K. Viswanath

Last updated

K. Viswanath
Kasinathuni Viswanath.jpg
Viswanath in 2014
Born
Kasinadhuni Viswanath

(1930-02-19) 19 February 1930 (age 91)
Occupation
  • Film director
  • screenwriter
  • actor
Years active1957–present
Works
Full list
Awards Padma Shri (1992)
Dadasaheb Phalke Award (2016)

Kasinadhuni Viswanath (born 19 February 1930) is an Indian film director, screenwriter and actor known for his works predominantly in Telugu cinema. [1] [2] He is a recipient of five National Film Awards, seven state Nandi Awards, ten Filmfare Awards South, and a Filmfare Award in Hindi. [3] In 1992, he received the Andhra Pradesh state Raghupathi Venkaiah Award, and the civilian honor Padma Shri for his contribution to the field of arts. He was awarded the 2017 Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest award in Indian cinema, at the 64th National Film Awards. [4] [5] [6]

Contents

Viswanath started his film career as an audiographer and in sixty years, he has directed fifty three feature films in a variety of genres, including films based on performing arts, visual arts, and aesthetics. [7] [1] [2] He received international recognition for his works, and is known for blending parallel cinema with mainstream commercial cinema. [1] [2] [7] [8] Viswanath's filmography is known for addressing the issues of caste, colour, disability, gender discrimination, misogyny, alcoholism and socio-economic challenges through liberal arts medium. [1] [2] He was honored with the "Prize of the Public" at the "Besançon Film Festival of France" in the year 1981. [9]

His directorial works which are produced by Poornodaya Movie Creations were screened to special mention at the Moscow International Film Festival; such films were dubbed into Russian language and have been theatrically released in Moscow. [10] [11]

Early life and education

Kasinadhuni Viswanath was born on 19 February 1930 in Repalle of Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh. [12] His parents are Kasinadhuni Subramanyam and Kasinadhuni Saraswathy (Saraswathamma) and his ancestral roots come from Pedapulivarru, Andhra Pradesh, a small village on the banks of River Krishna. [13] [14] Kasinadhuni is his family name, Viswanath is his given name. Viswanath studied Intermediate from Guntur Hindu College, and holds a BSc degree from Andhra Christian College of Andhra University. [15] He began his career as a sound recordist at Vauhini Studios in Madras, where his father was an associate. There, he apprenticed under the guidance of A Krishnan, who was the Head of Sound Engineering at Vauhini. Vishwanath and A Krishnan developed a close rapport and later after the former made the transition into film direction, he would always bounce ideas off the latter. Vishwanath made his entry into film direction at Annapurna Pictures under Adurthi Subba Rao and K. Ramnoth. [16] [17] He wished to work as an assistant to director K. Balachander and Bapu. [15]

Recognition

During his early career, Viswanath was associated with Adurthi Subba Rao on National Award-winning films such as Mooga Manasulu (1964) and Doctor Chakravarthy (1964). [1] [2] Viswanath scripted Sudigundalu (1968), and directed works such as Aatma Gowravam (1965), O Seeta Katha (1974) and Jeevana Jyothi (1975) which garnered the state Nandi Awards, and were screened at the Asian and African film Festival at Tashkent. [18] [7]

Viswanath's classic blockbusters Sankarabharanam (1979) and Sagara Sangamam (1983) were included among CNN-IBN's list of one hundred greatest Indian films of all time. [19] His directorial works Sankarabharanam and Saptapadi have garnered the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment and Best Feature Film on National Integration, respectively. Sankarabharanam, was premiered at the 8th International Film Festival of India, [20] [21] the Tashkent Film Festival, and the Moscow International Film Festival held in May 1980. [22] Viswanath also won the Prize of the Public at the Besançon Film Festival of France in the year 1981. [23]

Viswanath's Swati Mutyam was India's official entry to the 59th Academy Awards. Swati Mutyam, Sagara Sangamam and Sirivennela were premiered at the Asia Pacific Film Festival. [24] Swayam Krushi was premiered to special mention at the Moscow International Film Festival. [25] Sankarabharanam, Sagara Sangamam, Sruthilayalu , Swarnakamalam and Swati Kiranam were screened in the Indian Panorama section at International Film Festival of India, [26] [27] Ann Arbor Film Festival, [28] [29] and AISFM Film Festival. [30]

