17 June 2018. Archived from the original on 18 June 2018. Retrieved 18 June 2018.

External links[edit]