Legendary South Indian filmmaker and Dada Saheb Phalke Award recipient K Vishwanath (92) is no more. He died last night at a private hospital in Hyderabad. The five-time National award winner is behind many iconic films like ‘Sankarabharanam', ‘Sagara Sangamam’ etc in Telugu and Tamil. He has also acted in ‘Yaaradi Nee Mohini,’ ‘Linga’ and ‘Uthama Villain.’ and shared screen space with the likes of Kamal Haasan, R Parthiban and Ajith.
In 1992, he was awarded the Padma Shri and in 2016 he was conferred with Dadasaheb Phalke award, the highest honour in India for the film industry. In a career spanning over four decades, he also won the Filmfare awards eight times.
Vishwanath began his career as an audiographer for Vauhini Studios in Madras. He later started filmmaking career under Adurthi Subba Rao and worked as an assistant director in the 1951 Telugu film 'Pathala Bhairavi'.
He made his directorial debut with Aatma Gowravam (1965), which went on to bag the state Nandi award for best feature film. Vishawanath became a national phenomenon with his award-winning classic Telugu film 'Sankarabharanam' (1980). It proved a huge hit and is still considered to be one of his best works.
'Sankarabharanam', which spoke about the gap between Carnatic music and Western music based on the perspective of people from two different generations, won four National awards. It was later remade as 'Sur Sangam' in Hindi, also directed by Vishwanath.
Coincidentally, the filmmaker released 'Sankarabharanam' on February 2, 1980. He subsequently made many films that had art, especially music as their backdrop. These include 'Sagara Sangamam', 'Swati Kiranam', 'Swarna Kamalam', 'Sruthilayalu' and 'Swarabhishekam'.
His 1985 Telugu film 'Swati Muthyam', featuring Kamal Haasan in the central character as an autistic man who comes to the rescue of a young widow, was India's entry for Best Language Foreign Film for the Academy Awards.
Kamal Haasan considers Vishwanath as one of his mentors. He had called on the legendary director during his visit to Hyderabad in November last year.
Viswanath made his Bollywood debut with 1979 film 'Sargam', which was a remake of his own movie 'Siri Siri Muvva', 'Kaamchor', 'Shubh Kaamna', 'Jaag Utha Insan', 'Sanjog', 'Eeshwar' and 'Dhanwaan' were some of his other movies in Bollywood.
(with IANS inputs)