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Girish Kasaravalli

posted Jan 6, 2012, 12:30 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jan 7, 2012, 1:42 PM by Info B2C ]
Girish Kasaravalli (born 1950) (Kannada: ಗಿರೀಶ್ ಕಾಸರವಳ್ಳಿ) is a noted film director, and one of the pioneers of the Parallel Cinema in Kannada cinema, who has won the National Film Award for Best Film four times, Ghatashraddha (1977), Tabarana Kathe (1986), Thaayi Saheba (1997) and Dweepa (2001). He has been awarded Padma Shri in 2011 - Fourth highest civilian award awarded by Government of India.

A gold medalist from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, Girish Kasaravalli started his career in films with Ghatashraddha (1977), over the next 30 years he directed eleven films and a tele serial. The Film he made to fulfill his Diploma "AVASHESH" was awarded the best Student Film. Avashesh also Won the President's Silver Lotus award for the best Short Film of that year.

Early life

Girish Kasaravalli was born in Kesalur, a village in the Tirthahalli taluk in Shimoga district in 1950 to Ganesh Rao and Lakshmi Devi. He had his primary education in Kesalur and middle school education in Kammaradi. Hailing from a family of book lovers, he was initiated to reading books from a young age by his father. His father was also a patron of Yakshagana, a folk system of dance, native to Karnataka. All this formed a basis for a life rich with creative aspirations. He was also attracted to the touring talkies which visited his village once in a while to screen popular Kannada films. This was his first exposure to the world of Cinema. Another relative who supported his love for creative arts was his maternal uncle K.V.Subbanna, a Magsaysay award winner who founded Neenasam, a critically acclaimed and popular drama company.

After completing his high school and college education in Shimoga, he enrolled for the B.Pharma course in the College of Pharmacy, Manipal. The college was a commonplace for many cultural activities and kept Girish Kasaravalli's creative interests alive. After completing his degree, he went to Hyderabad for training. But due to his pre occupations in Cinema and art, he found it difficult to manage his profession and interest together. He decided to quit the career in Pharmacy and join the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune.


Girish Kasaravalli graduated from FTII Pune in 1975, with a specialization in 'film direction'. The world of Kurosawa, Ray, Ozu, Fellini and Antonioni inspired him and his conviction in neo-realist cinema deepened. In an interview many years later, he recollected how he was inspired by these filmmakers, especially Ozu. While in his final year, he was chosen to be the Assistant Director for Sri.B. V. Karanth for the film Chomana Dudi. He passed out of the FTII with a gold medal to his credit. His student film titled 'Avasesh' won the President's Silver Lotus award for the best student film of the year.

His first film as an independent director, was Ghatashraddha in 1977, which won him the Golden lotus, and also won a few international awards. During the centenary celebrations of Cinema, Ghatashraddha was the only Indian film to be chosen by the National Archive of Paris. For a short while, he also served as the principal of a film institute.

He won his second Golden Lotus for Tabarana Kathe in 1987. Considered as one of the best edited films in India, the film deals with the futile efforts of a retired government servant to earn his pension. In 1997, he came up with , Thaayi Saheba which won him his third Golden Lotus award. Thaayi Saheba is considered to be the most mature work of the director, dealing with the transition in the Indian socitey from the pre independence to the post independence periods. He repeated his success with Dweepa in 2002 starring late actress Soundarya. This film won his fourth Golden Lotus award. Dweepa was different from his earlier films. One of his movies, Naayi Neralu dealt with a very intense and bizarre concept of reincarnation, based on the novel with the same name by S.L. Bhyrappa, Girish Kasaravalli has given a different interpretation of the subject.

The International Film Festival of Rotterdam held a retrospective of Girish Kasaravalli's films in 2003.

Personal life

His wife Vaishali Kasaravalli was also an actress. She passed away on 27 September 2010 at the age of 59, she was ailing for over five years. A chronic diabetic, she suffered liver damage and was also undergoing dialysis for renal malfunctioning.



Year Film Language Notes
1977 Ghatashraddha Kannada
1987 Tabarana Kathe Kannada
1990 Mane,1990 Kannada
1991 Ek Ghar Hindi
1996 Kraurya Kannada
1997 Thaayi Saheba Kannada
2002 Dweepa Kannada
Grihabhanga (TV) Kannada
2004 Hasina Kannada
2006 Naayi Neralu Kannada
2008 Gulabi Talkies Kannada
2010 Kanasemba Kudureyaneri Kannada


