Filmmaker Girish Kasaravalli, known for critically acclaimed films like ‘Ghatashradda’ and ‘Gulabi Talkies’, has been honoured with the South Asian Cinema Foundation’s ‘Excellence in Cinema’ Crystal Globe Award 2009.
India’s High Commissioner to the UK, Nalin Surie presented the award to Mr. Kasaravalli at the Nehru Centre, saying Mr. Kasaravalli “very well deserved” the award.
The citation read, “Mr. Kasaravalli’s films right from ’Ghatashraddha’ to ‘Gulabi Talkies’ mirror the social conflicts during the six decades of Karnataka after independence“.
“His films like ‘Ghatashraddha’, ‘Hasina’ and ‘Gulabi Talkies’ question traditions, religious rigidities and social attitudes but on a deeper level, they are universal human documents reflecting upon the sensitivity, vulnerability and complexity of human behaviour.”
Former recipients of the Foundation’s ‘Excellence in Cinema’ awards include names like Adoor Gopalakrishnan, M S Sathyu and Saeed Akhtar Mirza.
Foundation’s ‘Cultural Catalyst Award’ was given to Chandraprakash Dwivedi in recognition of his commitment to exploring India’s ancient culture and history in television and popular cinema.
Lalit Mohan Joshi, film historian and Director of South Asian Cinema Foundation said, “As one of the foremost filmmakers of modern India whose work stands at par with Satyajit Ray, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Mrinal Sen, Kasaravalli deserves SACF’s Excellence in Cinema.
Mr. Kasaravalli’s choice for this year’s honour is even more relevant as the central theme of SACF’s five-day events is ’Literature and Cinema’
Mr. Kasaravalli’s all feature films from Ghatashraddha to Gulabi Talkies are inspired by Kannada literature.
Participating in a conversation with Joshi after receiving the honour, Mr. Kasaravalli said that his cinema was an exploration of life in visuals.
Mr. Kasaravalli said he was very happy to visit UK for the first time to receive the award and be part of the first ever retrospective of his films in London.
Five films of Kasaravalli were screened at the Watermans at west London - Gulabi Talkies (2008), Ghatashraddha (1977), Dweepa (2003), Nayi Neralu (2006) and Hasina (2005).
Mr. Dwivedi, who received the ‘Cultural Catalyst Award’, is known for his acclaimed television epic ‘Chanakya’, which powerfully recreated the dramatic conflicts and social upheaval in Magadha (modern Bihar) during the 4th century BC.
His only feature film ‘Pinjar’ (2003) inspired by Amrita Pritam’s classic of the same name, documents the trauma of Partition and how it impacted on the lives of women.
A special highlight of the festival was a day-long ’Literature in Cinema’ conference held at the University of Westminster.