CHENNAI: Veteran Tamil film journalist and historian Film News Anandan breathed his last on Monday at his residence in Mahalingapuram. He was 89. He is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters.
Anandan has won a number of awards including Kalaimamani, the State’s highest honour, the Man of the Year Award from the American Biographical Institute, the Kalai Selvam Award from the Nadigar Sangam and awards from various institutions including Cinema Express, Filmfare and Dinakaran.
Known for having chronicled the history of Tamil cinema almost single-handedly, right from its origin in 1931, Anandan nurtured the dream of having a permanent exhibition on Tamil cinema, where the public could access his work and make use of it. Anandan was considered a walking encyclopedia on the Tamil film industry. He would religiously collect details of every film and chronicle it, and was generous when it came to sharing the fruits of his labour. Every year, he would make copies of the data he had collected and distribute it to journalists for their reference free of cost.
Several political leaders, including DMK president Karunanidhi expressed their condolences. Film personalities like Vijayakanth, Nadigar Sangam president Nasser, Sarathkumar, producers R B Choudhary, Arun Pandian, editor Mohan and music director Shankar Ganesh were among those who paid their last respects to the veteran. The film historian’s body is being kept for the public to pay homage. The funeral will take place in Nungambakkam today.
‘Sad to Hear Anandan’s Demise’
In her condolence message, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa praised ‘Film News’ Anandan as a mobile library on Tamil films. She said Anandan had compiled and preserved information on Tamil cinema that nobody else had. In 2002, when she was the CM, the state government offered him `5 lakh as financial support to publish his book, Sathanai Padaitha Tamil Thiraipada Varalaru, and later offered him `10 lakh to collect the information curated by him and preserve it with the government.
The film chamber promised to allot me one wing for a permanent exhibition on cinema once their building, which is under construction, is completed. I am preparing for it now.
— Film News Anandan