NEW DELHI: Renowned Film director and actor Kasinathuni Viswanath will be given the 48th Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2016. Union information and broadcasting minister M Venkaiah Naidu approved the recommendation of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award committee on Monday.
A presenter of classical and traditional art, music and dance, K Viswanath has been a guiding force in the Indian film industry. As a director he has made fifty films since 1965 known for their strong content, endearing narrative, honest handling and cultural authenticity. His films on wide range of social & human issues had great appeal to the masses.
The Award is conferred by the Centre for outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian Cinema. The Award consists of a Swarn Kamal (Golden Lotus), a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakhs and a shawl. The Award will be conferred by the President at a function on May 3n at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.
K Viswanath was born in February 1930 at Gudivada in Andhra Pradesh. An ardent art lover, he made a series of films based on varied themes of art, music and dance. His films empathized with courage and frailty, aspirations and convictions, perseverance and distractions, social demands and individual struggle and at the core believed in the goodness of the human spirit.
His contributions have received recognition in the form of Padmashri Award in 1992 by the Government of India for his contribution to film making. He has also been awarded 5 National awards, 20 Nandi awards (awarded by the State Government of Andhra Pradesh), 10 Filmfare awards including Lifetime achievement award. His national award winning Swathi Muthyam was the India’s official entry to the 59th Academy awards in the Best Foreign Film category.
Officials said that the stories that K Viswanath told through his films were seemingly simple. They provide an uncomplicated, direct and pleasant cinematic enjoyment to the audience. At the same time they lend themselves to a nuanced and layered interpretation leading many to watch them again and again and come back with a new hitherto unseen aspect or a deeper understanding and realization.
One of his most memorable films, Sirivennela was a sensitive story of a blind flautist and a mute painter who fall in love with each other, over the love of music and their individual setbacks. It helped in changing the viewers’ perception of disability, to a large extent. The musical compositions of this film are still fresh and soothing to the ears.
His film, Sankarabharanam, is one of India’s most memorable classics, which was appreciated across the world. A remarkable feature of his films is that all of them remain wholesome family entertainers. They have a fair share of humor, sentiments and contain scenic beauty, good music, powerful and realistic characters and most importantly concrete storylines.