Film craft

In 1965, Viswanath debuted as a director with Telugu film Aatma Gowravam , which won the Nandi Award for Best Feature Film of the year. Viswanath followed it up with drama films Chelleli Kapuram , Sarada , O Seeta Katha and Jeevana Jyoti , which are women-centric films. [1] [2] It was in Siri Siri Muvva that the artistic touch in his craft first became visible. [1] [2]

Sankarabharanam highlights the neglect of traditional Indian music under the increasing influence of western music. The film brings out the grandeur of Carnatic music, the traditional South Indian music towards the end. Bhaskaran, a media and film researcher from Chennai has documented, in his study of South Indian music culture, how Sankarabharanam contributed to the revival of Carnatic music in a big way. [31] The film broke many commercial records by running for over one year in cinemas. In a recent study published in Journal of Dance, Movements & Spiritualities published by "Intellect Group" of the United Kingdom, C. S. H. N. Murthy, a media and film studies scholar from India, has demonstrated how Viswanath's filmography embraces a wide spectrum of characters that include mentally and physically challenged subjects as well, like the film Sarada , which exploits a psychologically deranged woman, Swati Mutyam , which exploits an autistic man's humanism, Sirivennela which revels in situations between deaf and dumb characters, and Kalam Marindi , which dwells on characters stuck in a caste-based society. [1] [2]

Film researcher, C. S. H. N. Murthy observed that Viswanath's films offer a pathway towards inclusiveness, affecting positive spiritual change at both personal and social levels. Situating the content in the broad arena of de-westernizing media studies, through immersive and culturally embedded perspectives, Murthy endeavoured to offer modern and postmodern dimensions in Viswanath's films. [1] [2]

Films with social issues

Viswanath has made many films dealing with a wide range of human and social issues: Saptapadi, Sirivennela, Sutradharulu, Subhalekha, Sruthilayalu, Subha Sankalpam, Aapadbandhavudu, Swayam Krushi, and Swarnakamalam have lead characters representing different strata of society, meticulously etched to suit the larger picture. [1] [2]

In Saptapadi, he decries the evils of untouchability and the caste system. In Subhodayam and Swayam Krushi he emphasizes the dignity and respectability of manual labor. In Subhalekha, he deals, in a humorous way, with the dowry system – one of the major evils in today's society. While Sutradharulu urges present-day society to recognize the need to adopt the ideals of non-violence, Swati Kiranam depicts the harm that can be caused by the basic instincts of envy and anger in a man, however accomplished he may be. [1] [2]

In spite of the nature of these subjects, they are presented in a subtle manner with an imaginative storyline, with just the right amount of emphasis on the intended message. Yet Viswanath's films were never offbeat cinema, but wholesome entertainers those elevated the lead actors' image. He is a director with social-conscious mind and who believes cinema can bring out desirable changes in society if presented in a format liked by a cross-section of audience. [1] [2]

Association with Poornodaya Creations

Edida Nageswara Rao founded "Poornodaya Movie Creations", which encouraged Viswanath to make aesthetic films. [32] [33] [10] Poornodaya has produced several of Viswanath's films like Sankarabharanam, Swatimutyam, Saagarasangamam, Sutradharulu, and Aapadbandhavudu. Most of these films were dubbed into Russian and were screened at the Moscow Film Festival. [32] [33] [34]

Bollywood

Viswanath has also directed Hindi language films such as Sargam (1979), Kaamchor (1982), Shubh Kaamna (1983), Jaag Utha Insan (1984), Sur Sangam (1985), Sanjog (1985), Eeshwar (1989), Sangeet (1992) and Dhanwaan (1993). Some of these films (especially his collaboration with actress Jayaprada) have been super hits at the box office. [35]

Acting career

In 1995, Viswanath debuted as an actor with Telugu film Subha Sankalpam . As a character actor, he has appeared in works such as Vajram (1995), Kalisundam Raa (2000), Narasimha Naidu (2001), Nuvvu Leka Nenu Lenu (2002), Santosham (2002), Seema Simham (2002), Tagore (2003), Lakshmi Narasimha (2004), Swarabhishekam (2004), Aadavari Matalaku Arthale Verule (2007), Athadu (2005), and Pandurangadu (2008), and Devasthanam (2012). He essayed characters in Tamil works such as Kuruthipunal (1995), Mugavaree (1999), Kakkai Siraginilae (2000), Bagavathi (2002), Pudhiya Geethai (2003), Yaaradi Nee Mohini (2008), Rajapattai (2011), Singam II (2013), Lingaa (2014) and Uttama Villain (2015). [5]

