S. P. Jananathan

S. P. Jananathan (7 May 1959 – 14 March 2021) was an Indian film director and screenwriter who worked in Tamil cinema.

S.P. Jananathan
SP Jananathan at Tharkaapu Audio Launch.jpg
Born7 May 1959[1][2]
Died14 March 2021(2021-03-14) (aged 61)
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Occupation(s)Film director, screenwriter, producer
Years active2003–2021

Early lifeEdit

Jananathan worked as an assistant to directors like B. Lenin, Bharathan, Vincent Selva and Keyaar.[3][4] He was a treasurer of the Tamil Film Directors’ Union.[5] He produced Purampokku in collaboration with UTV Motion Pictures.[6] Apart from directing, he also served as a visual effects director for films like Dharma and Kumbakonam Gopalu, both of which were directed by Keyaar.


Jananathan's debut film as a director was the romantic drama Iyarkai (2003). Although it failed to deliver expectations in the box office, it went onto win the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil in 2004.[7]

2006 saw him directing the thriller film E. Unlike his debut, this film was a commercial failure. His third directorial film, Peranmai, was an action-adventure film loosely based on the 1972 Russian movie The Dawns Here Are Quiet.

In 2015, Jananathan directed the political thriller Purampokku Engira Podhuvudamai, featuring Arya, Vijay Sethupathi, and Shaam. The film also saw the director making his debut as a producer.

His final directorial film was the 2021 film Laabam, in which he collaborated with Vijay Sethupathi for a second time.


Jananthan died on 14 March 2021 at the age of 61 after being unconscious for two days following a cardiac arrest.[8][9] Prior to his death, he underwent treatment at a private hospital in Chennai and was under ventilator support.[10][11] He was admitted in the ICU on 11 March 2021 by his assistants who found him unstable and unconscious at his residence in Chennai.[12]

His final film, Laabam, was released six months after his death.


Year Film Credited as Notes
Director Writer Producer
2003 Iyarkai  Y  Y Winner, National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil
2006 E  Y  Y
2009 Peranmai  Y  Y
2015 Purampokku Engira Podhuvudamai  Y  Y  Y
2015 Bhooloham  Y Dialogue writer only
2021 Laabam  Y  Y Posthumous release


  1. ^ "TANTIS". Archived from the original on 2 March 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  2. ^ "SP-Jananathan".
  3. ^ "Making an impression with simplicity". The Hindu. 14 December 2009. Archived from the original on 3 September 2010. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
  4. ^ Warrier, Shoba (17 October 2006). "MGR films are my reference point". Rediff. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
  5. ^ "Donation scheme: Film directors' noble gesture". The Indian Express.
  6. ^ UTV Motion Picture and Binary Pictures to produce 'Purampokku'. Yahoo. 22 August 2013.
  7. ^ "Honour well deserved". The Hindu. 27 August 2004. Archived from the original on 21 November 2004. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  8. ^ "'Laabam' director SP Jananathan passes away at 61 - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  9. ^ Staff Reporter (14 March 2021). "Director S.P. Jananathan passes away". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  10. ^ "National Award winning director SP Jananathan passes away in Chennai". The News Minute. 14 March 2021. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  11. ^ "'Laabam' director SP Jananathan critical, on ventilator support". The News Minute. 12 March 2021. Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  12. ^ "SP Jananathan, National Award-winning Tamil filmmaker, admitted to ICU after found unconscious at Chennai residence - Entertainment News , Firstpost". Firstpost. 13 March 2021. Retrieved 14 March 2021.