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(1964-09-23) 23 September 1964 (age 56)
OccupationActor, Director, Painter
(m. 1995)

Ponvannan (born 23 September 1964) is an Indian actor and director who has worked in Tamil cinema and television. After beginning his career as an artist (painter)Ponvannan apprenticed as a director and writer under Bharathiraja. He subsequently made his directorial debut with Annai Vayal (1992), before making the critically acclaimed venture, Nadhi Karaiyinile (2003).[2] He has since appeared as a supporting actor in films, winning acclaim for his role in films including Paruthiveeran (2007), Ayan (2009) and Kaaviya Thalaivan (2014). In October 2015, he was elected as the Vice President of the Nadigar Sangam alongside Karunas.


Ponvannan began his career as an artist in his home town of Erode and became acquainted with writer Valampuri John, which led to him working for producer Kovaithambi's Motherland Pictures. Through his exposure, gained at the production house, he began to apprentice under director Bharathiraja and helped the director write dialogues for his films.[3] Ponvannan gradually was introduced as an actor by Bharathiraja and appeared in supporting roles in the director's Pudhu Nellu Pudhu Naathu (1991), Karuthamma (1994) and Pasumpon (1995). During the period, he also made the low-budget film Annai Vayal, which went unnoticed. Throughout the 1990s, he appeared in further supporting roles, often typecast as the villain in films.[citation needed]

His second directorial venture, Jameela (2003), featuring Suvalakshmi, Rajan P. Dev and Ramji, told the story of an ego clash between two men which ruins the life of an obedient woman. Ponvannan had been impressed with writer Sara Abubakar's novel and bought the script rights, before submitting his screenplay to National Film Development Corporation of India to finance the film. The agency agreed and Jameela was shot for seventeen days in Pondicherry at a cost of 35 lakh rupees.[2] The film won positive reviews in screenings and was well received by critics, prompting it to be selected to be shown in the non-competitive category at the 2002 Shanghai International Film Festival.[4]

After being censored in 2001,[citation needed][why?] the film had only a theatrical release across India in November 2003 under the title Nadhi Karaiyinile, after the distributor Viswas Sundar did not want the film to be classified as a "Muslim film".[2]

The film did not perform well at the box office, but won three State film awards including the recognition as Best Film portraying Women in Good Light.[5] The Hindu described Ponvannan's direction as an "absorbing presentation", adding "his sensitivity comes to the fore throughout the film".[6] His next venture, the comedy drama Gomathi Nayagam (2004), had its title taken from the name of his popular character from the television serial Annamalai. The film had a low-key release and did not perform well commercially.[7]

Ponvannan made a comeback as an actor through Ameer's Paruthiveeran (2007), portraying the father of Priyamani's character, and the success of the film garnered further acting opportunities for him.[8] He won acclaim for his performances as the upright police officer in Mysskin's Anjathe (2009) and as the shrewd customs official in Ayan (2009).[3] Ponvannan played a stage actor in Vasanthabalan's period film Kaaviya Thalaivan (2014), winning acclaim for his performance in an ensemble cast.[9]

Personal life

Ponvannan married National Award-winning actress Saranya, daughter of Malayalam director A. B. Raj, in 1995.[10]


As actor

Year Movie Role Notes
1991 Pudhu Nellu Pudhu Naathu Also dialogue writer
1992 Annai Vayal Also director & script writer
Government Mappillai
1993 Amma Ponnu Police Inspector
Kadal Pura
1994 Karuththamma Thavasi
1995 Pasumpon Sellasamy
Maaman Magal Muthurasu
Gandhi Pirantha Mann
1996 Vaigarai Pookkal Soori
Katta Panchayathu
Namma Ooru Raasa
1997 Rettai Jadai Vayasu
Ettupatti Rasa Ponrasu
Periya Thambi Rathnam
Periya Idathu Mappillai Chellappa
Saathi Sanam
1998 Velai
1999 Poomagal Oorvalam Kavitha's father
Annan Manikkam
2000 Kannukkul Nilavu Soundar
Aandavan Dubbed version of Aatank Hi Aatank (1995)
2001 Kanna Unnai Thedukiren
2003 Nilavil Kalangamillai
E. P. Ko 215
2005 Gomathi Nayagam Gomathi Nayagam Also director
2007 Paruthiveeran Kazhuva Thevan
Nam Naadu Ilamaaran
Flash Mutashan Malayalam film
2008 Anjathe Keerti Vaasan
Valluvan Vasuki Thalaivar
Muniyandi Vilangial Moonramandu Muthumani
Silambattam Veeraiyan
2009 Ayan Parthiban
Mayandi Kudumbathar Thavasi Mayandi
Muthirai Aadhikesavan
Peranmai Ganapathi Ram
Aarumaname Rajadurai
2010 Porkkalam Pasupathy
Maathi Yosi
Pulliman Malayalam film
2011 Seedan
Singam Puli
Ponnar Shankar Chinnamalai Gounder
Sankarankovil Mahalingam
Vaagai Sooda Vaa JP Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Villain
Raa Raa
2012 Vilayada Vaa Deva
2013 Kadal Chetty Barnabodas
Thalaivaa Ranga
2014 Sooran
Sathuranga Vettai ACP
Kaaviya Thalaivan S. V. Bairava Sundaram
Lingaa Deva
2015 Yatchan Durai
Bhooloham Rathinam
2016 Kadalai Boopathy
2017 Bogan Rajkumar
Ayyanar Veethi Ayyanar
Yaanum Theeyavan Jayaprakash
Neruppu Da Guru's father
2018 Kadaikutty Singam Thillainayagam
Adanga Maru Subash's father
2019 Sathru Kathiresan's father
Ispade Rajavum Idhaya Raniyum
NGK Pichai Muthu "Pichai"

As director

Year Movie Cast Notes
1992 Annai Vayal Raj Rahul, Vinodhini
2003 Nadhi Karaiyinile Suvalakshmi, Ramji Best Film Portraying Woman in Good Light
2005 Gomathi Nayagam Ponvannan, Lakshana


Year Series Role Channel
1997–1998 Vidathu Karuppu Bramhan Sun TV
2000 Micro Thodargal-Kaathirukka Oruthi Raj TV
2001 Edhuvum Nadakkum Sadasivam Raj TV
2002–2003 Agal Vilakkugal Bramhan Sun TV
2002–2005 Annamalai Gomathi Nayagam
2003–2004 Kolangal Sundar
2020 Chithi 2 Shanmugapriyan


  1. ^ "ராதிகாவால் பறி போன பட வாய்ப்பு Chai With Chithra Part 1 Actor – Director Ponvannan". YouTube. Touring Talkies. 22 February 2020. name mentioned at 8:07. Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  2. ^ a b c G. Dhananjayan (3 November 2014). PRIDE OF TAMIL CINEMA: 1931 TO 2013: Tamil Films that have earned National . p. 428. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Here's to Harmony!". The Hindu. 24 July 2009. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Tamil film in Chinese fest". The Hindu. 23 August 2002. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  5. ^ "Tamil Nadu announces film awards for three years". IndiaGlitz. 1 October 2004. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  6. ^ "Nadhi Karaiyinilae". The Hindu. 28 November 2003. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Grill Mill – Ponvannan". The Hindu. 26 June 2010. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Paruthiveeran: A remarkable effort". 26 February 2007. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  9. ^ "Kaaviyathalaivan (aka) Kaaviya Thalaivan review". 28 November 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  10. ^ "'I never expected the National Award'". 21 June 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2018.

External links

This page was last edited on 27 September 2020, at 19:15
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