K. Viswanath gets Phalke Award, standing ovation

Eminent film director and actor Kasinathuni Viswanath received a standing ovation as President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday presented him the coveted Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the country’s highest award in cinema.

The award is given by the government for outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema.

The 87-year-old attended the presentation ceremony at Vigyan Bhavan here, and received a Swarn Kamal (Golden Lotus), a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh and a shawl.

“I am honoured to receive the coveted Dadasaheb Phalke Award. I’d like to thank the Almighty and of course the jury members,” Viswanath, a winner of multiple National Awards, said after receiving the honour.

Clippings of his works were showcased before he took the stage.

Vishwanath has directed 50 films, known for their strong content, endearing narrative, honest handling and cultural authenticity.

Some of his major Hindi films include “Sargam”, “Kaamchor”, “Sanjog”, “Jaag Utha Insan” and “Eeshwar”.

Born in February 1930 at Gudivada (in what is now Andhra Pradesh), Viswanath has won five National Awards, 20 Nandi Awards (awarded by the Andhra Pradesh government), and 10 Filmfare Awards including Lifetime Achievement Award. He was conferred the Padma Shri in 1992.

His National Award winning movie “Swati Mutyam (The White Pearl)” was India’s official entry to the Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Film category in 1987.


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