M Manikandan was born in a small town named Usilampatti in Madurai District, Tamil Nadu in India. He is a screenwriter, cinematographer and film director. His career began in Tamil Film Industry as an assistant cinematographer. He was born in a police family. Due to his father’s transfer, he (did his schooling in different towns). He graduated with a diploma degree in automobile engineering. He was fond of photography, and he worked as a wedding photographer. He was a different personality, and (he also did odd jobs such as) created identity cards for college and school children. Later he confessed that he did these jobs to earn money to study a course at Mindscreen Film Institute in digital photography. The film institute was run by
Rajiv Menon, popular director, and cinematographer.
Manikandan started working as an assistant cinematographer in the mid - 2000s in Tamil film industry. At the same time, he co-wrote scripts for several short films. In 2010 he directed his debut short film Wind. It was a big breakthrough in his career. The film received critical acclaims, and it was premiered at many film festivals. The short film attracted Vetrimaran, Tamil Film Director. In 2015, Manikandan wrote, directed and cinematographer the film
Kaaka Muttai. It was produced by Dhanush and Vetrimaran. (Vignesh and Ramesh, in the lead roles alongside Iyshwarya Rajesh ). It was a comedy drama film in Tamil. The film was premiered at 39th Toronto International Film Festival. It was the first film by a Tamil debut director to be screened at Toronto. The film was a box office hit, and it bagged lots of awards including the National Award.
In the same year, Manikandan wrote the film titled Kirumi. It was directed by Anucharan. It was a Tamil thriller film. The film was released on 24th September 2015, and it received positive reviews. In 2016, he wrote, Cinematographed and directed the film
Kuttrame Thandanai. It was a Tamil crime psychological thriller film. Vidharth,
Aishwarya Rajesh and
Pooja Devariya played the lead roles. The film received good reviews. In the same year, Manikandan wrote and directed the film
Vijay Sethupathi and
Ritika Singh, Nassar and Pooja Devariya played the lead role in this film. It was a Tamil Satirical film. The film received many positive reviews. The film was released on September 23, 2016. It was a box office hit. Manikandan wrote, Directed and Cinematographed the film Kadaisi Vivasaayi which is scheduled to be released in 2017.