This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately from the article and its talk page, especially if potentially libelous.Find sources: "Thota Tharani" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (September 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Thota Tharani
Born (1949-12-16) 16 December 1949 (age 74)
Chennai, India
Alma materThe American College in Madurai
Occupation(s)Art director,
production designer

Thota Tharani is an Indian film art director and production designer who has predominantly worked in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi cinema. As of 2013, he has won two National Film Awards, two Filmfare Awards South and four Tamil Nadu State Film Awards. In 2001, the Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri, for his contributions in the field of Art. His work consists of paintings, murals, paper collages, wooden montages, and installations.

Film career

Thota Tharani has been involved in the art of set design since he was just twelve when he helped his father. His work in the films Nayakan and Indian earned him National Film Awards.[1] His works include construction of a huge set replica of the Madurai Meenakshi Temple for the Telugu movie Arjun, Dasavathaaram, Kanthaswamy and Leader. He has worked in more than 100 feature films as a production designer, including three foreign productions: Pondichéry, dernier comptoir des Indes (French), Hanuman (French) and Branchie (Italian).

In addition to being an art director, Thota Tharani has worked as a Production designer and in the art department of various films.


Thota Tharani completed his Graduate Diploma in Mural Painting in 1971 and subsequently was offered a Fellowship from the Government of France to study print-making. Additionally, he completed print making courses from the Royal College of Art in London and New Delhi.[citation needed][2]


Tiltles and honours

National Film Award for Best Art Direction

Nandi Award for Best Art Director[6]

Kerala State Film Award for Best Art Director

Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Art Director

Vijay Award for Best Art Director

Partial filmography

Year Film Language Notes
1978 Sommokadidhi Sokokadidhi Telugu
1981 Raja Paarvai Tamil
1982 Subhalekha Telugu
1983 Pallavi Anu Pallavi Kannada
1983 Nelavanka Telugu
1983 Sagara Sangamam Telugu
1985 Anveshana Telugu
1986 Mouna Ragam Tamil
1987 Pushpaka Vimana Silent (Kannada)
1987 Nayakan Tamil National Film Award for Best Art Direction
1988 Agni Natchathiram Tamil
1988 Sathya Tamil
1988 Solla Thudikuthu Manasu Tamil
1989 Indrudu Chandrudu Telugu
1989 Apoorva Sagodharargal Tamil
1989 Geethanjali Telugu
1989 Shiva Telugu
1990 Anjali Tamil
1990 Chatriyan Tamil
1990 Raja Kaiya Vacha Tamil
1991 Chaitanya Telugu
1991 Nirnayam Telugu
1991 Thalapathi Tamil Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Art Director
1991 Abhimanyu Malayalam
1992 Mannan Tamil
1992 Chinarayudu Telugu
1993 Thiruda Thiruda Tamil
1993 I Love India Tamil
1993 Valli Tamil
1993 Gentleman Tamil
1993 May Madham Tamil
1994 Sethupathi IPS Tamil
1994 Kadhalan Tamil Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Art Director
1995 Subha Sankalpam Telugu
1995 Bombay Tamil
1996 Indian Tamil National Film Award for Best Art Direction
1996 Kadhal Desam Tamil
1996 Mr. Romeo Tamil
1997 Ratchagan Tamil
1997 Minsara Kanavu Tamil
1998 Jeans Tamil
1998 Thaayin Manikodi Tamil
1998 Choodalani Vundi Telugu Filmfare Award for Best Art Director – South
1999 Kadhalar Dhinam Tamil
1999 Vaalee Tamil
1999 Mudhalvan Tamil
2000 Kushi Tamil
2000 Mister Butler Malayalam
2001 Nayak: The Real Hero Hindi
2001 Virumbugiren Tamil
2001 12B Tamil
2002 Baba Tamil
2002 Five Star Tamil
2002 Samurai Tamil
2002 Gemini Tamil
2002 Bokshu – The Myth English
2003 Okkadu Telugu
2003 Priyamaana Thozhi Tamil
2003 Jism Hindi
2004 Arjun Telugu
2004 Gambeeram Tamil
2004 Mass Telugu
2005 Athadu Telugu
2005 Sachein Tamil
2005 Chandramukhi Tamil Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Art Director(also for Sringaram)
2005 Kanda Naal Mudhal Tamil
2005 Ullam Ketkumae Tamil
2006 Uyir Tamil
2006 Thirupathi Tamil
2006 Varalaru Tamil
2007 Sivaji Tamil Filmfare Award for Best Art Director – South
Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Art Director
Vijay Award for Best Art Director
Special appearance in the song Balleilakka
2007 Sringaram Tamil Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Art Director(also for Chandramukhi)
2008 Dasavathaaram Tamil Vijay Award for Best Art Director
2008 Sathyam Tamil
2008 Dhaam Dhoom Tamil
2008 Kuselan Tamil
2009 Ananda Tandavam Tamil
2009 Kanthaswamy Tamil Nominated, Vijay Award for Best Art Director
2009 Leader Telugu
2009 Dam 999[7] English
2012 Life is Beautiful Telugu
2012 Adios Silent Short film
2014 On A Quest English Role as a older Swami Chinmayananda[8]
2015 Rudrama Devi Telugu
2015 Eli Tamil
2016 Brahmotsavam Telugu
2017 Khaidi No. 150 Telugu
2019 Nuvvu Thopu Raa Telugu
2022 Ponniyin Selvan: I Tamil
2023 Ponniyin Selvan: II Tamil [citation needed]
2023 Chandramukhi 2 Tamil
TBA Hari Hara Veera Mallu Telugu Along with Rajeevan
Denotes films that have not yet been released


  1. ^ "Thota Tharani Awards". The Times of India. ISSN 0971-8257. Retrieved 9 November 2023.
  2. ^ "Thota Tharani | JNAF". Retrieved 9 November 2023.
  3. ^ "Awards for Amjad Ali Khan, Ashoke Sen". The Hindu. Retrieved 5 September 2015.[dead link]
  4. ^ "Koodankulam project by September". The Hindu. 17 April 2010. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  5. ^ "Honoris Causa 2010 - Satyabhama University". Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  6. ^ "నంది అవార్డు విజేతల పరంపర (1964–2008)" [A series of Nandi Award Winners (1964–2008)] (PDF). Information & Public Relations of Andhra Pradesh. Retrieved 21 August 2020.(in Telugu)
  7. ^ "DAM 999 Official Website". Thotta Tharani in the crew list of DAM 999 Movie
  8. ^ "Thota Tharani plays Swami Chinmayananda in a biopic". Hindustan Times. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 4 February 2024.