Television

Viswanath had also acted on a few television serials; Siva Narayna Teertha on SVBC TV, Chellamey on Sun TV, and Suryiavamsam on Vendhar TV. He also endorses brands such as GRT Jewellers and appears in various television commercials. [36]

Personal life

Viswanath is married to Kasinadhuni Jayalakshmi. Actor Chandra Mohan and the late singer S. P. Balasubrahmanyam are Viswanath's cousins. [37]

Filmography

YearFilmLanguageCreditsNotesRef.
1957 Todi Kodallu TeluguAudiographer National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu
1959 Banda Ramudu TeluguAudiographer
1961 Iddaru Mitrulu TeluguAssistant Director
1963 Chaduvukunna Ammayilu TeluguScreenplay, writer
1964 Mooga Manasulu TeluguAssistant directorNational Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu
Filmfare Award for Best Film – Telugu
1964 Doctor Chakravarthy TeluguAssistant directorNational Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu
Nandi Award for Best Feature Film (Gold)
1965 Aatma Gowravam TeluguDirectorNandi Award for Best Feature Film (Bronze) [5]
1967 Private Master TeluguDirector
Sudigundalu TeluguWriterNational Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu
Nandi Award for Best Feature Film (Gold)
Filmfare Award for Best Film – Telugu
Tashkent Film Festival
1968 Kalisochina Adrushtam TeluguDirector
Undamma Bottu Pedata TeluguDirector
1969 Nindu Hrudayalu TeluguDirector
1971 Chelleli Kapuram TeluguDirectorNandi Award for Best Feature Film (Gold) [5]
Chinnanaati SnehithuluTeluguDirector
Nindu Dampathulu TeluguDirector
1972 Kalam Marindi TeluguStory, screenplay writer and directorNandi Award for Best Feature Film (Gold)
1973 Neramu Siksha TeluguScreenplay, writer and director
Sarada TeluguDirectorNandi Award for Best Feature Film (Gold) [5]
1974Amma ManasuTeluguStory, screenplay writer and director
O Seeta Katha TeluguDirectorNandi Award for Best Feature Film (Silver)
Filmfare Award for Best Film – Telugu
Filmfare Award for Best Direction
[5]
1975Chinna Nati KalaluTeluguDirector
Jeevana Jyothi TeluguDirectorNandi Award for Best Feature Film (Gold)
Filmfare Award for Best Film – Telugu
Filmfare Award for Best Direction
[5]
1976Mangalyaniki MaromudiTeluguScreenplay, writer and director [38]
Siri Siri Muvva TeluguStory, screenplay, writer and director
Prema BandhamTeluguDirector
Jeevitha NoukaTeluguDirector
1978KalanthakuluTeluguDirector
Seetamalakshmi TeluguStory, screenplay, writer and director
1979President PerammaTeluguDirector
Sankarabharanam TeluguStory writer and directorPrize of the Public at the Besançon Film Festival of France
Special Mention – Moscow International Film Festival
National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment
Nandi Award for Best Feature Film (Gold)
[5]
Sargam HindiDirectorRemake of Siri Siri Muvva
1980 Alludu Pattina Bharatam TeluguDirector
Subhodayam TeluguStory-writer and director
1981 Saptapadi TeluguStory, screenplay writer and directorSpecial Mention – Moscow International Film Festival
National Film Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration
Nandi Award for Best Screenplay
Filmfare Award for Best Film – Telugu
[5]
1982 Kaamchor HindiDirectorRemake of Subhodayam [5]
Subhalekha TeluguStory, screenplay, writer and directorFilmfare Award for Best Direction
1983 Saagara Sangamam TeluguStory-writer and directorNandi Award for Best Feature Film (Bronze)
Filmfare Award for Best Direction
Dubbed into Tamil as Salangai Oli
[5]
Shubh Kaamna HindiDirectorRemake of Subhalekha
1984 Janani Janmabhoomi TeluguStory, screenplay writer and director
Jaag Utha Insan HindiDirectorRemake of Saptapadi [5]
1985 Sanjog HindiDirectorRemake of Jeevana Jyothi [5]
Sur SangamHindiDirectorRemake of Sankarabharanam
Swati Mutyam TeluguStory, screenplay, writer and director India's Official Entry for Best Foreign Language film at the 59th Academy Awards
National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu
Nandi Award for Best Feature Film (Gold)
Nandi Award for Best Direction
Filmfare Award for Best Direction
Special Mention – Asia Pacific Film Festival
Special Mention – Moscow International Film Festival
[5]
1986 Sirivennela TeluguStory, screenplay, writer and director
1987 Sruthilayalu TeluguStory, screenplay, writer and directorNandi Award for Best Feature Film (Gold)
Nandi Award for Best Direction
Filmfare Award for Best Direction
Swayamkrushi TeluguStory, screenplay, writer and directorSpecial Mention – Moscow International Film Festival
1988 Swarna Kamalam TeluguStory, screenplay, writer and directorNandi Award for Best Feature Film (Gold)
Filmfare Award for Best Film – Telugu
Cinema Express Award for Best Direction
Ann Arbor Film Festival
1989 Eeshwar HindiStory, screenplay, writer and directorRemake of Swati Mutyam
Filmfare Award for Best Story
[5]
Sutradharulu TeluguStory, screenplay, writer and directorNational Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu
Nandi Award for Best Feature Film (Bronze)
1992 Aapadbandhavudu TeluguStory, screenplay, writer and directorNandi Award for Best Feature Film (Bronze)
Filmfare Award for Best Direction
[39]
Sangeet HindiDirector
Swathi Kiranam TeluguStory, screenplay, writer and director
1993 Dhanwaan HindiDirector
1995 Subha Sankalpam TeluguDirector and ActorFilmfare Award for Best Direction [40]
1996 Aurat Aurat Aurat HindiDirector [41]
1997 Chinnabbayi TeluguDirector
2004 Swarabhishekam TeluguActor, story, screenplay writer and directorNational Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu [5]
2010 Subhapradam TeluguDirector [42]

