Venkat Prabhu

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Venkat Prabhu
Born Venkat Kumar Gangai Amaren
(1975-11-07) 7 November 1975 (age 40)
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Occupation Actor, director, playback singer, screenwriter
Years active 1997–present
Spouse(s) Rajalakshmi (2001–present)
Relatives Premji Amaren (Brother)
Gangai Amaren (Father)

Venkat Kumar Gangai Amaren (born 7 November 1975), better known by his stage name Venkat Prabhu, is an Indian filmmaker, who has worked as an actor, director and playback singer in the Tamil film industry. After completing his education, he began pursuing an acting career, with his first three ventures, featuring him in a starring role, failing to release, following which he began appearing in character roles. He entered the spotlight for the first time when he turned director with the summer hit Chennai 600028 (2007).[1] He achieved further commercial successes with his subsequent directorials Saroja (2008), Biriyani (2013) and Mankatha (2011). His father Gangai Amaren is a music director.


Early years[edit]

Venkat Prabhu lived in the United Kingdom for seven years; during that time, he completed his high school and university studies, obtaining a degree in accounting[2][3] at Middlesex University.[4] Following his return to India, Prabhu began singing for demos by his cousins, Yuvan Shankar Raja and Karthik Raja,[2] and started his career as a playback singer in the film industry. In 1996, he, his brother Premgi Amaren and his childhood friend S. P. B. Charan set up a music band called Next Generation,[1] which also featured Yugendran and Thaman as members,[5][6] and did several stage performances. The following year, Prabhu played the lead role opposite Sangeetha in a film titled Poonjolai directed by his father Gangai Amaren,[7][8] but the film was cancelled mid-production and attempts to revive and release the film by the late-2000s were unsuccessful.[7] Prabhu starred in two more ventures, alongside his friends S. P. B. Charan and Yugendran, Wanted, directed by Premgi Amaren,[9][10] and Agathiyan's Kadhal Samrajyam,[11][12] both failing to release as well. Venkat Prabhu was then approached to essay supporting roles, with April Maadhathil (2002), becoming his first release. He went on to play character roles in nearly ten films, the most notable ventures being N. Linguswamy's Ji, starring Ajith Kumar, and the Perarasu-directorial Sivakasi, featuring Vijay in the lead role. In 2008, He worked in Seeman's Vaazhthugal alongside Madhavan in his last credited appearance to date. He also played lead roles in Samuthirakani's directorial debut, Unnai Charanadaindhen and Gnabagam Varuthey (2007), both co-starring Charan.

Chennai 600028 and the future[edit]

In 2007, Venkat Prabhu ventured into film directing with the sports comedy film Chennai 600028, produced by S. P. B. Charan that revolved around a street cricket team from a suburban area in Chennai, with its players being portrayed by 11 newcomers, including his brother Premgi. The film emerged a sleeper hit,[13][14] garnering high critical acclaim and becoming labelled a "cult classic" in the following years,[15] which led to the lead cast growing in popularity. He next directed the comedy thriller film Saroja (2008), the title being derived from a hit number from Chennai 600028,[16] which also featured an ensemble cast including Charan and Premgi. The film followed the journey of four young men who, by taking a diversion off the main road, land into the hands of a kidnapper gang; it received positive response from critics and at the box office as well. He followed it up with Goa (2010), a full-length comedy film, which received mixed response and fairly well at the box-office. In 2011, he directed his biggest project to date, the action thriller Mankatha, featuring Ajith Kumar in the lead role went on to become one of the highest grossing Tamil movies of all time.

His next project, Biriyani (2013), featured Karthi and Hansika Motwani in the lead roles.

After Biriyani, Venkat Prabhu directed Massu Engira Masilamani with Suriya in the lead role. The film was produced by K. E. Gnanavelraja's Studio Green and co-produced by S. R. Prakashbabu and S. R. Prabhu; it was released on 29 May 2015.

Venkat Prabhu has often taken an unconventional approach to filmmaking and has brought a number of innovations to the industry through the characters and screenplays of his films.[17] Currently, he is working on the sequel of 2007 blockbuster Chennai 600028.

Personal life[edit]

Venkat Prabhu is the son of director-turned-music-director Gangai Amaran and older brother to actor, singer and music director Premji Amaran. His uncle is the music director Ilayaraaja and his cousins are the music composers Yuvan Shankar Raja, Karthik Raja and singer Bhavatharini.[18] S. P. B. Charan, producer of Prabhu's first directorial venture Chennai 600028, is his very close friend and they both have worked together on several projects.

