Priyadarshan (born Priyadarshan Soman Nair; 30 January 1957) is an Indian film director, producer, and screenwriter. In a career spanning over three decades, he has directed more than 90 films in various Indian languages, predominantly in Malayalam and Hindi, while also having done six films in Tamil and two in Telugu.
Priyadarshan began his career in Malayalam cinema in the early 1980s and was active throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Towards 2000s, he moved to Bollywood (Hindi cinema) and was active throughout the decade. He has done about 26 films in Hindi alone, the highest number of films done by any Bollywood director after David Dhawan. In 2013, he announced that Rangrezz would be his last Hindi film for a while and shifted focus to Malayalam cinema.Best known for his comedy films, Priyadrshan has also experimented with some action and thriller films. His collaborations with Mohanlal were highly popular in Malayalam cinema during the 1980s and 1990s, with most notable films being Poochakkoru Mookkuthi, Mazha Peyyunnu Maddalam Kottunnu, Thalavattam, Vellanakalude Nadu, Chithram, Vandanam, Kilukkam, Abhimanyu, Mithunam, Thenmavin Kombath, and Kala Pani. Other Malayalam actors he frequently collaborate are: Kuthiravattam Pappu, Jagathy Sreekumar, Innocent, Nedumudi Venu, Sreenivasan, Sukumari, Mukesh and Mammukoya.
Priyadarshan was one of the first directors in India to introduce rich color grading, clear sound and quality dubbing through his early Malayalam films. He is known for adapting stories from Malayalam films into Bollywood, from his own work as well as other films. Most notable such Bollywood films include Hera Pheri, Hungama, Hulchul, Garam Masala, Bhagam Bhag, Chup Chup Ke, Dhol, and Bhool Bhulaiyaa. His multiple collaborations in Hindi include Tabu, Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar, Akshaye Khanna, and Suniel Shetty. In 2007, his Tamil film Kanchivaram won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film. In 2012, the Government of India honoured him with Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian award for his contribution towards the arts. Priyadarshan has also directed many advertisement films. His most popular commercials are for Coca-Cola, American Express, Nokia, Parker Pens, Asian Paints, Kinley and Max New York Life Insurance.