List of 22 Kollywood Directors

Frequently called the captain of the ship, the Director is the primary creative force behind a Film. The director translates the screenplay onto the screen through a definite vision, aided by a host of a creative & talented team. The entire visual language and the final say rests with the Director, it is the Director’s unique interpretation of the story and of the characters told through an individual cinematic aesthetics that makes the Director the torch-bearer of a Film. The Tamil Film Industry is the home to some indigenous home grown talent. Kollywood directors have carved a niche for themselves in the film industry and continue to churn out good movies. Here is a list of Kollywood directors:

 Mani Ratnam

The man who revolutionized Tamil-language cinema, he is the biggest and most respected director in India. His films contain a unique style, with beautifully photographed songs and unique storyline.

 S.J. Surya

S.J. Surya is an actor and writer, known for Vaalee (1999), Mersal (2017) and Spyder (2017).


Shankar is a film director and producer who started his career as an assistant director to SA Chandrasekar and now he is the highest paid director in the country.

Karthik Subbaraj

Karthik Subbaraj started out as a software engineer in Bangalore, but his interest in film making got the better of him.

Nalan Kumarasamy

A writer and director, known for Soodhu Kavvum (2013), Kadhalum Kadanthu Pogum (2016) and Super Deluxe (2019).

Singeetam Srinivasa Rao

He is a director and writer, known for Bhairava Dweepam (1994), Little John(2001) and Michael Madana Kamarajan (1990).


He was a writer and director, known for Mullum Malarum (1978), Nenjathai Killathe (1981) and Theri(2016). He passed away in April 2019 in Chennai.

S.P. Muthuraman

He is known for his work on Aarilirindhu Aruvathu Varai (1979), Oru Oodhappu Kan Simittugiradhu (1976) and Engeyo Ketta Kural (1982).


He is a film director and screenwriter and made his directorial debut in 2006 with Chithiram Pesuthadi. His other directorials Anjathe and Nandalala received high critical acclaim. He has also proved his acting skills by starring as a mentally challenged person in Nandalala.


A director and writer, known for Sagara Sangamam (1983),  Sankarabharanam (1980) and Eeshwar(1989).


Known for Rudra Veena (1988), Roja (1992) and Ek Duuje Ke Liye (1981) and other films, he passed away on December 23, 2014, in Chennai.

Kamal Haasan

He debuted as a child artiste in the film “Kalathoor Kannamma” (1960), since then, he has starred in nearly 200 films in the major Indian languages.


A writer and producer, known for Visaaranai(2015), Aadukalam (2011) and Polladhavan (2007).

Gautham Menon

A director and writer, known for Vaaranam Aayiram (2008), Ye Maaya Chesave (2010) and Yennai Arindhaal(2015).

Pa. Ranjith

He is an exciting prospect in the new age of Tamil film directors. His debut film was a cult romantic comedy film Attakathi, which had positive reviews and his next film was Madras (2014), which showcased the life of North Madras people and their daily life.

Ameer Sultan

He is a writer and actor, known for Paruthiveeran(2007), Raam (2005) and Vada Chennai (2018).

K.S. Ravikumar

Known for Varalaaru(2006), Dasavatharam (2008) and Padaiyappa (1999).


An actor and producer, known for Subramaniapuram (2008), Sundara (2012) and Pasanga (2009).

Sundaram Balachander

Balachander was one of southern India’s foremost Veena players, a child prodigy who taught himself to play the Veena. He directed many mysteries.

Balu Mahendra

A director and cinematographer, known for Moondram Pirai (1982), Veedu (1988) and Kokila(1977). He passed away on February 13, 2014 in Chennai.

Balaji Sakthivel

A writer and director, known for Vazhakku Enn 18/9 (2012), Kaadhal (2004) and Samurai (2002).

Rajiv Menon

Founder of “Rajiv Menon Productions”, he joined the Film and Television Institute of Chennai in 1981, to study cinematography but turned to direction.

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