Cheran was born in Pazhaiyurpatty near Madurai. His father Pandian was a Projector Operator in Vellalur touring theatre. His mother Kamala was a primary school teacher. He has two sisters. His childhood dreams were all about the celluloid world. During his school days he acted in dramas. His movies are characterised by their realism and the strong social messages that they convey. He began his career as an assistant to K.S. Ravikumar. The young man caught the attention of the film producer, Henry. Henry was the producer of the Malayalam film `Yavanika` directed by K.G. George. Consequent to the success of that movie,he made his entry into Tamil Cinema with `Kolangal`, a subject based on a girl rescued from the red light area in Mumbai who faces social problems back home in Chennai. Henry insisted that the film should not only be commercial but also have a strong social theme.
The film met many controversies. In spite of it, the film was a big box office hit and gave a break to the sinking career of actor Parthiban. With Porkkaalam, Pandavar Bhoomi, and Vetri Kodi Kattu, he gave a hat trick of successful films. Director Cheran turns publisher with the Tamil novel Porum Valiyum (War & Pain). The novel is an emotional account of a war-torn Sri Lanka. The author Savitri Advithanandhan account was so touching that he decided that the book should reach all people. And as a first step, he launched the publishing house Cheran Noolagam.
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