As an actor

YearFilmRoleLanguageNotes
1995 Subha Sankalpam RaayuduTelugu
1995 Kuruthipunal SrinivasanTamil
1995 Vajram Chakri's fatherTelugu
1999 Mugavaree Sridhar's fatherTamil
2000 Kalisundam Raa RaghaviahTelugu
2000 Kakkai Siraginilae Sambasiva IyerTamil
2001 Narasimha Naidu Raghupathi NaiduTelugu
2002 Seema Simham Visweswara RaoTelugu
2002 Nuvvu Leka Nenu Lenu RamachandraiahTelugu
2002 Santosham Rama ChandraiahTelugu
2002 Lahiri Lahiri Lahirilo Balaramiah NaiduTelugu
2002 Bagavathi Chief MinisterTamil
2003 Pudhiya Geethai SwamyTamilCameo appearance
2003 Tagore Chief MinisterTelugu
2004 Lakshmi Narasimha Lakshmi Narasimha's fatherTelugu
2004 Swarabhishekam SrinivasachariTelugu
2005 Athadu CBI OfficerTeluguCameo appearance
2007 Aadavari Matalaku Arthale Verule Keerti's grandfatherTelugu
2008 Yaaradi Nee Mohini Keerti's grandfatherTamil
2008 Pandurangadu Pandurangadu's fatherTelugu
2011 Mr. Perfect Maggie's grandfatherTelugu
2011 Rajapattai DakshanamurthyTamil
2012 Devasthanam SrimannarayanaTelugu
2013 Singam II Chief MinisterTamil
2014 Lingaa KarunakaraTamil
2015 Uttama Villain Poornachandra RaoTamil
2016 Hyper Chief MinisterTelugu
2018 Prema Baraha SeenuKannada
Sollividava SeenuTamil

Awards

Receiving Dadasaheb Phalke award from president Shri Pranab Mukherjee in 2017. The President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presenting the Dada Saheb Phalke Award to the Director Shri K. Vishwanath, at the 64th National Film Awards Function, in New Delhi.jpg
Receiving Dadasaheb Phalke award from president Shri Pranab Mukherjee in 2017.
Civilian honor
International honors
National Film Awards
Nandi Awards [48]
Cinema Express Awards
CineMAA Awards
Filmfare Awards
Filmfare Awards South [3]
Honorary doctorate

Other honors

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