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Lokesh Kanagaraj


Lokesh Kanagaraj (/loʊkeɪʃ kʌnʌɡʌrɑːdʒ/) is an Indian film director and screenwriter who works in Tamil films. He started his career with a short film in the 2016 anthology Aviyal. He later directed his first feature film Maanagaram (2017).


 He also created the Lokesh Cinematic Universe franchise with his films Kaithi (2019) and Vikram (2022). His upcoming film, Leo(2023) marks his second collaboration with Vijay after Master (2021).


Lokesh Kanagaraj was born in Kinathukadavu, Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu, India. At PSG College of Arts and Science, he majored in Fashion Technology before pursuing an MBA. He did his schooling in Palanayiammal Matric Hr. Sec. School Kalliyapuram, Pollachi.


 He is an ex-bank employee. He pursued his passion for filmmaking by participating in a corporate short film competition. The judge of the competition was Karthik Subbaraj. Impressed with his short film, he encouraged Lokesh to pursue a directorial career making films.


In 2016, his short film, Kalam, was included in the anthology film, Aviyal, produced by Karthik Subbaraj. In 2017, he made his directorial feature debut with the hyperlink film, Maanagaram. In late 2018, he began working on a film for Dream Warrior Pictures, the same production company behind Maanagaram. With Karthi in the lead role, the action-thriller was titled Kaithi.


His next after Kaithi was the action-drama film, Master, starring Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi. It was released on 13 January 2021, a day before the Pongal festival. It opened to mostly positive reviews and emerged as a commercial success. Master was the highest-grossing Indian film of 2021.


He then directed Vikram (2022), starring Kamal Haasan, Vijay Sethupathi, and Fahadh Faasil. Following the huge success of the film, he is actively creating the Lokesh Cinematic Universe, on the basis of carrying the story forward from Kaithi and Vikram


His next directorial after Vikram will be Vijay's 67th film, Leo and it will be the continuation of Lokesh Cinematic Universe. Leo will also have an English dubbed theatrical release first time for both Lokesh and Vijay as confirmed by the production team.


 His other directional will be Thalaivar 171, Kaithi 2 (a sequel to Kaithi), and Vikram 2 (a sequel to Vikram). In 2023, Lokesh announced his plans to quit directing after completing at least 10 films.