Puri Jagannadh is an Indian filmmaker known for his work in Telugu, Hindi, and Kannada films. He has worked in more than forty films in his career span.
Puri Jagannadh was born on Wednesday, 28 September 1966 (age 56 years; as of 2022) in Pithapuram, Andhra Pradesh. He hails from Bapiraju Kothapalli village in Anakapalli district, Andhra Pradesh. He did his schooling at St. Theresa High School, Pedda Boddapalli. He received a bachelor’s degree from A. M. A. L. College, Anakapalli, Andhra Pradesh in 1986.
Height (approx.): 5′ 8″
Weight (approx.): 65 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
He belongs to a Hindu family.
Parents & Siblings
His father’s name is Mr Simhachalam, he died in 2010. He has two younger brothers, Petla Uma Sankara Ganesh, who is an MLA from YSR Congress Party, and, Sairam Shankar, who is an actor.
Wife & Children
He got married to Lavanya on 6 September 1996. The couple has two children, a son named Akash, and a daughter named Pavithra. His son Akash is an actor, who made his acting debut in a lead role with the Telugu film ‘Mehbooba’ in 2018.
In an interview, Puri Jagannadh talked about his love story and revealed how he proposed to Lavanya for marriage. He said that he proposed to Lavanya by giving her his visiting card. He also revealed that at the beginning of their relationship, he hesitates to meet her as he did not have much money at that time. Sharing an incident with the media, he revealed that once he took Lavanya to a restaurant where she ordered chicken biryani and he got worried about the bill as he had no money. He further revealed that he got married in a simple manner in a temple as he didn’t want to waste his parent’s money on a lavish/magnificent marriage.
Puri Jagannadh made his directorial debut with the Telugu film ‘Badri’ in 2000. He also wrote the story, screenplay, and dialogue of the film.
In 2001, he made his debut in the Kannada film industry as a director with the film ‘Yuvaraja’ which is a remake of the Telugu film ‘Thammudu.’
In 2002, he worked as a director, story writer, and screenplay writer for the Kannada film ‘Appu.’
In the same year, he made a Telugu remake of the film with the title ‘Idiot.’ In 2004, he debuted in Bollywood with the film ‘Shart: The Challenge’ in which he worked as a director, story writer, and screenplay writer. The film is a remake of his directorial debut film ‘Badri.’ In 2011, he directed and wrote the story for the Bollywood film ‘Bbuddah… Hoga Terra Baap’ starring Amitabh Bachchan, and the film later was archived in the Oscar library.
Some other Telugu films in which he worked as a director, story writer, screenplay writer, dialogue writer, and producer include the Telugu film ‘Amma Nanna O Tamila Ammayi’ (2003), ‘143’ (2004), ‘Pokiri’ (2006), ‘Heart Attack’ (2014), ‘Mehbooba’ (2018), ‘iSmart Shankar’ (2019), and ‘Liger’ (2022). The film ‘Liger’ is also made in the Hindi language.
Apart from filmmaker, he also featured as an actor in a few Telugu films. He played the role of a taxi driver in the film ‘Businessman’ (2012). In 2015, he appeared as a biker in the film ‘Temper.’ He played the role of Govardhan in the blockbuster film ‘Godfather’ in 2022. He also made a cameo appearance in some films including ‘Ye Maaya Chesave’ (2010), ‘Ism’ (2016), ‘iSmart Shankar’ (2019), and ‘Liger’ (2022).
Questioned by ED
In November 2022, congress leader Bakka Judson filed a complaint to Enforcement Directorate (ED) against Puri Jagannadh and Charmme Kaur over the investment for the film ‘Liger.’ According to Bakka Judson, the money invested in the film was black. The filmmakers were accused by ED of violating the FEMA norms as/after they found that the money invested in the film was first sent to Dubai and later returned as funding for the film.
Made a controversial comment over marriage
In September 2020, Puri Jagannadh made a controversial comment on the idea of marriage and called it ‘outdated’ on his podcast show titled ‘Puri Musings.’ While talking about marriage in his podcast show, Jagannadh said that if someone wants to achieve a big goal in life then they should not marry. Citing the various examples, including of Lord Buddha, he said,
It was only after leaving his wife that Prince Siddhartha became Buddha. If you’re aggressive towards your work, don’t get married.”
Filed a complaint over withheld remuneration
In 2017, Puri Jagannadh filed a complaint with the Andhra Pradesh Film Directors Association (APFDA) against the producer DVV Danayya, who denied him to pay his remuneration. According to some sources, Danayya is accused of paying a withheld amount of Rs 4.5 crore to Puri Jagannadh.
Received death threats
In October 2022, after the failure of his huge-budgeted film ‘Liger,’ the distributors of the film threatened the filmmaker and asked him to repay the loss bore by them due to the failure of the film. The distributor also protested in front of Jagannadh’s house in Mumbai and gave him death threats after which the filmmaker asked for police protection. Puri Jagannadh claimed that he didn’t cheat anyone except his audience. He also wrote a letter in which he talked about the failure of the film.
— 𝐕𝐚𝐦𝐬𝐢𝐒𝐡𝐞𝐤𝐚𝐫 (@UrsVamsiShekar) October 30, 2022
- In 2001, he won Nandi Award for Best Story Writer for the film ‘Itlu Sravani Subramanyam’ (2001).
- In 2003, he won Nandi Award for Best Dialogue Writer for the Telugu film ‘Amma Nanna O Tamila Ammayi’ (2003).
- In 2006, he received three awards for his film ‘Pokiri,’ Filmfare Award for Best Director – Telugu, Santosham Best Director Award, and ‘Nandi Award for Best Popular Feature Film.’
- In 2008, he was awarded Nandi Award for Best Dialogue Writer for his Telugu film ‘Neninthe’ (2008).
- In 2012, he received the Santosham Best Director Award for the Telugu film ‘Businessman.’ He was also nominated for SIIMA Award for Best Director – Telugu for the film.
- He was honoured with the K.V.Reddy award by Yuva Kala Vahini for his film ‘Pokiri.’
- After completing his studies, Jagannadh started his career as an assistant director of assistant director to the renowned filmmaker Ram Gopal Verma for various Telugu films.
- In 2002, he introduced the famous actor Puneeth Rajkumar in his film ‘Appu’ which proved a breakthrough for the actor.
- He also co-owns production companies, Puri Jagannadh Touring Talkies, Vaishno Academy, and Puri Connects, which is in partnership with Charmme Kaur, who is a former actor and film producer.
- He is also the owner of the music company Puri Sangeet.
- He runs a podcast show titled ‘Puri Musings’ that he uploads on his YouTube channel.