Leena Manimekalai Wiki, Age, Husband, Family, Biography & More

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Leena Manimekalai

Leena Manimekalai is an Indian film producer, poet and actor, known for attracting controversy after she released the poster of the film ‘Kaali’, which featured a woman as Goddess Kali, smoking a cigarette. and is hosting the pride flag.


Leena Manimekalai was born on Saturday, 7 June 1980.age 42 years; by 2022) at Srivilliputtur, Tamil Nadu. His zodiac sign is Gemini. He studied at Holy Cross Convent School in Madurai. He holds a BE degree in Instrumentation and Control Engineering at Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, Tamil Nadu and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Filmmaking at York University, Canada.

Physical Appearance

Height (approx.): 5′ 5″

Weight (approx): 55 kg

Hair Color: black

Eye Colour: black

Figure Measurements (Approximately): 36-26-36

Leena Manimekalai


parents and siblings

Leena’s father’s name was Iragupathi, a college professor. He died when Lina was in her second year of college.

Leena Manimekalai as a child with her father

Leena Manimekalai as a child with her father

His mother’s name is Ram.

Leena Manimekalai with her mother

Leena Manimekalai with her mother

He has a brother, Elango Raghupati, who is a film producer.


Her husband’s name is not known. she is divorced.

sexual orientation

Lena considers herself bisexual.

religious point of view

According to his Facebook account, he is an atheist.


Leena belongs to Shudra caste.


the director

Leena made her debut with the Tamil short film Mathamma in 2003.

An excerpt from Leena Manimekalai's film 'Mathamma' (2003)

An excerpt from Leena Manimekalai’s film ‘Mathamma’ (2003)

He has directed other short films including Break the Shackles (2004), Love Lost (2004), Waves After Waves (2006), Is It Too Much to Ask (2017), and Madathi (2021).

Poster of the film 'Is it too much to ask' (2017)

Poster of the film ‘Is it too much to ask’ (2017)


Leena made her debut in the Tamil film Chellamma (2004) and played the role of a protagonist.

Poster of the film Chellamma (2004)

Poster of the film Chellamma (2004)

He has appeared as an actor in films including The White Cat (2004), Love Lost (2005), and Sengadal (The Dead Sea) (2011), among others.

Poster of movie 'Sengadal'

Poster of movie ‘Sengadal’


She has written poems that include As a Lone Leaf (2003), The First Beautiful Woman in the World (2009), Queen of Sluts (2011), Antarakanni (2012), and Chichili (2016). She revealed her sexual preferences in the second poem, The First Beautiful Woman in the World. Antarakani, a poem written by him, became the first gay poetry book in Tamil.

Leena Manimekalai supports the queer community

Leena Manimekalai is supporting the queer community


The incident of sexual harassment of Leena:

In 2018, Lena attracted controversy when she opened up about her sexual assault. In 2018, she took to Facebook and accused director Susie Ganesan of harassing her. Susie responded to his statement and said,

I tremble at your baseless allegations. I have evidence to prove that your character is flawed. Because I didn’t give you a chance to work with me, that’s why you made these allegations.”

Hurting Hindu religious sentiments:

In 2022, Leena attracted controversy when she posted the poster of the film ‘Kaali’ on her Facebook account. The Delhi Police registered an FIR against him after a lawyer complained about the controversial poster of his documentary film ‘Kaali’ which showed Devi smoking a cigarette. In an interview, the police officials spoke about the complaint and said,

The complainant has attached an purported picture of Goddess Kali smoking a cigarette, posted by a verified Twitter handle of Leena Manimekalai. Prima facie, the material promotes enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and race and acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony, which is likely to cause breach of public peace. ,

Awards, Honors, Achievements

  • 2004: Chicago Women in Director’s Chair International Film Festival
  • 2004: Silver Trophy for Best Documentary at Europe Movies Film Festival
  • 2005: Best Actor and Best Experimental Video at the Independent Arts Film Festival
  • 2005: Best Documentary Independent Diaspora Festival in Paris and Norway
  • 2005: European Union Fellowship for Conflict Resolution in the Media
  • 2005: Retrospective, International Democratic Socialist Youth Film Festival, Venezuela
  • 2006: International Jury at Asian Film Festival, Malaysia;
  • 2007: Jury Award for Best Cinema of the Resistance
  • 2008: Golden Conch for Best International Documentary at Mumbai International Film Festival
  • 2008: Visiting Scholar Fellowship, Berlinale
  • 2008: One Billion Eyes National Award – Best Documentary
  • 2008: Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan, Bird’s Eye View Film Festival, London
  • 2008: Iyal Best Poetry Award from Tamil Literary Garden for Ulakin Azakia Muthal Pen
  • 2011: Sirpi Literary Award for Contribution to Tamil Poetry
  • 2011: Indian Panorama Selection for Sengadali
  • 2011: NAWFF Award for Best Asian Female Cinema (Tokyo) for the film Sengdalu
  • 2013: Lenin Award from Thamiz Studio
  • 2014: Srishti Tamil Lambda Literary Award for his book Antarakanni
  • 2015: L’Oreal Paris Femina Women’s Award
  • 2020: AIFF Award for the film Madathi, An Unfair Tale (2019)

