The Tamil cinema industry has been witnessing talented and creative directors for the past few decades. The filmmakers in Kollywood are widely known for making both commercial and experimental movies. Currently, the industry has a handful of creative directors. Keeping the contemporary directors’ list aside, we are bringing you the list of the Best Tamil Movie Directors of All Time.
List Of Best Tamil Movie Directors of All Time
K Balachander is a renowned Tamil filmmaker who introduced stars like Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan to the silver screen. Apart from directing socially thought-provoking films and love dramas, Balachander is also famous as a tasteful producer and successful screenwriter. Born in 1930, K Balachander made his silver screen entry as the screenwriter with the 1964 film, Dheiva Thaai. He turned as the film director with the 1965 film, Neerkumizhi. The legendary director passed away in 2014. In his more than four decades of film career, K Balachander won multiple National awards, Filmfare awards and State awards. In 2010, K Balachander was honoured with Dadasaheb Phalke by the Indian government. The legendary director won ANR National Award from the government of Andhra Pradesh.
J Alexander fondly known as J Mahendran is one of the reputed filmmakers in the Tamil industry. In his career, J Mahendran won multiple National and State awards. Before his death, Mahendran used to be the head of the direction department of BOFTA film institute in Chennai.
Made his directorial debut with the 1977 film, 16 Vayathinile, Bharathiraja is known for making sensitive rural dramas. Bharathiraja won six National Awards, four Filmfare Awards, two Tamil Nadu State awards and one Nandi award. The Indian government had honoured him with the Padma Shri award in 2004. In 2005, Bharathiraja was conferred with the Doctors of Letters from Sathyabama University.
Born in Srilanka, Balu Mahendra started his career as a cinematographer and eventually turned into the director. He is even a screenwriter and film editor who made a maximum number of movies in Tamil. As a cinematographer, Balu Mahendra won six National awards, Five Filmfare South awards and several state government awards. As a director, Balu Mahendra made some hard-hitting social dramas.
Krishnaswamy Bhagyaraj fondly known as K Bhagyaraj is one of the reputed directors in Tamil. Apart from directing more than 25 films, Bhagyaraj has also acted in more than seventy-five movies. He received the Filmfare Best Actor Award for the 1983 film, Mundhanai Mudichu. In 2014, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award in SIIMA. He is also a renowned novelist and even the editor for a weekly magazine named Bhagya.
SJ Suryah is a noted Tamil director, actor, screenwriter, music composer and producer who has been working in the Tamil, Telugu and Hindi film industries. Made his directorial debut with the 1999 film, Vaali, SJ Surya directed films with top stars like Pawan Kalyan, Mahesh Babu, Vijay and Ajith. As an actor, SJ Suryah has multiple projects in the pipeline. SJ Suryah as the director received several state awards.
AR Murugadoss is a reputed screenwriter, director and producer. He has been doing films in Tamil and Telugu languages. For the 2014 film, Kaththi, Murugadoss won Filmfare Award in the Best Director category. For the 2002 film, Ramanaa, for the 2005 film, Ghajini and the 2008 film, Ghajini(Hindi remake), Murugadoss won several state and national awards. He also won multiple SIIMA and regional awards for his films like Thuppakki, 7aum Arivu.
Visu is a noted screenwriter, director, television actor and talk-show host in the Tamil industry. In his career, Visu won multiple state and national awards in various film categories.
Mani Ratnam is a reputed director, producer and screenwriter who has National wide popularity. The legendary filmmaker has been doing Hindi-Tamil language films for the past few decades. To date, Mani Ratnam won Six National Awards, four Filmfare Awards, six Filmfare South awards. In 2002, Mani Ratnam is honoured with the Padma Shri award for his contribution to Indian cinema.
Being a versatile actor, Kamal Haasan is a classical dancer, screenwriter, director, producer, playback singer, lyricist and politician. He is a noted celebrity in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada and Bengali films. Apart from winning multiple National awards, Filmfare awards and regional awards, Kamal Haasan was awarded Kalaimamani in 1984. He is honoured with Padma Shri in 1990 and Padma Bhushan in 2014 by the Indian government. Kamal Haasan was awarded Lifetime Achievement Award at the 15th Mumbai International Film Festival in 2013.
CV Sridhar is a reputed director who directed more than sixty films in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi languages. Started his career as a screenplay and story writer in 1954, CV Sridhar eventually turned as the director with the 1959 film, Kalyana Parisu. As the director, CV Sridhar received many National and State awards.
Bala is a reputed director, screenwriter, and producer who has been working in Tamil cinema. Made his directorial debut with the 1999 film, Sethu, Bala is widely known for making films with a realistic texture. He won multiple state, national and regional awards for his tremendous work as the film director and screenwriter. For his 2003 film, Pithamagan( Shivaputrudu in Telugu), Bala won accolades from all over the Nation and brought him good fame among the audience. Currently, the director cum filmmaker is working on the script of his next project.