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S. S. Rajamouli
Also known as: Koduri Srisaila Sri Rajamouli
Director • Screenplay • Producer • Writer • Special Appearances • Costume Designer
Born: October 10, 1973 in Raichur, Karnataka, India
Known for directing the historical fiction movies Baahubali: The Beginning and Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, S. S. Rajamouli, born Koduri Srisaila Sri Rajamouli, is an Indian film director and screenwriter. He gained prominence in Telugu cinema with blockbuster movies like Magadheera (2009), Eega (2012) and Baahubali: The Beginning (2015). His other notable directorial ventures are the sports drama film Sye, the social problem film Vikramarkudu, drama films Maryada Ramanna and Chhatrapati. Most of his movies are either dubbed or remade in various Indian languages with successful reviews. He received the Star World India, "Entertainer of The Year" in 2012. He is a recipient of several awards including National Film Awards, Filmfare Awards, state Nandi Awards, and IIFA Utsavam Awards. In 2016, he was honored with the Padma Shri, India`s fourth highest civilian honor for his contributions towards the field of Art.

Early life
Rajamouli was born in Raichur, Karnataka, in a Telugu family. His father K V Vijayendra Prasad is a noted script writer for Baahubali : The Beginning and Salman Khan starrer Bajrangi Bhaijaan, and mother is Raja Nandini. His brother Kanchi Rajamouli is also a writer. Music composer M.M.Keeravani and music director Kalyani Malik are his cousins. Rajamouli studied up to 4th class at Kovvur and then graduated with an engineering degree from C.R.R. College of Engineering, Eluru. He also worked in AVM recording theatre, post which he joined his father as an assistant for about six years, when he used to narrate his stories to several directors.

Personal life
Rajamouli is married to Rama, who is the sister of singer Keeravani`s wife, and the couple has two children - SS Karthikeya and SS Mayookha. Rama was a divorcee with a son, when Rajamouli proposed to her. The director`s wife is a costume designer for his films.

Television career
Rajamouli started his career as a director with Telugu soap operas on Eenadu Television, under the guidance of K. Raghavendra Rao.

Movie career
Rajamouli ventured into films with directing the Telugu film Student No.1 in 2001, starring Jr. NTR, Gajala and Rajeev Kanakala. This coming of age musical film was a big hit and was dubbed in Hindi as Aaj Ka Mujrim and was remade in Odia in 2008 as Mate Ta Love Helare. His second movie Simhadri, even though was released two years after his first, was a blockbuster hit. This action masala film once again starred Jr. NTR alongwith Ankitha and Bhoomika Chawla in lead roles, and Mukesh Rishi, Nassar and Rahul Dev in supporting roles. It was dubbed in Hindi and Malayalam languages, and was remade as Gajendra in Tamil and Kanteerava in Kannada.

The director`s third venture was the sports drama Sye with actors Nithin and Genelia D`Souza in the lead. Based on a rugby game, it was first the time Rajamouli collaborated with cinematographer K. K. Senthil Kumar. This movie too was dubbed in Hindi as Aar Paar - The Judgement Day, Malayalam as Challenge, and Tamil as Kalugu. His next was the 2005 action drama Chhatrapati with Prabhas in the lead role with Shriya Saran, Bhanupriya, and Pradeep Rawat in other pivotal roles, loosely based on the Hollywood film Scarface. The movie is about Shivaji (Prabhas) and his family who are uprooted from their community in Sri Lanka and they end up as bonded labourers in Vizag, and Shivaji fights to save the oppressed. This followed with Vikramarkudu in 2006, an action-masala film, starring Ravi Teja, Anushka Shetty and Vineet Kumar in the lead. The movie received positive reviews and was screened at the International Film Festival of India in the mainstream section. This huge blockbuster hit was remade in Tamil as Siruthai, in Kannada as Veera Madakari, in Hindi as Rowdy Rathore, in Indian Bengali as Bikram Singha, and in Bangladeshi Bengali as Ulta Palta 69. The Hindi remake Rowdy Rathore , which was about to be directed by Rajamouli himself, starred Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha, and was also a hit.

In the consecutive year, Rajamouli`s next direction was Yamadonga, a socio-fantasy film starring Mohan Babu, Jr. NTR, Priyamani and Mamta Mohandas. The movie received critical praises and was a box office success.

The romantic-action film Magadheera (2009) was the director`s next, which was one of the highest-grossing Telugu films and gained worldwide claim. The huge success of the film shot up the lead actors Ram Charan and Kajal Aggarwal to stardom. It is the first Telugu film to have a home media release in Blu-ray. It won the National Award for Best Choreography and Best Special Effects at the 57th National Film Awards, and was dubbed in Tamil as Maaveeran and Malayalam as Dheera: The Warrior. It was remade in Bengali as Yoddha - The Warrior. Based on reincarnation, the film won Rajamouli Filmfare Award for Best Director - Telugu - Magadheera (2009), Nandi Award for Best Director - Magadheera (2009) and CineMAA Award for Best Director - Magadheera (2009).