Facts / Trivia

  • He is fondly called Karuvachi by his friends and family members.
  • Leena follows a non-vegetarian diet.
  • According to her Facebook account, she follows a post-political ideology.
  • As a child, she used to watch film screenings with her father in her village.
    Leena Manimekalai with her father as a child

    Leena Manimekalai with her father as a child

  • According to him, at the age of eighteen in his village, it was customary to get the daughter married to her maternal uncle. Lena’s family made the same decision, and when she turned eighteen, they arranged her marriage with her maternal uncle.
  • In an interview, she had said that she did not want to marry her uncle and for this she started getting good marks in class even though she did not feel like studying. He did this so that he could allow his parents to study further and not marry him, but his parents did not change their mind and fixed his marriage with their uncle.
  • Hearing his decision, Leena fled from her village to Chennai, where she started looking for a job. She went to the office of a Tamil magazine in Chennai for an interview, who called her family and handed it over to them. After reaching home she told her family that she wanted to study engineering and did not want to marry her uncle. In his third year of college, he assisted director Bharathiraja and learned about films from him.
    Leena Manimekalai in her teens

    Leena Manimekalai in her teens

  • While she was working with director Bharathiraja, the media started publishing her affair with a married actor. His family was affected by this rumour, after which they asked him to come back home. Talking about the same, he said in an interview,

    My mother went on hunger strike. I refused to give up initially, but his health took a turn for the worse and I had to give up cinema and Bharathiraja.”

  • Leena went back home and started working in an IT firm. According to her, she changed eleven jobs in two years because she always wanted to direct films and not work in an IT firm.
  • In 2002, she started earning money through freelancing and spent that money on directing her own films which gained international fame.
    Leena Manimekalai during the shooting of the film

    Leena Manimekalai during the shooting of the film

  • In 2017, he decided to make an independent film on Kamala Das. In an interview, he said that producer Kamal had promised to feature him in the English version of the film, but did not make the film as Vidya Balan had stepped out of the Malayalam version of the film. He talked about this in an interview and said,

    Kamal is a senior filmmaker and he may have his own reasons. But what bothered me was that even after discussing the script and other details, he could not keep his word. So I have decided to go ahead and direct an independent film on Kamala Das. I would like to focus on the film which I left three years ago. Only a free expression can put the poet’s soul ahead of the interests of the market.

  • In 2018, director Susie was stripped of her passport by the High Court after a case of harassment was filed against her. Talking about the same, he said in an interview,

    I am not aware of the basis on which the police have provided an adverse police verification report. If accurate details are provided, I will be in a better position to provide a suitable answer for this. ,

  • According to him, he did not cast any actors in his films as he was afraid to work on the subject he worked on.
  • He said that he directed the film Sengdal (Dead Sea) on fishermen caught on the borders of Sri Lanka. In an interview, he talked about why he directed the film and said,

    Since I come from a political family of communists, I was directly and indirectly associated with the Sri Lankan crisis in my youth. I was part of a group that was involved in the anti-war movement and India’s stand in the war.”

    Poster of movie 'Sengadal'

    Poster of movie ‘Sengadal’

  • In 2022, the poster of his film ‘Kali’ became controversial. Amidst the controversy, a priest threatens Leena that he will behead her if her film ‘Kaali’ releases.
    Poster of movie 'Kaali'

    Poster of movie ‘Kaali’

  • When she was in school, she loved doing Bharatanatyam.
    Leena practices Bharatanatyam at Manimekalai School

    Leena practices Bharatanatyam at Manimekalai School

  • She often appears in various newspapers.
    Leena Manimekalai published in a newspaper

    Leena Manimekalai published in a newspaper

  • He is often seen smoking on different occasions.
  • She is a passionate animal lover and often posts their pictures on social media.
    Leena Manimekalai playing with goats

    Leena Manimekalai playing with goats

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