Girish Kasaravalli

Last updated

Girish Kasaravalli
Girish Kasaravalli 2014.JPG
Born (1950-12-03) 3 December 1950 (age 70)
Kesaluru, Thirthahalli, Shimoga, Mysore State (now Karnataka), India
Nationality Indian
OccupationFilm director, producer, screenwriter
(m. 1978;died 2010)
Children Apurva (son)
Ananya (daughter)
Awards Padma Shri (2011)

Girish Kasaravalli (born 3 December 1950) is an Indian film director, in the Kannada cinema, and one of the pioneers of the Parallel Cinema. [1] Known internationally for his works, Kasaravalli has garnered fourteen National Film Awards, including four Best Feature Films; Ghatashraddha (1977), Tabarana Kathe (1986), Thaayi Saheba (1997) and Dweepa (2002). [2] [3] In 2011, he was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award by Government of India. [4]


A gold medalist from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, The film he made to fulfill his diploma, Avashesh, was awarded the Best Student Film and the National Film Award for Best Short Fiction Film for that year. He has received thirteen National Film Awards. [5]

Early life

Girish Kasaravalli was born in Kesalur, a village in the Tirthahalli taluk in Shimoga district on 3 December 1950 [6] to Ganesh Rao, an agriculturist, as well as a freedom fighter, and Lakshmidevi, a homemaker, one of 10 children (five brothers and four sisters). He had his primary education in Kesalur and middle school education in Kammaradi. Hailing from a family of book lovers, he was initiated to reading from a young age by his father. His father was a patron of Yakshagana, a folk system of dance native to Karnataka.

He was attracted to the touring talkies which visited his village once in a while to screen popular Kannada films. This was his first exposure to the world of cinema. Another relative who supported his love for creative arts was his maternal uncle K.V.Subbanna, a Magsaysay award winner who founded Neenasam, a critically acclaimed and popular drama company.

He shifted to Shimoga where he graduated from Sahyadri College. College was transformative for Kasaravalli as poets G S Shivarudrappa and Sa Shi Marulaiah were his Kannada teachers. [7] He then enrolled for the B.Pharma course in the College of Pharmacy, Manipal. The college was a common place for many cultural activities and kept Kasaravalli's creative interests alive. After completing his degree, he went to Hyderabad for training. But, due to his pre-occupations in cinema and art, he found it difficult to manage his profession and interest together. He decided to quit the career in Pharmacy and join the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune.


Kasaravalli (right) with Tara (left) at a press conference in IFFI (2005) The Director Girish Kasaravalli and the National Award Winner Actress of film 'Hasina', Tara at a Press Conference during the ongoing 36th International Film Festival of India - 2005 in Panaji, Goa on December 3, 2005.jpg
Kasaravalli (right) with Tara (left) at a press conference in IFFI (2005)

Kasaravalli graduated from FTII Pune in 1975, with a specialisation in film direction. The world of Kurosawa, Ray, Ozu, Fellini and Antonioni inspired him, and his conviction in neo-realist cinema deepened. In an interview many years later, he recollected how he was inspired by these filmmakers, especially Ozu. While in his final year, he was chosen to be the assistant director for B. V. Karanth for the film Chomana Dudi . He passed out of the FTII with a gold medal to his credit. His student film Avasesh won the President's Silver Lotus award for the best experimental short film of the year.

His first film as an independent director was Ghatashraddha in 1977; it won him the Golden Lotus and a few international awards. This film was followed by many more masterpieces. For a short while, he served as the principal of a film institute in Bangalore.

He has worked as associate director for T. S. Nagabharana's Grahana movie during 1981 He won his second Golden Lotus for Tabarana Kathe in 1987. Considered as one of the best edited films in India, it deals with the futile efforts of a retired government servant to earn his pension. In 1997, he came up with another masterpiece, Thaayi Saheba which won him his third Golden Lotus award. Thaayi Saheba is considered to be the most mature work of the director, dealing with the transition in the Indian society from the pre- to the post-independence periods.

The narrative structure was unique, and it had a powerful way of depicting a social situation. He repeated his success with Dweepa in 2002 starring late actress Soundarya. It won his fourth Golden Lotus award. Dweepa was different from his earlier films: It used music extensively and was visually stunning. Apart from these four films winning Golden Lotus awards, Kasaravalli directed Akramana in 1979, Mooru darigalu in 1981, Bannada Vesha in 1988, Mane in 1990, Kraurya in 1996, Hasina in 2004 and Naayi Neralu in 2006.

