Prashanth Neel is an Indian film director and screenwriter, who predominantly works in the Kannada film industry. He directed the film K.G.F: Chapter 1 in 2018, which turned out to be the highest-grossing Kannada film of all time.
Prashanth Neel was born on Wednesday, 4 June 1980 (age 41 years; as of 2021) in Hassan, Karnataka. His zodiac sign is Gemini. He did his schooling at Baldwin Boys School, Bangalore, and went to college at Seshadripuram College. After finishing his bachelor’s degree in business management, he pursued an MBA, which he eventually dropped. He neither worked nor studied anything for around six-seven years. According to a media house, Prashanth knew he wanted to get into films by the age of 17. Later, he did a professional course in filmmaking.
Height (approx.): 5′ 7″
Weight (approx.): 65 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
His father’s name is Subhash Neelakantapuram. His mother’s name is Bharati Subhash. He has two siblings. His brother’s name is Pradeep Neelakantapuram, and his sister’s name is Rekha Neelakantapuram.
Wife & Children
Prashanth Neel married Likitha Reddy on 5 May 2010.
The couple has 2 children. They welcomed their daughter, Sarayu Neel, on 26 January 2014, and their son, Rayansh Neel, on 10 January 2017.
After Prashanth completed his filmmaking course, he wrote a screenplay, Aa Hudugi Neene. He wanted to cast his brother-in-law and actor, Srimurali, in it; however, he changed his original idea and wrote an action film, Ugramm, for him instead. The film was released under his own production company, Inkfinite Pictures, and succeeded in becoming one of the highest-grossing Kannada films of 2014. In an interview, Prashanth said that he had no expectations from his debut movie. He said,
We never thought it would go past the morning show. Nobody even knew me then. So with my first film, the journey was very important, but the destination not so much”
Later, Prashanth met producer Vijay Kiragandur to narrate a story, but Vijay asked him if he had any other raw project. Upon being asked, Prashanth narrated to him the script of K.G.F: Chapter 1, and everything fell in place for him. The movie was released in 2018 and collected Rs. 250 crore at the Box Office. It became a blockbuster in Hindi as well, when Baahubali distributor, Anil Thadani, decided to give it a wide release in Hindi. In an interview, Prashanth said that he wrote the script only as a writer and not as a director. He said,
When you think like a director, you become practical and start thinking of budget constraints. Right there, one stops dreaming big,”
His third directorial, ‘KGF: Chapter 2’, was scheduled for a theatrical release on 16 July 2021 but was delayed due to the second wave of the COVID – 19 pandemic in India. The movie is expected to be released in 5 different languages on 14 April 2022. With the release of his much-hyped movie ‘KGF: Chapter 2’, Prashanth has spoken about his upcoming projects, which include Salaar, NTR30, and Bagheera (writer). According to Prashanth, his first duty on the set was to motivate every actor. In an interview, he said,
I don’t yell at them or get mad at them. Actors’ moods are very important to me. I want to see them happy on the sets”
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- Won Best Debutant Director Award at 4th SIIMA for Ugramm in 2015
- Won Best Director Award at 8th SIIMA for K.G.F: Chapter 1 in 2019
- Won Best Director Award at Zee Kannada Hemmeya Kanndiga Awards for K.G.F: Chapter 1 in 2019
- Nominated for Best Director Award by 62nd Filmfare Awards South for Ugramm in 2015
- Nominated for Best Director Award by 66th Filmfare Awards South for K.G.F: Chapter 1 in 2019
- Reportedly, Prashanth’s father is from Neelakantapura, which gives him the last name Neel.
- In an interview, he revealed his early association with movies and said,
We watched many Hollywood films on VHS tapes and discussed cinema with friends. That was the culture I grew up in.”
- According to Prashanth, his family had orthodox thinking and would restrict him, had they known he was up to filmmaking. In an interview, he said,
Unless you are born in a filmy family, there’s a bias against cinema as a profession. And coming from an orthodox family, my mother wasn’t keen that I take it up. So I did not even tell my family about my plan, lest they discourage me. When I decided to take the plunge, they had only one thing to say: ‘If it doesn’t work out, don’t be disappointed.’ Thankfully, it has so far.”
- The story of KGF was ready before ‘Ugramm’, which was his first directorial debut.
- His upcoming project, Salaar, produced under Hombale Films was rumored to be the continuation of the ‘KGF’ franchise or the remake of Ugramm; however, Prashanth thrashed all the rumors and stated,
All of the films that I make will have some shades of Ugramm. That’s my style! But Salaar is a fresh story. It’s not a remake or adaptation of Ugramm.”
- Upon noticing the trend in his movies, he was asked in an interview about the thing that draws him to violence in movies. He replied,
We don’t have a culture of using the World War or such subjects as premises for our films. So, my logic is that the stronger the villain is, the stronger the heroism that can be shown onscreen. I try to create an environment where it offers both of these. In our given scenario, I will not be able to achieve villainy to that level, nor will I be able to elevate heroism to that point. This is why I try to make my world more violent.”