Hyderabad: The director who changed the face of Telugu cinema, Kasinathuni Viswanath, popularly known as Kalathapasvi Viswanath, has been honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2016. The government announced the award on Monday. This is the highest award in the field of cinema. His film Shankarabharanam changed Telugu cinema and took it into the international arena.
Viswanath started his career as a sound recordist with Vahini Pictures. Akkineni Nageswara Rao spotted his talent and asked him to join Annapurna Pictures. Viswanath worked as assistant director to Adurthi Subba Rao and debuted as director with Atma Goura-vam in 1965, with Nageswara Rao in the lead. He never looked back since then. Though he directed many stars, he always believed in his style of storytelling and the content of his film for success.
There are no vulgar, double entendre dialogues in his films, which are pleasant, steeped in the local ethos, and with music, dance and traditional art forms. His film Swathi Muthyam not only won a National Award, but was also India’s official entry to the 59th Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Film category. His other films Sirivennela, Saptapadi, Sutradharulu, Sruthi-layalu, Swathikiranam, Su-bha Sankalpam, Swayam Krushi and Swarna Kamalam won national and state awards.
Viswanath chooses a simple and uncomplicated story and gives film lovers a pleasant treat. Most of his stories are related to the common man and what is happening in such homes or with their neighbours.