Many years ago, a science student from a small village in Tirthahalli taluk in Shimoga district casually applied to the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune and received an admission card. Though he didn't know much about theatre, literature or cinema then, he was deeply inspired by his uncle, who had also studied at the FTII. Eventually, the film he made as part of his course got the Best Student Film award, besides bagging the President's Silver Lotus award for the best short film.
The film was Avashesh, and the student was Padmashree award recipient and internationally acclaimed filmmaker Girish Kasaravalli. His uncle, who had inspired him greatly, was Magsaysay Award winner K.V. Subbanna.
It is remarkable to note that every one of Kasaravalli's films has won several awards at the International, National and State-level. As a director, he is deeply committed to the medium. However, his films are not everybody's cup of tea. Kasaravalli's cinema is an exploration of life through visuals.
Mr. Kasaravalli recently turned 60 years. To celebrate this, Suchitra Film Society and Suchitra Film and Cultural Academy has organised a programme to honour him at Peer Auditorium of the society on Monday at 6 p.m. Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa will felicitate Mr. Kasaravalli. Jnanpith Award recipient U.R. Ananthamurthy will deliver the felicitation address. Journalist T.J.S. George will release ‘Suchitra Quarterly' on the occasion. T.S. Nagabharana, Chairman of the Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy; Basanth Kumar Patil, president of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce; H.N. Narahari Rao, film historian; and artistes Jayamala, Umashree, Tara and Pavithra Lokesh will speak on Kasaravalli.
Kasaravalli has directed 13 films in his long career of 34 years. He made his directorial debut with Ghatashraddha based on a story by Dr. Ananthamurthy. The film won him the Golden lotus as also a few international awards. During the centenary celebrations of cinema, Ghatashraddha was the only Indian film to be chosen by the National Archive of Paris.
Except for Bannadavesha, he has used themes from Kannada literature for his films. Akramana, Mooru Daarigalu, Tabarana Kathe, Mane, Krourya, Tayi Saheba, Dweepa, Hasina, Naayi Neralu, Gulabi Talkies and Kanasemba Kudureyaneri are based on major works in Kannada literature.