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K. Viswanath (19 Feb 1930 – 2 Feb 2023)

Kasinadhuni Viswanath (19 February 1930 – 2 February 2023) was an Indian film director, screenwriter and actor, known for his works primarily in Telugu cinema. He is recipient of five National Film Awards, seven state Nandi Awards, ten Filmfare Awards South, and a Filmfare Award in Hindi. > He was honored with the " Prize of the Public " at the " Besançon Film Festival of France " in 1981. > In 1992, he received the Andhra Pradesh state Raghupathi Venkaiah Award, Padma Shri for his contribution to the field of arts. > In 2017, he was conferred with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest award in Indian cinema. Early life : Kasinadhuni Viswanath was born on 19 February 1930 in Repalle of Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh. His parents are Kasinadhuni Subramanyam and Kasinadhuni Saraswathy (Saraswathamma) and his ancestral roots come from Pedapulivarru, Andhra Pradesh, a small village on the banks of River Krishna. Viswanath studied Intermediate from Guntur Hindu College, and holds a BSc degree from Andhra Christian College of Andhra University. Career : > In 1951 he started as an assistant director in the Telugu-Tamil Film Pathala Bhairavi. > In 1965, Viswanath debuted as a director with Telugu film Aatma Gowravam, which won the Nandi Award for Best Feature Film of the year. > Viswanath followed it up with drama films Chelleli Kapuram (1971), Sarada (1973), O Seeta Katha (1974) and Jeevana Jyoti (1975) which are women-centric films. > It was in Siri Siri Muvva (1976) that the artistic touch in his craft first became visible. > In 1980, Sankarabharanam highlights the neglect of traditional Indian music under the increasing influence of western music. The film brings out the grandeur of Carnatic music, the traditional South Indian music towards the end. Bhaskaran, a media and film researcher from Chennai has documented, in his study of South Indian music culture, how Sankarabharanam contributed to the revival of Carnatic music in a big way. The film broke many commercial records by running for over one year in cinemas. In a recent study published in Journal of Dance, Movements & Spiritualities published by " Intellect Group " of the United Kingdom, C. S. H. N. Murthy, a media and film studies scholar from India, has demonstrated how Viswanath"s filmography embraces a wide spectrum of characters that include mentally and physically challenged subjects as well, like the film 1. Sarada (1973), which exploits a psychologically deranged woman, 2. Swathi Muthyam (1986), which exploits an autistic man"s humanism, 3. Sirivennela (1986) which revels in situations between deaf and dumb characters, and 4. Kalam Marindi (1972), which dwells on characters stuck in a caste-based society. Films with Social issues : Viswanath has made many films dealing with a wide range of human and social issues: " Saptapadi, Sirivennela, Sutradharulu, Subhalekha, Sruthilayalu, Subha Sankalpam, Aapadbandhavudu, Swayam Krushi, and Swarnakamalam ", have lead characters representing different strata of society, meticulously etched to suit the larger picture. Bollywood : Sargam (1979), Kaamchor (1982), Shubh Kaamna (1983), Jaag Utha Insan (1984), Sur Sangam (1985), Sanjog (1985), Eeshwar (1989), Sangeet (1992) and Dhanwan (1993). Some of these films (especially his collaboration with actress Jaya Prada) have been super hits at the box office. Acting : Telugu -- In 1995, Viswanath debuted as an actor with Telugu film Subha Sankalpam. As a character actor, he has appeared in works such as Vajram (1995), Kalisundam Raa (2000), Narasimha Naidu (2001), Nuvvu Leka Nenu Lenu (2002), Santosham (2002), Seema Simham (2002), Tagore (2003), Lakshmi Narasimha (2004), Swarabhishekam (2004), Aadavari Matalaku Arthale Verule (2007), Athadu (2005), Pandurangadu (2008), and Devasthanam (2012). Tamil -- He essayed characters in Tamil works such as Kuruthipunal (1995), Mugavaree (1999), Kakkai Siraginilae (2000), Bagavathi (2002), Pudhiya Geethai (2003), Yaaradi Nee Mohini (2008), Rajapattai (2011), Singam II (2013), Lingaa (2014) and Uttama Villain (2015). Television : Viswanath had also acted on a few television serials; Siva Narayana Teertha on SVBC TV, Chellamay on Sun TV, and Suryiavamsam on Vendhar TV. Honours : 2012 – Viswa Vikhyata Darsaka Sarvabhowma for achievement in direction. 2012 – Chittoor V. Nagayya Puraskaram for lifetime achievement in cinema. 2017 – Film Nagar Cultural Center – Hyderabad Award for achievement in cinema. 2017 – Telugu Film Director"s Association Award for achievement in direction. 2017 – Aathmeeya Sanmanam from Government of Andhra Pradesh for achievement in cinema at Vijayawada Thummalapalli Kalakshetram. Honorary Doctorate -- Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University, Hyderabad, Telangana, India.