Narasimham, The Hindu, August 20th 1999
cannot think of making films, as a product for consumption.
I think a film is a very effective medium and it can communicate
much more than any other media. For me film making is
an attempt to understand the intricacies of truth and
express it in my own subtle way. With "Agnisakshi"
(based on a novel) I have been successful to an extent
in winning public appeal. Meaningful cinema can also be
made into an enjoyable fare." Said debutant director
Shyamaprasad, receiving the Gollapudi Srinivasa Memorial
Foundation's "Gollapudi Srinivasa Award for the year
1998", at a function held at Music Academy, Chennai,
Perhaps this is the spirit with which Gollalpudi Srinivas,
son of veteran writer-actor Gollapudi Maruthi Rao, started
his debt film, "Prema Pusthakam" seven years
ago. But fate dealt a cruel blow and he died in 1992.
The Gollapudi family instituted an award in his memory,
the award carries a cash prize of Rs.One lakh, a memento
specially designed by Bapu and a plaque to the given to
a debutant director every year. (The first such award
for 1997 went to Leslie Carvalho for his English film,
Before the start of the main function, a short film on
Srinivas and on the work of Shyamaprasad made by Rajiv
Menon was shown. Ajith, who made his debut with "Prema
Pushthakam", Subhasini and S.P. Balasubrahmanyam
spoke about Srinivas.
The "Gollapudi Srinivas Memorial Lecture", was
delivered by the renowned film maker, Mrinal Sen. The
lecture carried a cash award of Rs.10, 000 and the topic
was 'Cinema and Social Values". He talked at length
about the movies that appealed to him in terms of social
content right from the silent movie era from 'Joan of
Arc' (1928) to the Chaplin films to the second of Satyajit
Ray's Apu trilogy - "Aparajitha".
The guests of honour were Mahesh Bjatt, K. Viswanath and
Kamal Hassan. At the award ceremony, Mrinal Sen felcitated
Shyamaprasad with a shawl while Mahesh Bhatt presented
the memento. Shyamaprasad's Agnisakshi; was selected for
the award, out of ten entries from various languages.
Incidentally, "Agnisakshi" won the regional
best film award as well as nine Kerala State awards, including
one for best director. Apart from the award presentation
ceremony, two persons enlivened the evening's proceedings
- a commendable and touching compering by actress Revathy
Menon and a ghazal concert by Pankaj Udhas.