Open main menu

Karthik Subbaraj is an south Indian film director, writer and producer. He made the short film "Kaatchipizhai" in Madurai, which was selected for Nalaya Iyakunar (a TV competition for short films). He then went on to make other films and released the 2012 low-budget thriller Pizza which was a commercial success. He won the Best Debutante Director in 2013 at SIMA awards

Karthik Subbaraj
Karthik Subbaraj at Iraivi Press Meet.jpg
Iraivi Press Meet in 2016
BornMadurai, India
Alma materThiagarajar College of Engineering
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter, actor, producer
Years active2012–present

His film Jigarthanda, which deals with the Madurai underworld, was released in September 2014 and received critical acclaim..The film starred Siddharth, Lakshmi Menon, Bobby Simha and Karunakaran.[1][2]


Life and careerEdit

Karthik did his schooling in SBOA Matriculation and Higher Secondary School, Madurai[3] and went on to study Mechatronics at Thiagarajar College of Engineering.[4] During his college days he performed stage shows and skits.[5] His father, Gajaraj, is an actor who has had supporting roles in films like Onaayum Aattukuttiyum and Mundasupatti.[6]

Karthik Subbaraj had intended to direct Jigarthanda first but could not fund the project. He then came up with the story for the low-budget Pizza which introduced the 7.1 sound system. The film was a commercial success, remade in Hindi and Kannada.[7] This allowed him the opportunity to make Jigarthanda, which received positive reviews and earned actor Bobby Simha a national award.[8] Subbaraj was praised by Tamil actor Vijay and director Mani Rathnam.[9][10] His third movie, Iraivi, received positive reviews and Subbaraj was praised for the film's portrayal of society's treatment of women. The movie also observed the various ways men's attitudes and behaviours impact women throughout life. He's producing Kallachirippu, a web series under his banner Stone bench.[11]

Subbaraj will be next directing the action thriller Petta, touted to be Rajinikanth 165th film. Kalanithi Maran of Sun Pictures will be producing the film while Anirudh Ravichander was signed to composed the film's music, replacing Karthik's usual music director, Santhosh Narayanan who earlier composed for the director's previous ventures. Trisha and Simran will be playing the female leads. Vijay Sethupathi as the film's main antagonist.Nawazuddin Siddiqui will be making his Tamil film debut also will be starring in the film in a prominent supporting role with Bobby Simha.


Kathiresan, who produced Jigarthanda, alleged that Subbaraj exceeded his budget and refused when told to cut the violent sequences.[12]

Producer Gnanavel Raja, who distributed the film Iraivi has expressed irritation with Subbaraj, and in a Whatsapp audio message, regretted being associated with the film. He said that Subbaraj doesn't know the pain of becoming a director as he's never worked as an assistant director to anyone. He also revealed that Subbaraj exceeded the budget and this resulted in misunderstanding with producer C.V Kumar. It is said that the producers' council has decided to take action against Subbaraj for portraying the producer in poor light.[13]


Year Film Cast Notes
2012 Pizza Vijay Sethupathi, Remya Nambeesan
2014 Jigarthanda Siddharth, Bobby Simha, Lakshmi Menon
2015 Bench Talkies First feature film taken from short films Segment: Neer
2016 Iraivi S. J. Suryah, Vijay Sethupathi, Bobby Simha
2018 Mercury Prabhu Deva, Sananth, Remya Nambeesan Silent film
2019 Petta Rajinikanth, Trisha, Vijay Sethupathi, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Bobby Simha, Simran, Sananth, Megha Akash
As actor
As Producer
Short films
  • Raavanam
  • Thuru
  • Petty Case
  • We
  • Broken Gods
  • Buoyants
  • Kaatchipizhai – Parallax
  • Cause & Effect
  • React
  • Last Train
  • Who's the Indian
  • Outpourings
  • Dark Game
  • BlackWhite
  • Neer
Web series


  1. ^ Parthasarathy, Anusha (2 June 2011). "The 'reel' life". The Hindu. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  2. ^ "Karthik Subburaj". The Hindu. 6 September 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  3. ^ "'SBOA' alumni". SBOA School (Facebook). Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  4. ^ "Thiagarajar College of Engineering alumini". December 2015.
  5. ^ "Stage shows and skits during college days". December 2015.
  6. ^ Kabali: Karthik Subbaraj's father to play a role in Rajini's next : Regional cinema, News – India Today. (22 August 2015). Retrieved on 17 December 2016.
  7. ^ Pizza Review – Pizza Movie Review. Retrieved on 17 December 2016.
  8. ^ Jigarthanda Movie Review, Trailer, & Show timings at Times of India. Retrieved on 17 December 2016.
  9. ^ Vijay enjoys every bit of Jigarthanda – Times of India. (15 August 2014). Retrieved on 17 December 2016.
  10. ^ Updated, Ramchander. (8 August 2014) Now, Mani Ratnam Is Impressed By Jigarthanda. Filmibeat. Retrieved on 17 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Karthik Subbaraj goes full throttle as producer". 25 June 2017. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  12. ^ Siddharth leaves it in the hands of the Producer – Tamil Movie News. (4 July 2014). Retrieved on 17 December 2016.
  13. ^ Iraivi controversy: The inside story of the war between Karthik Subbaraj and producers. The News Minute (7 June 2016). Retrieved on 17 December 2016.