KARNATAKA

A felicitation amid sepia-tinted memories

An honour: Film-maker Girish Kasarvalli presenting the Ezra Mir Lifetime Achievement Award to veteran film-maker M.V. Krishnaswamy oin Bangalore on Saturday.

An honour: Film-maker Girish Kasarvalli presenting the Ezra Mir Lifetime Achievement Award to veteran film-maker M.V. Krishnaswamy oin Bangalore on Saturday.  

Special Correspondent

I have done things with a purpose: MVK

Bangalore: “What I have done is not great, but I have done things with a purpose,” was how veteran film-maker M.V. Krishnaswamy summed up his long association with the world of cinema.

At the felicitation organised by the Suchitra Film Society here on Saturday on the occasion of MVK being conferred the Ezra Mir Lifetime Achievement Award by the Indian Documentary Producers’ Association, the 85-year-old chose to speak more about people who had shaped his career rather than his own achievements. He remembered documentary film-maker John Grierson who took him as his student and mentored him when he went to study film-making in England in the 1940s. When MVK wanted to apply for an Italian scholarship and stay on in Europe, he had sternly told him: “Get back to your country and start some work.”

MVK, who also headed many key film institutions of India, had an appeal for his friends and admirers who had gathered in large numbers: “I request you all to join in promoting the documentary film movement which John Grierson described as ‘creative treatment of actuality’.”

Film-maker Girish Kasaravalli, who felicitated MVK, described him as an “Acharya purusha” (a mentor) for a whole generation of film-makers in Karnataka. He had the rare ability to synthesise Kannada cinema, the cultural milieu of Karnataka and the vast world of cinema beyond the State borders, he said.

In the 1970s, it was film-makers such as MVK and Lakshminarayana who could bridge the huge chasm between Kannada cinema and world cinema, he added.

N. Vidyashankar and H.N. Narahari Rao of Suchitra Film Society remembered how MVK had kindled an academic interest in films among many and had been a force behind the inception of several film societies in Bangalore. “He had the courage to see cinema as an important medium of expression back in the 1940s,” Mr. Vidyashankar said. Many well-known names, including senior photographer T.S. Satyan and Jnanpith Award winner U.R. Ananthamurthy, were present. “He looks as handsome as he looked 30 years ago,” Mr. Ananthamurthy said. “The history of Mysore is alive in him.”

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