Film director K. Viswanath expressed his resolve to make wholesome films with themes that centre around fine arts and exemplify time-honoured manner of leading life.

“Some people criticise me for not taking up films about social issues. But arts are infinite. Every time I make a film (on them) it's a big challenge for me as I am afraid people may not see it,” he said at a meeting organised by Visakha Rasajna Vedika to celebrate 30 years of his classic ‘Sankarabharanam' on Friday evening.

The film continued to draw laurels during the past 30 years and he was happy that people interpret in so many different ways, some of it unintended. “But some of the high points are intended like the motor boat sound in the beginning of the film expressing the trepidation of Manjubhargavi. Things fell into place and the chemistry worked,” he said, giving credit to all those who worked in it. Mr. Viswanath and his wife Vijayalakshmi were felicitated.

‘Sankarabharanam' captured the imagination of cine-goers, became a watershed in Telugu cinema history by rubbishing the view that audience loved to see run-of-the-mill films. It earned an iconic status to ‘Sankara Sastry', its unconventional protagonist, an ageing classical musician battling the waning respect for the genre and his passing on the mantle to a young disciple transcending barriers of caste. Vividly recalling scenes from the film, speakers said the film would continue to enchant audience for many more years to come.

Mr. Viswanath, now shooting a film at Vizianagaram, disagreed with the view that the Censor Board needed to be strengthened to bring in good cinema saying audience had a responsibility.

Rasajna Vedika founder-president and noted dermatologist G. Raghurama Rao said the programme was organised within two weeks because of his love for Mr. Viswanath's films. He said after ‘Mayabazar' and ‘Malleswari', ‘Sankarabahranam' eminently qualified to be a classic.

Quoting William Jackson on saint-composer Tyagaraja, former Rector of Andhra University A. Prasanna Kumar said he classicised popular music and popularised classical music through the film.

Retired lecturer D.V. Surya Rao lauded the film for reforming the taste of the audience and renewing interest in classical music and dance. Ganti Murali described ‘Sankara Sastry' as the alter ego of Mr. Viswanath. Actor Kallu Chidambaram praised Edida Nageswara Rao for producing the film. The two faces of friendship were well depicted in the portrayal of Allu Ramalingaiah.

Rambhatla Nrusimha Sarma said Mr. Viswanath had introduced elements of song, music and dance in his earlier films and ‘Sankarabharanam' was its fullest expression. His subsequent films took up various aspects from it and successfully depicted their importance.

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