Winners of the Karnataka State Film Awards share what it means to receive the honour

Director P Shehsadri, cinematographer BS Basavaraj and actor Raghavendra Rajkumar are among the winners for Kannada films

The Karnataka State Film Awards have been announced. And it comes as no surprise to see director P Shehsadri’s name again on the winning list. He won the Puttanna Kanagal Award for Lifetime Achievement as director.

A postgraduate in Kannada literature, Sheshadri did a short stint as a journalist before venturing into cinema and has made umpteen serials, documentaries and tele-films.

Winners of the Karnataka State Film Awards share what it means to receive the honour

Sheshadri makes films on contemporary issues and received national and international acclaim for most of his films.

Sheshadri had earlier received the Puttanna Kanagal Award from the Karnataka Film Directors’ Association in 1993, when he worked as an associate director for TS Nagabharana’s Chinnari Mutta.

Sheshadri followed in Kanagal’s footsteps — his films were mostly based on literary works. Five of Sheshadri’s films, including Munnudi, Bettada Jeeva, Mohanadasa Bheti, are also based on literary works.

About winning the award an elated Sheshadri said, “It is a moment of mixed feelings. I am both happy and embarrassed in a way and humbly accept the honour bestowed on me. I dedicate this award to all the artistes and technicians who have worked with me and helped me to grow as a filmmaker.”

He has another reason to celebrate as his latest film, Mookajjiya Kanasugalu not only crossed 50 days in theatres, but also won the Best Screenplay Award.

Srinivasa Murthy in the spotlight

After 45 years of working in the Kannada film industry as an actor, television serial director, producer, J Krishnappa Srinivasa Murthy, won the prestigious Dr Rajkumar Award. He has carved a niche for himself in Kannada cinema by essaying historical and emotional characters and is one of the most sought-after artistes in the industry.

Who can forget his debut in Hemavathi, directed by the legendary Siddalingaiah in 1977? The film was an inter-caste love story. The actor has in the past received laurels for his acting prowess in Kavirathna Kalidasa and Hosa Belaku, both with Rajkumar.

Rajkumar and Sreenivasa Murthy not only shared the screen but also a close friendship off it too.

Srinivasa Murthy also produced movies with his friend Jai Jagadish and has produced serials on the life of poets and saints of Karnataka.

About being conferred with the award, he said, “I should have got this award long ago. I am happy that I did get it after 43 years. It is a huge moment for me.”

Winning despite odds

Winners of the Karnataka State Film Awards share what it means to receive the honour

Raghavendra Rajkumar is all smiles after he won the Best Actor award for his role in Ammana Mane, directed by Nikhil Manjoo. The film was the actor’s first after a 15 year break from the industry.

After Pakkadamane Hudugi, directed by MS Rajashekar in 2004, he did not act due to health issues. One can say that Ammana Mane gave the actor a new lease of life in films.

Raaganna, as he is popularly known, dedicated this award to Nikhil. “Winning an award is a different thing. I was apprehensive of returning to films, dues to my health issues. Returning to the screen is just like a player playing his second innings. This award heightens my responsibility as an actor,” says Raaganna who also wished that his parents were around to share his joy. Raganna will next be seen with Dhruva Sarja in Pogaru.

Stunning visuals

Cinematographer BS Basavaraj is the winner of the Dr Vishnuvardhan Award.

Winners of the Karnataka State Film Awards share what it means to receive the honour

A product of Karnataka’s première film institute of the 60s, Sri Jayachamarajendra Polytechnic, Basavaraj has worked with cinematographers such as VK Murthy, Rajendra Malone and DV Rajaram. He has also worked as a DOP with Puttanna Kanagal, Siddalingiah, TS Nagabharana, V Somashekar and Phani Ramachandra.

Basavaraj did not restrict himself to Kannada films, but has worked in other language films.

He is known for his picturesque visuals in Kanagals’ Manasa Sarovara, and for capturing the essence of Malnad in Amrutha Ghalige.

He has assisted his teacher-mentor, DV Rajaram in Bhootayyana Maga Ayyu.

Basavaraj is also a documentary filmmaker and has made documetaries on cinematographers including RNK Prasad, DV Rajaram and filmmaker N Lakshminarayan. Now he is planning make a documentary on Govind Nihalani.

Upper hand of offbeat films

A look at the list of Karnataka State Film Awards shows a domination of offbeat films. Sarkari Hiriya Prathamika Shale Kasargod, Koduge Ramanna Rai, Ondalla Eradalla, Ammachiyemba Nenapu, Aa Karala Rathri, Santa Kavi Kanakadasara Ramadhanya, Ondalla Eradalla, Bayalatada Bheemanna, Choorikatte are among the films that have bagged awards in various sections.

On the other hand Nathicharami directed by Manjunatha Somakeshava Reddy (Mansore), which bagged five National Awards, did not figure in any category in the State awards. This has caused raised eyebrows in the Kannada film industry.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 12:31:23 PM |

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