Naayi Neralu dealt with a very intense and bizarre concept of reincarnation, based on the novel with the same name by S.L. Bhyrappa. Kasaravalli has given a different interpretation of the subject. It won the Best Film award at KARA film festival, Karachi thus making it the first ever Kannada film to win the top honour in any international festival.

In 2008 he directed Gulabi Talkies based on a short story of the same name by Vaidehi. It was shown in many international film festivals, winning awards and accolades. In 2010, he made Kanasemba Kudureyaneri (Riding the Stallion of Dreams) which, too, won him many international awards. He has finished his Koormavatara (The Tortoise, an Incarnation) which won the National film award for the best Kannada film of 2011. In 2015 he made a documentary film on Adoor Gopalakrishnan named Images/Reflections . [8] [9]

The International Film Festival of Rotterdam held a retrospective of Kasaravalli's films in 2003. In August 2017, the Entertainment Society of Goa organized a film festival in Goa in his honour. [10]

Personal life

Kasaravalli married actress Vaishali on 21 April 1978. [7] They have two children: son Apoorva and daughter Ananya. Vaishali died of illness in 2010, aged 59. [11]

Kasaravalli is a voracious reader and counts the works of K. Shivaram Karanth, Kuvempu and U. R. Ananthamurthy among his influences.

Awards and international honours

Notable filmography

1977 Ghatashraddha National Film Award for Best Feature Film
1981Mooru Darigalu
1987 Tabarana Kathe National Film Award for Best Feature Film
1988Bannada Vesha National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Kannada
1990 Mane National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Kannada
1991 Ek Ghar Hindi film
1992 Kubi Matthu Iyala Screenplay and Dialogues only
1996 Kraurya National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Kannada
1997 Thaayi Saheba National Film Award for Best Feature Film
2002 Dweepa National Film Award for Best Feature Film
2003GrihabhangaTele Series
2004 Hasina National Film Award for Best Costumes, National Film Award for Best Film on Social Issues, Karnataka State Award for Best Film on Social Issues
2006 Naayi Neralu
2008 Gulabi Talkies National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Kannada
2010 Kanasemba Kudureyaneri National Film Award for Best Screenplay
2012 Koormavatara National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Kannada
2020 Illiralare Allige Hogalare Upcoming film

Related Research Articles

Kannada cinema Kannada language film industry

Kannada cinema, also known as Sandalwood, Kannada Film Industry or Chandanavana, is the segment of Indian cinema dedicated to the production of motion pictures in the Kannada language widely spoken in the state of Karnataka. The 1934 film Sati Sulochana directed by Y. V. Rao was the first talkie film in the Kannada language. It was also the first film starring Subbaiah Naidu and Tripuramba, and was the first motion picture screened in the erstwhile Mysore Kingdom. The film was produced by Chamanlal Doongaji, who in 1932 founded South India Movietone in Bangalore.

S. Ramachandra Indian cinematographer

Shivaramaiah Ramachandra Aithal, popularly known as S. Ramachandra, was a National Award winning Indian cinematographer. In 2006, he was honoured with Lifetime Contribution to Kannada Cinema Award at the Karnataka State Film Awards. He was recognised as a gifted cinematographer and as a force behind the offbeat films in Kannada cinema.

<i>Dweepa</i> 2002 Indian film directed by Girish Kasaravalli

Dweepa is a 2002 Indian Kannada-language film by Girish Kasaravalli, based on the novel of the same name by Na D'Souza, and starring Soundarya and Avinash. Dweepa deals with the raging issue of building dams and the displacement of natives. It won two National Film Awards, four Karnataka State Film Awards and three Filmfare Awards South.

<i>Thaayi Saheba</i> 1997 film by Girish Kasaravalli

Thaayi Saheba is an Indian Kannada language film released in 1997 directed by Girish Kasaravalli. The film was an adaptation of Kannada novel of same name written by Ranganath Shyamrao Lokapura.

<i>Tabarana Kathe</i> Indian film directed by Girish Kasaravalli

Tabarana Kathe is a 1987 Indian Kannada-language film released directed by Girish Kasaravalli. It was based on a short story of the same name by Poornachandra Tejaswi.

Naayi Neralu is a 2006 Indian Kannada language film directed by Girish Kasaravalli, based on a novel of the same name by Kannada writer S. L. Bhyrappa, and starring Pavitra Lokesh in the lead role.

Jayamala Indian actress and politician (born 1955)

Jayamala is an Indian actress and politician. She served as the Minister for Women and Child Development and Empowerment of Differently Abled and Senior Citizens in the Government of Karnataka, by virtue of being a member of the Karnataka Legislative Council. She served as the female president of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce between 2008 and 2010. Her popular Kannada films include Premada Kanike, Shankar Guru, Antha and Chandi Chamundi among several others. She has produced and acted in the award-winning Thaayi Saheba.

