Pa. Ranjith, a fine arts graduate from Government College of Fine Arts, started his career in films working as an assistant director in four feature length films.
After his period as an assistant director he wrote and directed his first feature length film named ‘ATTAKATHI – 2012’ which was appreciated for its light heartedness yet genuine portrayal of subaltern culture, a very rare element in the mainstream. The film went on to become a commercial success too. Then it was ‘MADRAS’ in 2014 through which he made his presence stronger in the Film Industry. Madras was a high voltage drama with a strong political contour to it. The film was praised by critics and audience alike for its emotional appeal and lively portrayal of characters and North Madras landscape which till then was shown in mainstream as an area of shady criminals and
‘KABALI’ – 2016 which starred Rajnikanth in lead role was a stylish gangster story set in Malaysia. It had a strong social commentary about the sub culture and oppressed classes among the Tamils in Malaysia. The film earned critical acclaims and turned out to be a blockbuster at box office too. After the success of Kabali, Ranjith and Rajnikanth collaborated again for KAALA which released in 2018. Kaala was set in Dharavi – Mumbai one of the largest slums in the world, telling the story of Karikaalan who ultimately leads his fellow residents who are being tormented by the greedy corporate builders into a struggle to retain the land that they created.
Apart from writing and directing films Ranjith is also a socially committed artist who has produced documentaries. LADIES AND GENTLEWOMEN (a documentary on the lesbian history of Tamilnadu) DR. SHOE MAKER (about a dedicated sports shoe mender), BEWARE OF CASTE (on the Mirchpur violence) are all documentaries he produced. He also produced a play MANJAL (The colour yellow) a play on manual scavenging. He is the founder of the THE CASTELESS COLLECTIVE– an energetic gaana- rap band giving base to talented artists whose voices weren’t heard so powerfully in mainstream. Koogai a film movement and a library and NEELAM CULTURAL CENTER a cultural organization are also his ventures that take forward his vision of people’s cinema and art. His first film as a Producer was ‘Pariyerum Perumal’-2018 under his banner NEELAM PRODUCTIONS. This film became a huge success at box office and people and critics lauded the film.