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Gollapudi Srinivas award presented to Amit Rai

Special Correspondent

— Photo: K. Pichumani

Moment of honour:Theatre personality Girish Karnad, Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan, actor Anil Kapoor and the award winner Amit Rai at the Gollapudi Srinivas National Award ceremony in Chennai on Thursday.

CHENNAI: It is no easy task to narrate a story in great detail over and over again to prospective producers, with the same passion and importantly, with one's optimism intact. It is to salute this spirit and the conviction of young director Amit Rai that the 13th ‘Gollapudi Srinivas National Award' was presented to him here on Thursday.

The award, instituted by the Gollapudi Srinivas Memorial Foundation, is given to a debutant director annually in memory of Gollapudi Srinivas, who passed away in an accident while making his first film. This year, Amit Rai's film ‘Road to Sangam' (Hindi) emerged winner among several nominations.

Delivering the Gollapudi Srinivas Memorial Lecture on ‘Mythology on celluloid', noted theatre personality Girish Karnad said cinema was the ideal medium for mythology. Also, Indian attitudes to reality, which were different from those in the West, allowed for a certain amount of mythology to be included, he said.

Observing that he would take sociologist Sudhir Kakkar's position, Mr. Karnad said that the Indian society was yet to reach a level of individualism which was comparable to that in western societies. “People are still seen as part of a family, in relational terms as a brother, son, sister and so on.” It was, therefore, understandable why mythology was seen the way it is being seen, he added.

Actor Anil Kapoor, who presented the award to Mr. Rai, said he learnt much of his skills in the south, shooting for south Indian films. He said he admired the passion, sincerity and talent of technicians from the south.

Actor Vidya Balan commended the initiative of the Gollapudi Srinivas Memorial Foundation and said such motivation was vital for debutants who aspire to make meaningful cinema. Film-maker Madhur Bhandarkar recalled his struggle and how he managed to finally make the kind of films that he believed in.

The function began with a delightful Sarod recital of maestro Amjad Ali Khan.

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