Veteran film maker D. Ramanaidu has been selected for the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award 2009.
The award, which includes a cash prize of Rs. 10 lakh, will be presented at the National Film Awards event in October.
A prolific producer with over 130 films to his credit, Ramanaidu has worked with some of the top names in the Indian movie business – whether from Bollywood or the mega stars of the silver screen in his native Andhra Pradesh and neighbouring Tamil Nadu. In fact, the producer, who was born in Karamchedu in the Prakasam district in 1936, went on to make films in his mother tongue of Telugu, as well as in Hindi, Bengali, Oriya, Assamese, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Gujarati, Marathi and Bhojpuri, according to a government statement.
He debuted with Anuragam in 1963, and followed that up the very next year with the super hit film “Ramadu-Beemudu,” starring the Telugu film legend and later politician, N.T. Rama Rao.
Apart from popularity at the box office, his films won laurels from critics as well, with “Surigadu” being selected for the Indian Panorama in 1993 and the Bengali film “Asukh” winning the National Award for Best Film in 1999.
His Hindi film “Hamari Beti,” which was screened at the Chicago and Venice film festivals, focussed on how handicapped people could lead a normal life and achieve their goals.
Ramanaidu was responsible for launching the careers of several well-known actors, including Tabu, Khushboo, Venkatesh and Harish.
The galaxy of stars he has worked with includes N.T. Rama Rao, A. Nageswara Rao, Sivaji Ganesan, Shoban Babu, Kamal Haasan, Jayaprada, Chiranjeevi, Rajnikanth, Rajesh Khanna, Hema Malini, Rekha, Jeetendra and Sreedevi.
Apart from making his own films, Ramanaidu contributed to the cinematic infrastructure of Andhra Pradesh, having set up studios, recording, preview and dubbing theatres and laboratories in Hyderabad and Vishakapatnam.