National Film Awards

  • Best Film
    • 1977: Ghatashraddha
    • 1986: Tabarana Kathe
    • 1997: Thaayi Saheba
    • 2001: Dweepa
  • Best Film on Family Welfare
    • 2005: Hasina
  • Best Feature Film in Kannada
    • 1988: Bannada Vesha
    • 1989: Mane
    • 1995: Kraurya
    • 2007: Gulabi Talkies
    • 2009: Kanasemba Kudureyaneri
      • National Film Award for Best Screenplay
        • 2009: Kanasemba Kudureyaneri
      • South Asian Cinema Foundation's 'Excellence in Cinema' Crystal Globe Award 2009
        • Ghatashraddha (The Ritual) 1977

          • Won the Presidents Golden Lotus for the Best Indian Film of the year 1977-78
          • Won the Best Music Award for B.V. Karanth
          • Won the Best Child Actor Award for Master Ajith Kumar

          The Film also won the following Karnataka State Film Awards :

          • The Best Film Award.
          • Best Director Award Girish Kasaravalli
          • Best Story Award U.R. Ananthamurthy.
          • Best Script Award Girish Kasaravalli
          • Best Child Artist Master Ajith Kumar.

          Ghatashraddha won a few International Awards:

          • Won the Catholic Jury Award.
          • Won Ducats Award at the Manneham Film Festival Germany.
          • Screened at Various Film Festivals likeMelbourne, Nantes, Berlin, and London.
          • Was the only Iindian Film to be selected by the National Film Archieves of Paris as one of the 100 Best films in the world.

          Akramana (The Siege) 1979

          • Movie won the "MOITRA AWARD" at the Asian Film Festival at Jakarta, Indonesia
          • Vaishali Kasaravalli won the Best Actress Award at the State Film Awards.
          • It was screened at the Asian and Cairo Film Festivals.

          Mooru Dhaarigalu (Three Path Ways) 1981:

          • Won the Best Cinematograpghy award at the National Film festival.

          The Film also won the following Karnataka State Film Awards:

          • Second Best Film Award.
          • Best Director Award Girish Kasaravalli
          • Best Script Award Girish Kasaravalli
          • Best Cinematography S.R.BHAT.
          • Best Editing Suresh Urs.

          Tabarana Kathe (The Story of Tabara) 1987

          • Won the Presidents Golden Lotus Award for Best Indian Film in 1987
          • Won the Best Actor Award for Charuhasan at the National Film Festival.

          The Film also won the following Karnataka State Film Awards:

          • Best Film.
          • Best Direction Girish Kasaravalli
          • Best Script Girish Kasaravalli
          • Best Story for Poornachandra Tejaswi
          • Best Dialogue for Poornachandra Tejaswi.
          • Best Actor for Charuhasan
          • Best Child Actor for Master Santosh.
          • Best Editor for M.N. Swamy.
          • Tabarana Kathe was screened at Various Film Festivals including Tashkent, Nantes, Tokyo and the Film Festival of Russia.

          Bannadha Vesha (The Mask) 1989:

          • Won the Presidents Silver Lotus as the Best Kannada Film in 1990.

          MANE (The House) 1989

          • Won the Presidents Silver Lotus as the Best Kannada Film.

          The Film also won the following Karnataka State Film Awards:

          • Jury Award for Best Film.
          • Best Script Award for Girish Kasaravalli.
          • Best Cinematography for S.Ramachandra
          • Best Sound for S.P.Ramanathan
          • Mane was screened at Various Film Festivals including Sydney, London, and Fukokawa(Japan).

          Kraurya (Tale of a Story Teller) 1996

          • The Movie won the President's Silver Lotus Award as the best Kannada Movie of the year 1997.
          • Master Vishwas won the best Child actor at the National Film Festival.
          • Film won the Second Best Film award at the Karnataka State Film Festival.
          • Film was screened at the HongKong Film Festival.

          Thaayi Saheba (1998)

          • The film won the Presidents Golden-Lotus (Swarna Kamala) award for the Best Movie of the Nation for the year 1998.
          • Smt. Jayamala won the Best Actress( Jury) Award at the National Film Festival.

          Dweepa (The Island) 2002

          The film won the Presidents Golden-Lotus (Swarna Kamala) award for the Best Movie of the Nation for the year.

          • H. Ramachandra won the best Cinmematographer.
          • Has been invited to be screened at almost all the Major International Film Festivals around the world.

          Gulabi Talkies

          • Won National Best Actress Award - Umashree
          • Screened at Osian's Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema, and won the following awards.
          • Best Film in Indian Competition
          • Best Actress in Indian Competition - Umashree
          • Karnataka State Film Awards, 2009
          • Best Film - Karnataka State award
          • Best Screenplay - Girish Kasaravalli
          • Best Actress - Umashree
          Source: Wikipedia
          Image Courtasy: K S Rajaram