Natarajan Subramaniam

  • Actor, Cinematographer

Jun 11, 1984  in Paramakudi, Tamil Nadu, India

Also Known as: Natty, Naatraja, N. Nataraja Subramanian

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Natarajan Subramanian, known mononymously as Natraj or Natty, is an Indian cinematographer, actor and producer. After starting out as an ad film cinematographer, he made his feature film debut as a cinematographer in the 2002 Tamil film Youth. Since then, Natraj has helmed the camera for over 20 films. Natraj`s cinematography credits span across the Tamil, Hindi and Telugu film industries, while his filmography has an actor includes several Tamil films. He has also been nominated for a Screen Award for Best Cinematographer for his work in Raanjhanaa (2013). His 2017 movies include Engitta Modhathey, Bongu and Richie.

Early Life
Natarajan Subramanian was born in Paramakudi, Tamil Nadu. After developing a passion for photography at a very young age, he dropped out of school in a bid to pursue a career in cinema. During his early years, Natraj worked in a series of odd jobs, which included a short stint as a wedding videographer.

Movie Career
As a Cinematographer
Natraj made his feature film debut as a cinematographer with the 2002 Vijay starrer Youth. In the following year, he helmed the camera for Anurag Kashyap`s crime-thriller Paanch, which failed to secure a theatrical release for various reasons. The duo reunited in 2004 for Black Friday, a critically acclaimed yet controversial film chronicling the aftermath of the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Bombay. In the following year, Natraj earned much praise for his work in the acclaimed romantic period drama Parineeta, where the emphasis was on creating vintage-looking visuals.

In 2007, the cinematographer was roped in for Imtiaz Ali`s romantic-comedy Jab We Met, which went on to become a critical and commercial success. They reunited in 2009 for Ali`s third directorial venture Love Aaj Kal, which was well-received. Since then, Natraj has worked on a handful of Bollywood movies like Lafangey Parindey (2010), Desi Boyz (2011), Raanjhanaa (2013) and Holiday (2014). For his work in Raanjhanaa, Natraj was nominated for a Screen Award for Best Cinematographer that year. The Tamil fantasy-adventure Puli (2015) and the Telugu romantic comedy A Aa (2016) are some among Natraj`s more recent works as a cinematographer.

As an Actor
Natraj made his acting debut with an uncredited cameo in the Tamil film Youth, which was also his feature film debut as a cinematographer. His first major acting role came with a central role in the 2006 crime-drama Naalai, which went largely unnoticed. His next films Chakkara Viyugam (2008), Milaga (2010) and Muthukku Muthaaga (2011) also failed to make a major impact.

In 2014, Natraj starred in the heist film Sathuranga Vettai, the enormous critical and commercial success of which marked his breakout as an actor. Sathuranga Vettai went on to win the Second Best Feature Film Award at the Chennai International Film Festival that year. The action-drama Engitta Modhathey, Bongu and the Nivin Pauly starrer Richie are some of Natraj`s major releases in 2017. His 2020 releases include Sandimuni and Walter.

Television Career
Prior to his film debut, Natraj had extensively worked as a cinematographer on television ads, documentaries and telefilms. He had also associated with Indian rock band Euphoria in the making of the music video for their first album Dhoom.

It was director Ram Gopal Varma who introduced Natraj to Anurag Kashyap, which subsequently led to the duo collaborating on Kashyap`s telefilm Last Train to Mahakali. The film, which starred Kay Kay Menon and Nivedita Bhattacharya, went on to win a Special Jury Award at the Star Screen Awards that year.