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Born Vetrimaaran
Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, India
Occupation Film director, producer, writer
Years active 2007 – present

Vetrimaaran is an Indian film director, screenwriter, and film producer, who works in the Tamil film industry. As of 2016, he has won four National Film Awards and one Filmfare Award.

Vetrimaaran made his directorial debut with the critically acclaimed Polladhavan (2007). His second feature film Aadukalam (2011) won six National Film Awards. He produces films under his production company, Grass Root Film Company. His movie Visaranai (2016) has been selected as India's official entry to Academy Awards.[1][citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Vetrimaaran's father Dr. V. Chitravel was a veterinary scientist and his mother Megala Chitravel is a noted novelist.[2][3][4] He was born in Cuddalore. Then he moved to Ranipet. He studied till his tenth grade in Ranipet, a suburb of Vellore. Loyola College, Chennai, to study English literature in 1994, and was in there until 1999 when he discontinued his Master's degree to pursue a career in the film world. After pursuing an elective course called "Television presentation" offered by the Loyola Department of Visual Communication in 1995, Vetrimaaran started to show interest towards film making.


In 1999, Vetrimaaran worked as an assistant director for Kadhai Neram for Sun TV by Balu Mahendra, featuring 52 short stories for 52 episodes. In a team of 4-5 assistant directors, Vetrimaaran read around 50-60 short stories in a week and shortlist a few and present the synopsis to Balu Mahendra, who would select the required storyline. After Kadai Neram, he went on to work with Kadhir in Kadhal Virus for 2 years, whilst also working with Balu Mahendra for Julie Ganapathy and then Adhu Oru Kana Kaalam. At the time, he prepared a script for Dhanush, who has the lead hero of the films he worked in, and Dhanush immediately accepted the offer after hearing the story. The film titled Desiya Nedunchalai 47 was initially launched with Yuvan Shankar Raja as the music director and Ekambaram as the cinematographer.[5] After he found trouble finding producers with A. M. Rathnam and Salem Chandrasekhar leaving the project after initial interest, Dhanush's sister Dr. Vimala Geetha agreed to produce the film, but she also dropped the film. Dhanush's father Kasthuri Raja finally agreed to produce the film and Kirat Bhattal was signed as heroine, while Harris Jayaraj was selected as music director. However, after two days of shoot the film was shelved and Dhanush opted to pursue other films after the surprise success of his Thiruvilayadal Arambam.[6] The film's collapse saw Vetrimaaran approach producer Kadiresan and narrated to him the stories he had prepared but the producer did not like Desiya Nedunchaalai 47, but agreed to work on another project titled Polladhavan.

Vetrimaaran has since described that he had "ample time" for he production works of Polladhavan as "Dhanush had confidence in him". Production designer Durai helped him rope in G. V. Prakash Kumar to score the film's music, while Dhanush also recommended cinematographer Velraj to Vetrimaaran after the pair had worked together in Parattai Engira Azhagu Sundaram.[6] Vetrimaaran chose Kannada language actor Kishore to make his Tamil film debut after his assistant gave him rave reviews of the actor's performance in the unfinished Prashanth-starrer Petrol. The team held test shoots with both Kajal Aggarwal and Poonam Bajwa for the film and released the stills to the media, but Vetrimaaran was still unsatisfied and finished two schedules before finalising on Divya Spandana. The director revealed that there was initially an issue with the actress after she got offended by his words and did not come for the shoot for three days, before Durai intervened.[6] The film's story was inspired partly by the lost bike of his friend Andrew and the variety of experiences he had tracking down his vehicle. Vetrimaaran revealed that when he wrote the script, he made many changes to suit the visual medium and for Dhanush on his physical attributes while playing an action hero.[6] The film opened in November 2007 to rave reviews, with the critic from stating that "Vetri has made his mentor proud, and his style of narration and takings are very similar to the ace director [Balu Mahendra]", labelling that the film had shades of Vittorio De Sica's 1948 Italian film, Bicycle Thieves.[7] The reviewer from The Hindu stated that "at no point does Polladhavan sag and that writer-director Vetrimaaran has slogged through his screenplay and the result shows."[8] The film also emerged successful commercially usurping collections of the Vijay-starrer Azhagiya Tamil Magan and the Suriya-starrer Vel and subsequently went on to win four Vijay Awards including Best Director for Vetrimaaran.[9][10]

Vetrimaaran is currently undertaking pre-production and scripting work for his next directorial venture, Vada Chennai, a tale on the mafia wars of North Chennai. When announced in 2009, Karthi was initially touted to play the lead role, although an official announcement from the producers in 2012 revealed that Silambarasan, Rana Daggubati, Divya Spandana and Andrea Jeremiah would essay pivotal roles in the film.[11] Vetrimaaran is ready with sequel of Vada Chennai[12] The director has also revealed that his fourth venture would see him recombine with Dhanush yet again.[13] In 2012, Vetrimaaran also launched his own production house called the Grass Root Film Company and launched his maiden project, Udhayam - NH47 with Siddharth in the lead role and his associate Manimaran as director.

In 2016, he announced a movie based on the novel 'Shoes Of The Dead' written by Delhi based author Kota Neelima but he is yet to start its shooting.[14]


Year Film Actor Director Producer Writer
2007 Polladhavan Red XN Green tickY Red XN Vijay Award for Best Director
2011 Aadukalam Red XN Green tickY Red XN National Film Award for Best Director
National Film Award for Best Screenplay
Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Director
SIIMA Award for Best Director
Vijay Award for Best Director
2013 Udhayam NH4 Red XN Red XN Green tickY
Naan Rajavaga Pogiren Red XN Red XN Green tickY As dialogue writer
2014 Poriyaalan Red XN Red XN Green tickY
2015 Kaaka Muttai Red XN Red XN Green tickY National Film Award for Best Children's Film
Filmfare Award for Best Film – Tamil
Edison Award for Best Producer
2016 Visaranai Red XN Green tickY Green tickY National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil
Vikatan Award for Best Director
Kodi Red XN Red XN Green tickY
2017 Vada Chennai Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Lens Red XN Red XN Green tickY


  1. ^ "Visaranai to take a shot at Oscar nomination". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 2016-09-23. 
  2. ^ "India's Independent Weekly News Magazine". Tehelka. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  3. ^ George, Liza (2011-07-28). "Journey of the mind". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 
  4. ^ "Vetrimaaran's Mother To His Rescue! - Tamil Movie News". IndiaGlitz. 2011-04-27. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  5. ^ "Dhanush's Desiya Nedunchalai launched". Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Vetrimaaran - Tamil Cinema Director Interview - Vetrimaaran | Aadukalam | Polladhavan | Dhanush | G V Prakashkumar | Tapasee -". Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  7. ^ "Movie Review:Polladhavan". Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  8. ^ "Cinema Plus / Cinema : Never a dull moment". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2007-11-16. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  9. ^ "Metro Plus Chennai / Events : Awards and accolades all the way". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  10. ^ "Polladhavan - Pick of Diwali!". 2007-11-14. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  11. ^ "Latest On Str - Vetrimaaran Film - Str - Andrea - Tamil Movie News". 2011-12-19. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  12. ^ "Dhanush-Vetri Maaran to work on Vada Chennai's sequel, too". 10 August 2015. 
  13. ^ "Metro Plus Coimbatore / People : Two stories of success". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2011-02-16. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  14. ^ "Neelima Kota is confident that Vetrimaaran will do justice to her book". India Today. 19 March 2016. 

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