Ramchandra P. N.

Ramchandra P. N. is a filmmaker making feature films, short films, documentaries and TV programs. in India. He is a Tuluva based in Mumbai.

<i>Ghatashraddha</i> 1977 Indian film directed by Girish Kasaravalli

Ghatashraddha is a 1977 Indian Kannada language film directed by Girish Kasaravalli starring Meena Kuttappa, Narayana Bhat and Ajith Kumar in lead roles. It is based on a novella by eminent Kannada writer U. R. Ananthamurthy. The film was Girish Kasaravalli's first feature film as a director, and marked not only the arrival of a promising new filmmaker but also that of Kannada cinema in the India's 'New Cinema' horizon.

<i>Gulabi Talkies</i> 2008 Indian film directed by Girish Kasaravalli

Gulabi Talkies is a 2008 Indian Kannada language film by acclaimed Indian director Girish Kasaravalli. It is based on a short story by the same name by Kannada writer Vaidehi.

T. S. Nagabharana Indian filmmaker, theatre personality

Talakadu Srinivasaiah Nagabharana, commonly known as T. S. Nagabharana, is an Indian film director, in the Kannada film industry and a pioneer of the parallel cinema. He is one of the few film directors to have straddled the mainstream and parallel cinema worlds. He achieved success both in television and cinema. He has made 36 films in Kannada which have earned him 10 national awards, 23 State awards, 8 films entered into Indian Panorama in International Film Festivals.

Vaishali Kasaravalli

Vaishali Kasaravalli was a noted Kannada actress, television serial director and costume designer.

Saheba may refer to:

The 45th National Film Awards, presented by Directorate of Film Festivals, the organisation set up by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, India to felicitate the best of Indian Cinema released in the year 1997. The awards were announced on 8 May 1998 and presented on 10 July 1998 by then President of India, K. R. Narayanan.

Isaac Thomas Kottukapally was an Indian film score composer, music director and script writer working mainly in Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi films. He scored music for several English documentaries and commercials.

Hemanth M. Rao is an Indian film director and screenwriter who works in Kannada cinema. He rose to fame following the success of his directorial debut Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu (2016).

Pavitra Lokesh is an Indian film and television actress. She appears primarily in Kannada and Telugu films playing supporting roles. The daughter of stage and film actor Mysore Lokesh, she made her film debut at the age of 16 and has since appeared in over 150 Kannada films. At 5 feet 10 inches she was the tallest actress at that time, but managing to do several noteworthy roles even acting against shorter heroes. For her performance in the Kannada film Naayi Neralu (2006), she was awarded the Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actress. Her brother Adi Lokesh and husband Suchendra Prasad are actors.

<i>Naayi Neralu</i> (novel)

Naayi Neralu(meaning: Shadow of the Dog) is a novel written by S.L. Bhyrappa, which was first published on 1968. As of May 2018, it had 17 reprints and has been translated into Hindi and Gujarati languages. Based on the novel, a movie Naayi Neralu, in Kannada language was released in 2006, directed by Girish Kasaravalli.

Ananya Kasaravalli

Ananya Kasaravalli is an Indian film actress and director in the Kannada film industry, and a theatre artist in Karnataka, India. Some of the notable films of Ananya Kasaravalli as an actress include Kaada Beladingalu (2007) and Naayi Neralu (2006). Her first directorial feature was Harikatha Prasanga/ Chronicles of Hari (2016); won the Best film - In the Indian Cinema Competition section in the 9th Bengaluru International Film Festival.


  1. Girish Kasaravalli
  2. India's Best Film – Girish Kasaravalli, .
  3. Girish Kasaravalli, New York Times .
  5. Kannada Cinema Special: Filmography of Girish Kasaravalli
  6. Filmography of Sixty Eminent Indian Moviakers, Along with Their Short Biographical Notes, by Rajata Raya. Published by Cine Society, Mosaboni, 1983. Page 266.
  7. 1 2 "PUBLIC SPACE PRIVATE LIFE: GIRISH KASARAVALLI". Times of India . Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  8. "Kasaravalli's documentary on Adoor to be screened today" . Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  9. "Girish Kasaravalli reflects on Adoor's images in a new docu". HindustanTimes. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  10. "Goa to host festival in honour of Girish Kasaravalli". The Times of India. 18 July 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  11. "Vaishali Kasaravalli passes away". Deccan Herald. 27 September 2010. Retrieved 5 April 2017.