He did his schooling at St. Bede’s school in Chennai. On 10 September 2001, Venkat Prabhu married Rajalakshmi, the foster daughter of dance teacher K. J. Sarasa, and has a daughter named Shivani.[19] Shivani has already sung a song for the album Thaaaii when she was 5 years old.[20]



Year Film Language Notes
2007 Chennai 600028 Tamil Vijay Award for Best Find of the Year
Vijay Award for Best Crew
Nominated—Vijay Award for Best Director
Nominated—Vijay Award for Best Story, Screenplay Writer
2008 Saroja Tamil Nominated—Vijay Award for Favourite Director
2010 Goa Tamil Edison Award for Best Romantic Film
2011 Mankatha Tamil Vijay Award for Favourite Director
ITFA Best Director Award
Edison Awards – Best Director of the Year
2013 Biriyani Tamil
2015 Massu Engira Masilamani Tamil
2016 Chennai 600028 II: Second Innings Tamil


Year Film Role Note
2002 April Maadhathil Kadhir's friend
Vikadan Harish's friend
2003 Unnai Saranadainthaen Kannan
2004 Neranja Manasu Machakaalai
2005 Ji Uma
Sivakasi Udayappa and Muthappa's brother-in-law
Mazhai Kasi
2007 Vasantham Vandhachu Kumaresan
Gnabagam Varuthey Ramu
2008 Vaazhthugal Kalai
Saroja Special appearance
2010 Goa Special appearance
2011 Mankatha Uncredited appearance
2013 Naveena Saraswathi Sabatham Himself Special appearance
2014 Ninaithathu Yaaro Himself Special appearance
Nalanum Nandhiniyum Himself Special appearance
Kathai Thiraikathai Vasanam Iyakkam Himself Special appearance
Theriyama Unna Kadhalichitten Himself Special appearance
2015 Vizhithiru Filming
Delayed Rendavathu Padam Special appearance


No Film Song Composer Notes
1 Kalyana Galatta "Aadham Evaal" Yuvan Shankar Raja
2 Ullasam "Cholare" Karthik Raja
3 Daas "Ennoda Raasi" Yuvan Shankar Raja
4 Veyilodu Vilayadu "Kattukadanga" Karthik Raja
5 Kadhal Samrajyam "Mullai Poo" Yuvan Shankar Raja
6 Kunguma Poovum Konjum Puravum "Muthathu Pakkathile" Yuvan Shankar Raja
7 Siddu +2 "Naan Aalana Thamarai" Dharan
8 Adhe Neram Adhe Idam "Nammooru Chennaiyile" Premji Amaren
9 Thulluvadho Ilamai "Neruppu Kootadikkuthu" Yuvan Shankar Raja
10 Pugaippadam "Oru Kudaiyil" Gangai Amaran
11 Enakku 20 Unakku 18 "Oru Nanban" A. R. Rahman
12 Samba "Nandamuri Chandamama" Mani Sharma
13 Thozha "Oru Nayagan" Premji Amaren
14 Chennai 600028 "Yaaro" Yuvan Shankar Raja
15 Goa "Yezhuzhu Thalaimurai" Yuvan Shankar Raja
16 Vanavarayan vallavarayan "Kongunattu thendralukkum" Yuvan Shankar raja


  • Idho Boopalam
  • Kundakka Mandakka
  • Thedathey Tholaindhu Povai
  • Kollywood Kings

Recurring collaborators[edit]

Venkat Prabhu often casts certain actors more than once in his films. His younger brother Premji has appeared in all of his movies whereas Jai, Shiva, Vaibhav and Sampath Raj are among his most frequent acting collaborators.

Venkat's cousin, Yuvan Shankar Raja, has composed the music for all his films, whilst another cousin, Vasuki Bhaskar, contributes as the costume designer. Duo Praveen and Srikanth have been Venkat's editors and Sakthi Saravanan has served as cinematographer for all of Venkat's films except Masss in which R.D.Rajasekhar was the cinematographer.Stunt Silva worked as stunt choreographer for all of Venkat's film except Chennai 600028.

Actor Chennai 600028
Premji Amaren YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY
Jai YesY Cameo YesY Cameo Cameo
Shiva YesY YesY
Vaibhav YesY YesY YesY Cameo Cameo
Sampath Raj YesY YesY YesY Voice over YesY
Aravind Akash YesY Cameo YesY YesY Cameo YesY
Subbu Panchu Cameo YesY YesY YesY
Nithin Sathya YesY Cameo YesY
Vijay Vasanth YesY Cameo Cameo Cameo Cameo


  1. ^ a b Malini Mannath I was mixing money with friendship: Venkat Prabhu interview. 6 June 2007
  2. ^ a b "Generation NEXT". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 22 October 2003. 
  3. ^ "Prabhu gets candid!". The Times of India. 1 September 2008. 
  4. ^ The amazing success story of Venkat!
  5. ^ Raghavan, Nikhil (10 September 2009). "On a song". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 
  6. ^ "Fresh notes". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 26 June 2009. 
  7. ^ a b "A young Venkat Prabhu to storm theaters?". IndiaGlitz. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "Actor Sangeetha content with her success". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 3 August 2006. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  9. ^ "A-Z (V)". Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  10. ^ "1997–98 Kodambakkam babies Page". Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  11. ^ "Vasundhara's no glam doll". 29 April 2002. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  12. ^ "Youthful line-up". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 5 July 2002. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  13. ^ "Tamil cinema in 2007 – half-year report". Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  14. ^ "CHENNAI 28 BOX OFFICE TOP 10 OF 2007". Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  15. ^ "Movies that beat the odds – Chennai 600028". Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  16. ^ "'Saroja is not Chennai 600028'". Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ Krishna, Sandhya (1997). "Kodambakkam Babies". Indolink. Retrieved 12 December 1997.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  19. ^ "Venkat Prabhu's big day". Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  20. ^ "Venkat Prabhu's child becomes singer". Retrieved 29 May 2012. 

External links[edit]