Puri Jagannadh is an Indian film director, producer, and screenwriter who is noted for his works in the Telugu film industry. The recipient of three Nandi Awards and a Filmfare award for Best Director, Puri Jagannadh has directed more than 30 films since he made his directorial debut in 2000 with the Telugu film, Badri. Apart from directing popular Telugu films like Yuvaraja (2001), Appu (2002), and Pokiri (2006), Jagannadh has also produced several of his own directorial ventures under his production companies named, Puri Jagannadh Touring Talkies and Vaishno Academy. The director-producer also owns a music company known as Puri Sangeet.
Born in Pithapuram, East Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh Puri Jagannadh belongs to a Telugu Velama family. The director-producer completed his schooling from St. Theresa R.C.M High School in Pedaboddepalli and started his career as an assistant director to the acclaimed director Ram Gopal Varma
for several Telugu films. Jagannadh
has two brothers - Sairam Shankar
, an actor in the Telugu cine industry and Ganesh.
Puri Jagannadh is married to Lavanya and the couple has two children, a son named Akash Puri and a daughter named Pavithra Puri.
As a director
After working with the acclaimed director, Ram Gopal Varma
for several Telugu movies, Jagannadh made his debut as a director with the 2000 Telugu action-drama film, Badri starring the superstar Pawan Kalyan
, Ameesha Patel
. The film for which he wrote the story, screenplay and dialogues went on to become a box-office hit and it was later remade in Hindi as Shart: The Challenge starring Tusshar Kapoor
, Gracy Singh
, Amrita Arora
and Anupam Kher
. Following the success of his directorial debut, in the same year, Jagannadh directed Bachi, which featured Jagapathi Babu
, Master Teja, Prakash Raj
in pivotal roles. Although much was expected from the film, Bachi failed to meet the audience and critics expectations and emerged to be a box-office flop.
Puri Jagannadh made his directorial debut in the Kannada film industry in 2001 with the action-sports film Yuvaraja. The film starring Shivarajkumar, Bhavna Pani
and Lisa Ray
in the lead roles was the remake of the Telugu film, Thammudu featuring Pawan Kalyan, Preeti Jhangiani
and Aditi Gowitrikar in the lead roles. Later in the year, the director wrote and directed the Telugu film Itlu Sravani Subramanyam. The film starring Ravi Teja
, Tanu Roy, and Samrinin won Jagannadh his maiden Nandi Award for Best Story Writer and following the success of the film, it was dubbed in Hindi as Yes or No.
The director started the year, 2002 on a high as his first directorial venture, Appu, a Kannada film starring Puneet Rajkumar
in the lead roles was a massive success; it ran for more than 200 days in theaters across Karnataka. Following the success of the film, it was later remade in several languages; it was remade in Telugu as Idiot, in Tamil as Dum and in Bengali as Hero. Later that year, the director cast Ravi Teja
in the superhit Telugu film, Idiot, which also marked his debut as a producer. The following year, Jagannadh directed and produced two Telugu films, viz. Amma Nanna O Tamil Ammayi and Sivamani
. Both the films turned out to be a commercial and critical hit, with the former being remade in Tamil as M. Kumaran S/O Mahalakshmi
starring Jayam Ravi
, and Asin Thottumkal
, the latter was dubbed in Hindi as Main Balwaan.
From 2004 to 2005, Puri Jagannadh directed four films, viz. Adhrawala (2004), Shart: The Challenge (2004), which marked his debut in the Hindi film industry, 143 (2004) and Super (2005) before getting a major breakthrough in his career in 2006 with Telugu film, Pokiri
. The action-drama film starring Mahesh Babu
, Ileana D`Cruz
, and Prakash Raj
was based on the life of an undercover police officer who infiltrates a mafia gang under a pseudo-identity. The film was not a critical hit but also emerged to be a blockbuster. The film was later remade in Tamil as Pokkiri and in Hindi as Wanted, which was directed by Prabhudeva
. The film won the director his first Filmfare Award for Best Director - Telugu as well as Santosham Best Director Award.
After the success of Pokiri
, Jagannadh directed Desamuduru
, apart from writing the screenplay for the Tamil film, Pokkiri. The director got his next major success in 2008 with Neninthe
, a Telugu drama film featuring Ravi Teja
and Siya Gowtham
in the lead roles. Although the film failed miserably at the box office, it won three Nandi Awards including Best Story by Puri Jagannadh. Two years later, Jagannadh cast Gopichand and Priyamani
for his Telugu film titled Golimaar
. The film, which was completed in just 50 days was declared a bit at the box office and following its success, it was dubbed in Tamil as Vettai Nayagan.
In 2011, the director made his debut in Bollywood with Bbuddah_ Hoga Terra Baap
, an action comedy film starring Amitabh Bachchan
, Sonu Sood
, Sonal Chauhan
, Raveena Tandon
, Prakash Raj
and Hema Malini
. Upon release, the film initially got positive reviews from both critics and the audience and was declared a super hit at the box office. The following year, the director had quite a busy year as he had three releases, viz. Businessman
, Devudu Chesina Manushulu
, and Cameraman Ganga Tho Rambabu
. Whilst the first two films received positive reviews, the latter was panned by the critics. In his solitary directorial venture in 2013, Jagannadh collaborated with the superstar Allu Arjun
, Amala Paul
and Catherine Tresa
for the Telugu romantic action film, Iddarammayilatho
. The film release in more than 1500 theaters around the world it was simultaneously dubbed and released in Malayalam as Romeo & Juliets and in Hindi as Dangerous Khiladi 2. The film received mixed to positive reviews and it grossed 80 crore INR in 8 weeks.
After having a successful year in 2013, the director continued to have a good run with his directorial ventures in 2014 and 2015. Starting with Heart Attack (2014)
, a Telugu-romantic film starring Nithiin, Adah Sharma
, and Vikramjeet Virk
, his other two movies were commercially and critically successful. Jagannadh`s 2016 release includes the Telugu crime-thriller film, Ism featuring Nandamuri Kalyan Ram
, Aditi Arya
, and Jagapati Babu in the lead roles.
As a Producer
Puri Jagannadh has produced several of his own directorial ventures; after making his debut as a producer with Idiot in 2002, he went on to produce films like Amma Nanna O Tamila Ammayi (2003), and Sivamani (2003) both of which were his directorial ventures and he had also written story, screenplay, and dialogues for the same. The director-turned-producer got his major breakthrough in 2006 as he produced the super hit film Telugu film, Pokiri. The film was declared as a super hit at the box office and went on to win the Nandi Award for Bes