Lokesh Kanagaraj is an Indian film director and screenwriter who primarily works in the Tamil entertainment industry. He gained recognition after directing the blockbuster film Kaithi in 2019.
Lokesh Kanagaraj was born on Friday, 14 March 1986 (age 37 years; as of 2023) in Kinathukadavu, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. His zodiac sign is Pisces. Lokesh grew up in a middle-class family. He completed his schooling at the Palanayiammal Higher Secondary School, Kalliyapuram, Tamil Nadu. He enrolled himself at the PSG College of Arts and Science, Coimbatore, where he pursued his graduation in fashion technology The Times of India. Lokesh completed a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Anna University, Chennai.
Height (approx.): 5′ 9″
Weight (approx.): 75 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
His father was a bus conductor. He has three brothers, Aravind Gnanasambandam, Ashwin Venkatesh, and Prashanth Gnanasambandam
Wife & Children
On 8 January 2012, Lokesh got married to Aishwarya Lokesh. On 15 September 2011, the couple got engaged. Lokesh and Aishwarya have two children, a daughter, Adhvika Lokesh, and a son Aarudhra Lokesh.
While completing his graduation, Lokesh developed an interest in filmmaking. Before making a career as a filmmaker, Lokesh worked in a private bank in Chennai for almost five years. Later, he got an opportunity to participate in the corporate short film competition Clubace Short Film Festival, where the Indian director Karthik Subbaraj was invited as a judge. Lokesh entered the competition with his short film Acham Thavir; the film won him the Best Director award at the competition. Surprised by his directorial abilities, Karthik advised and prompted him to pursue a career as a filmmaker. Lokesh, who had never received any kind of formal training in film direction, learnt the concepts of direction by watching his idol Kamal Haasan’s films. Consequently, he quit his job and stepped into the film industry as a director and writer.
In 2016, Lokesh made his debut as a director and writer with the short film Kalam, which was a part of the anthology film Aviyal; the film consisted of four short films.
In 2017, he directed his first feature film Maanagaram, which became a commercial success at the box office.
In 2019, Lokesh rose to prominence after he directed the action thriller film Kaithi with Karthi in the lead role; the film was nominated for the Best Director Award at the South Indian International Movie Awards.
His next directorial film was Master, which was theatrically released in 2021, starring Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi; the film became the highest-grossing Tamil film of 2021. News18 In 2022, Lokesh directed the action thriller film Vikram, starring Kamal Haasan, which earned a huge success at the box office.
In 2023, he directed the film Leo, which is the second collaboration of actor Vijay with Lokesh after the 2021 film Master.
- 2018: Best Debut Director Award for the film Maanagaram at the 10th Vijay Awards
- 2020: Favourite Director Award for the film Kaithi at the Zee Cine Awards Tamil
- 2021: Favourite Director Award for the film Master at the Galatta Crown Awards
- 2022: Talent of the Decade Award at the 8th Edition of Behindwoods Gold Medal Awards for his contribution to the Tamil film industry
- 2022: Best Director Award for the film Master at the South Indian International Movie Awards
- 2023: Best Director (Tamil) Award at the 11th South Indian International Movie Awards (SIIMA) in September 2023 for the film ‘Vikram’
- Lokesh created a film franchise, Lokesh Cinematic Universe (LCU), which is a shared universe of Tamil action thriller films, directed by him; the name was suggested by Lokesh’s fans and Lokesh agreed to name it LCU.
- In an interview, Lokesh stated that one of his favourite Indian actors is Kamal Haasan, and he was greatly influenced by him since childhood. He further said that he was so obsessed with Kamal that he questioned her mother why she did not name him Vikram as Kamal Haasan’s film Vikram (1986) was released the same year Lokesh was born.
- In 2014, his directorial short film Customer Delight won the Best Shortfilm Award at the All India Corporate Film Competition.
- On 16 March 2017, Lokesh was invited as a judge at the film festival AVTAR (Amateur Visualizers Talents Awards and Recognitions), which was held at Dr G R Damodaran College of Science, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
- In 2021, Lokesh made a brief appearance in his directorial film Master.
- The 2023 Bollywood film Bholaa was the adaption to Lokesh’s directorial Tamil film Kaithi (2019).
- In 2023, Lokesh made a cameo appearance in the Tamil film Singapore Saloon.