Viswanath: Recognition Of My Devotion In Making Movies On Indian Culture
Hyderabad: Famous director who is highly respected by Telugu people for his devotion to Indian culture and music has been selected for Dada Saheb Phalke Award for the year 2016. The accomplished director has joined the legends of Telugu film industry like LV Prasad, B Nagi Reddy and Akkineni Nageswar Rao who were bestowed the prestigious award earlier.
Talking to this correspondent after the news of his getting selected for the award was announced on Monday, Viswanath said it is a recognition of the dedication, devotion and commitment he had shown in making films. He described the award as the reflection of the Nandi of Kasi Viswanatha temple.
‘I made films on the banks of Krishna and Godavari rivers after bathing and wearing sacred clothes. The themes of all my films revolve around Indian culture,’ said ‘Kala Tapasvi’ Viswanath. “On hearing the news about the award the people are experiencing greater joy than I do. What more happiness would anybody want?,” he asked.
” I did not expect the award. Nor did I aspire for it. Somebody from Film Division telephoned and told me that I have been selected. I did not believe it. The person has called for the second time. Then I believed it. When I realised that I have been selected for a very prestigious award, my first thought was about my parents. I am eternally grateful to them. They were really concerned about my career,” narrated Viswanath who became emotional at that point.
He said the producers who gave him freedom to make films like Sankarabharanam and to compose songs like ‘praagdisha veeniapaina…’ were responsible for his growth.
He recalled that it was Akkineni and Adurti Subbarao who spotted directorial talent in me and encouraged. He said a creative person is never satisfied. Even after making so many classics, he is not fully satisfied, the ace director said. He said our art and culture can give any number story ideas.
Viswanath said the film that disturbed him most was ‘Siri Vennala.’ My role as a director would haunt me more than the characters I created, he told the media persons who went to his place to greet him. He said nobody could define cinema perfectly. He patted the young directors of present generation for their intelligence and creative abilities and said he likes them and feels happy that he is able to continue his journey with them. He said he is prepared to direct a film even now if any producer comes forward.
Viswanath jocularly said, “Draupadi had only five husbands. A film director has fifty husbands.” There is no greater wealth than awards and they work as Devine medicine, he said in the same lighter vein.
It may be a coincidence. The Phalke award was announced for Viswanath on the birth anniversary of Edida Nageswar Rao, the owner of Poornodaya Movie Creations banner which made the director internationally famous by producing Sankarabharanam.
Viswanath has received many awards in his long and distinguished career. He was awarded Padma Shri way back in 1992. He got five national awards, 20 Nandi Awards, ten Filmfare Awards including lifetime achievement award. He will be receiving Phalke Award from President Pranab Mukherjee on May 3rd in Delhi.