Vetri Maaran 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.

Vettri Maaran
Vetrimaaran in August 2016
Vetri Maaran

(1975-09-04) 4 September 1975 [1][2]
Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, India
Alma materLoyola College, Chennai
OccupationFilm director, producer, writer
Years active2007 – present

Vetri Maaran 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 Visaaranai (2016) was selected as India's official entry to Academy Awards.[3]

Personal life

Vetrimaaran's father Dr. V. Chitravel was a veterinary scientist and his mother Megala Chitravel is a noted novelist.[4][5][6] He was born in Cuddalore. He then moved to Ranipet, a suburb of Vellore. He studied up to his tenth grade in Ranipet. Later,he joined Loyola College, Chennai in 1994, to study English Literature. He continued his studies there till 1999 after which he dropped out of his master's degree to pursue a career in the film industry.


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.[7] 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.[8] 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.[8] 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.[8] 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.[8] 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.[9] 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."[10] 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.[11][12]

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.[13] [14] The director also revealed that his fourth venture would see him recombine with Dhanush yet again. Vada Chennai released on 18th October, 2018. The film opened to largely positive reviews.[15] 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 New Delhi based author Kota Neelima but he is yet to start its shooting.[16]

In Dec 2018, Vetrimaaran-Dhanush announced that they will take a break to shoot Asuran before commencing Vadachennai part 2. Movie will be based on a Tamil novel titled 'Vetkai'.[17]


Year Film Director Producer Notes
2007 Polladhavan Y N Vijay Award for Best Director
2011 Aadukalam Y N 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 N Y
Naan Rajavaga Pogiren N Y As dialogue writer
2014 Poriyaalan N Y
2015 Kaakka Muttai N Y National Film Award for Best Children's Film
Filmfare Award for Best Film – Tamil
Edison Award for Best Producer
2016 Visaaranai Y Y National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil
Vikatan Award for Best Director
Kodi N Y
2017 Lens N Y
2018 Annanukku Jai N Y
Vada Chennai Y Y Ananda Vikatan Cinema Award for Best Screenplay
2019 Asuran Y N
Miga Miga Avasaram N Y


  1. "Why Vetrimaaran is the most interesting director in Tamil films today". 2 November 2016.
  2. "Happy Birthday Vetrimaran - Tamil Movie News -".
  3. "Visaaranai to take a shot at Oscar nomination". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 23 September 2016.
  4. "India's Independent Weekly News Magazine". Tehelka. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  5. George, Liza (28 July 2011). "Journey of the mind". The Hindu. Chennai, India.
  6. "Vetrimaaran's Mother To His Rescue! - Tamil Movie News". IndiaGlitz. 27 April 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  7. "Dhanush's Desiya Nedunchalai launched". Retrieved 6 January 2010.
  8. "Vetrimaaran - Tamil Cinema Director Interview - Vetrimaaran | Aadukalam | Polladhavan | Dhanush | G V Prakashkumar | Tapasee -". Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  9. "Movie Review:Polladhavan". Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  10. "Cinema Plus / Cinema : Never a dull moment". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 16 November 2007. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  11. "Metro Plus Chennai / Events : Awards and accolades all the way". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 6 May 2008. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  12. "Polladhavan - Pick of Diwali!". 14 November 2007. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  13. "Latest On Str - Vetrimaaran Film - Str - Andrea - Tamil Movie News". 19 December 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  14. "Dhanush-Vetri Maaran to work on Vada Chennai's sequel, too". 10 August 2015.
  15. "Metro Plus Coimbatore / People : Two stories of success". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 16 February 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  16. "Neelima Kota is confident that Vetrimaaran will do justice to her book". India Today. 19 March 2016.
  17. "Dhanush-Vetrimaaran's next titled 'Asuran', first look poster out". Newsminute. 28 December 2018.
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