His next was a light-hearted comedy thriller film Maryada Ramanna in 2010, starring Sunil and Saloni Aswani. It was a remake of Kannada movie Balagalittu Olage Baa and garnered moderate to favorable reviews. The movie was remade in Hindi as Son of Sardar, in Tamil as Vallavanukku Pullum Aayudham, starring Santhanam and Ashna Zaveri, and in Malayalam as Ivan Maryadaraman with Dileep. Subsequent to this, Rajamouli directed Eega in Telugu, a 2012 bilingual fantasy film, made simultaenously in Tamil titled Naan Ee. This movie was written by this father K. V. Vijayendra Prasad and starred Sudeep, Nani, and Samantha Ruth Prabhu. The director once again collaborated with K. K. Senthil Kumar for the cinematography of the film. The movie is based on a fantasy bedtime story a father tells his daughter to put her to sleep. His movies Eega and Magadheera were inspired from Karan Arjun as he was deeply moved by the concept of reincarnation in the Salman-SRK starrer.

One of the biggest successes in Rajamouli`s career was the epic historical fiction film Baahubali: The Beginning produced by Shobu Yarlagadda and Prasad Devinen. This was the first of the two cinematic parts and was simultaneously made in Telugu and Tamil. The movie featured a star cast comprising Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Tamannaah, and Anushka Shetty, in the lead roles, while Sathyaraj, Ramya Krishnan, Nassar, Adivi Sesh, Tanikella Bharani and Sudeep played supporting roles. It was one of the highest grossi
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Did You Know? (11)

  • Venu Madhav conceptualized two scenes for his popular Nalla Balu sequence in SS Rajamouli`s Sye.
  • Anushka Shetty is the only heroine to be repeatedly cast in a Rajamouli film, Vikramarkudu, and Baahubali respectively.
  • Rajamouli’s father K V Vijayendra Prasad is the screen writer of Salman Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan.
  • The inspiration for Rajamouli’s movies Eega and Magadheera was Karan Arjun. He was moved by the Salman-SRK reincarnation in Karan Arjun. Inspired by this concept, his movie Eega was about a young man who gets reincarnated as a housefly and gets revenge on his killer with the helps of his lover from his previous birth! Magadheera was about two lovers who were killed in the past birth finds the same challenges in their current birth as well!
  • Rajamouli and his film Baahubali featured in BBC’s documentary on 100 Years of Indian cinema even before the release of the film! After all, it was the touted as India’s costliest film ever!
  • Rajamouli is fondly known as Jakkanna by his fans. During the shoot of Santhi Nivasam, Rajeev Kanakala used to call him Jakkanna, which became popular when Jr NTR used to refer to him by this moniker during public appearances.
  • Sye, directed by Rajamouli was the first time a movie on rugby was made in Tollywood.
  • Rajamouli planned to direct his second movie with Malayalam superstar Mohanlal but it did not materialize.
  • Rajamouli’s film Maryada Ramanna has been inspired from a Hollywood film Ours Hospitality.
  • The refrain ‘Chin Ta Ta Chi Ta Ta‘ in Rowdy Rathore was lifted from Rajamouli’s Vikramarkurdu. Actually it was not an original tune in Vikramarkurdu either. The director told that it was a folk tune in Tamil Nadu. It’s a kind of anthem refrain among students in the State and had existed in Tamil Nadu for generations. Youngsters compose their own crude protest songs and then cap it with ‘Chinta Ta Ta’. The director made it a part of Ravi Teja’s character and then it was given to Akshay Kumar.
  • Rajamouli’s Baahubali: The Beginning was screened at the Open Cinema Strand of Busan International Film Festival, Indian Film Festival The Hague, Sitges Film Festival in Spain, Utopiales Film Festival in France, Golden Horse Film Festival in Taipei, Taiwan, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia, L'Etrange International Film Festival in Paris, Five Flavours Film Festival in Poland, Hawaii International Film Festival in Honolulu, Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival in Brussels, Belgium, and the Cannes Film Festival, adding to the huge success of the movie.
  • Personal Quotes (4)

  • "Without my family I'm nothing, they kept me in the right place, I believe that I'm the luckiest person in the country when I'm with them. "
  • "We're still in a daze. We're still processing it. It's leapt beyond every expectation of ours so right now if you ask me, I feel surreal. It'll take another month or so for me to actually realize the scale at which the film has worked."
  • "We have so many stories. I don't want stories to end. There are different ways to continue stories Films are a part of it."
  • "When I tell a story. I am very confident. I know I can blow people's mind when I tell a story. While making a film..on the editing table, I make changes 100 times. Go back and forth, I am always doubting myself as a filmmaker. But as a storyteller, I am always very sure of myself."
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