P. Bharathiraja is a South Indian filmmaker who works mainly in the Tamil film industry. Bharathiraja displayed a story-teller’s potential from an early age. He is known for his realistic and sensitive portrayal of village-life in his movies. He is well known for his work in 16 Vayathinile, Muthal Mariyathai, Vedham Pudhithu, Karuththamma, Kizhakku Cheemayile and Anthimanthaarai. He has won six National Film Awards, two Tamil Nadu State Film Awards and is also a recipient of other awards such as Filmfare Awards South, Cinema Express Awards and Nandi Awards. Bharathiraja started his film career as an assistant to director and Actors P. Pullaiya, Malayalam filmmaker Krishnan Nair and Kannada filmmaker Puttanna Kanagal. His first film 16 Vayathinile for which he wrote the script broke the then existing convention to create a new genre of village cinema. His next film Kizhake Pogum Rail produced similar results and eventually brought in criticisms that Bharathiraja was capable of catering only to village audiences.

Bharathiraja confirmed his versatility and refusal to be tied down to one particular genre with an experimental film Nizhalgal and an action thriller Tik Tik Tik. But, undoubtedly rural themes proved to be his forte as his biggest hits in the 1980s Alaigal Oivadhillai, Mann Vasanai and Muthal Mariyathai were strong love stories in a village backdrop. Muthal Mariyathai starred veteran actor Sivaji Ganesan in the lead, playing a middle-aged village head. Radha is a poor young woman who moves into his village for a living. The love that bonds these two humans separated not just by age but also by caste and class, is told by Bharathiraja with poetic touches. Bharathiraja with poetic touches. Vedham Pudhithu dealt with the caste issue in a stronger manner. The film’s narrative was seamless and starred Sathyaraj as Balu Thevar. It contains some of Bharathiraja’s trademark touches as well as several ground-breaking scenes. The commercial success of Kizhakku Cheemaiyile and the awards Karuththamma garnered stand as testimony for his ability to thrill the younger generation as well. Bharathiraja was on the same stage in 1996 to receive another National Award for Anthimanthaarai. He has plans of making short films with varying themes to attract the international audience and has currently completed his latest venture Kadal Pookal and picked up a national award for the best screenplay writer for the same film. The well-known Tamil film director Bhagyaraj was one of his assistant directors. He has also directed movies in Telugu, Kannada and Hindi.

Awards 2004 – Padmashri from the Government of India, National Film Awards for Best Feature Film in Telugu and Tamil, Filmfare Best Director Award for Sigappu Rojakkal, Tamil Nadu State Film Awards Best Director Award for 16 Vayathinile and Alaigal Oivathillai.

Name Bharathiraja
Real Name Chinnasaamy Periyamayathevar
DOB 17-07-1941
Place of Birth Theni,Tamil Nadu
Complexion Very Dark
Hair color Black
Eye color Black
Nationality Indian
Religion Hindu
Height 5’4”
Birth Sign Cancer
Occupation Film Director,Actor,Producer
Active from 1977
Debut movie 16 Vayathinile (Tamil)
Known For 16 Vayathinile,Alaigal Oivathillai,Mudhal Mariyathai
Awards Padma Shri (2004)
Home Town Chennai
Parents Periyamayathevar – Meenakshiyammal
Spouse Chandra Leelavathi
Date of Marriage
Children Manoj,Janani
Siblings Jayaraj
Relative Manojkumar (Brother-in-law)
Interesting Facts

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