Neelakanta is native of Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh. He studied in Loyola Public School and Loyola College in Vijayawada. While he was doing his schooling, he had the interest in movies. After his graduation, he had lost the interest in studies and moved to Chennai to join film direction.
Neelakanta always wanted to make films which have a striking a balance between Art and Commerce. It materialized with Show followed by Missamma.He received two national awards for Show, one in best screenplay category He then made Sada Mee Sevalo with Shriya and Venu in lead roles and later made a psychological thriller Nandanavanam 120 km. Both flopped at box office but the latter got huge critical acclaim. Then he made Mr Medhavi with Genelia and Raja in lead roles that faired at box office as above average grosser. He also wrote dialogues for Telugu remake of Hindi hit 'A Wednesday' that is being made in Telugu as 'Eenadu' with Kamal Hasan and Daggubati Venkatesh.