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Adoor selected for Phalke award

Staff Reporter

He pioneered the new wave cinema movement in Kerala



Film Director Adoor Gopalakrishnan

NEW DELHI: The seasoned Malayalam filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan has been awarded the Dada Saheb Phalke Award for 2004 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Indian cinema. He will be conferred the award at the national film awards ceremony later this year.

Known for his distinctive style and panache for taking up important social issues through his films, Mr. Gopalakrishnan made his debut on stage as an actor at the age of eight. Later, he was trained in the art of filmmaking at the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, before moving to Kerala to set up the Chitralekha Film Cooperative in 1965. His first film, Swayamvaram, won him the national award for best direction. From being acclaimed for his documentaries to getting recognition for his ability to portray complex problems in a simplistic way, the filmmaker has long been the inspiration for the country's new-age film directors.

Perhaps, one of the few Indian directors to receive the Dada Saheb Phalke Award while still into active filmmaking, Mr. Gopalakrishnan had received recognitions not just nationally but also in the international arena. From Cannes to Berlin, Venice, Rotterdam and Toronto, his films have travelled to prestigious international film festivals.

His Elippathayam had won the British Film Institute Award for being the most original and imaginative film of 1982. He is also the only Indian director to have been awarded the International Film Critics Prize five times. The films include Mukhamukham, Anantaram, Vidheyan and Kathapurushan. UNI adds:

Mr. Gopalakrishnan brought to south India the movement started by Satyajit Ray in Bengal in revolutionising Indian cinema during the 1950s. Swayamvaram (1972) pioneered the new wave cinema movement in Kerala.

He refused to be swayed by the then movement in Kerala to make films based on classics, and instead carved a niche for himself.

Apart from his films, Adoor's major contribution towards introducing a new cinema culture in Kerala was the constitution of the first film society in the State, `Chalachitra.'

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