NFAI To Pay Homage To Karnad By Screening His Films

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Pune: The National Film Archive of India (NFAI) will pay tributes to noted playwright late Girish Karnad by screening some of his acclaimed films on Saturday.

The films to be screened are “Ondanondu Kaladalli”, “Kanooru Heggadithi”, “Kaadu” and Jabbar Patel’s “Umbartha” starring Karnad.

Karnad, a multi-faceted genius who traversed worlds of literature, theatre and cinema with ease, died Monday in Bengaluru at the age of 81.

In a career span of more than five decades, Karnad wore many hats, starting as a playwright, he excelled in several aspects of filmmaking, screenwriting, direction and acting, the NFAI said in a release Tuesday.

Karnad’s films blended ruralism, history and mythical pathos with contemporary themes, it said.

“‘Ondanondu Kaladalli’ (1978), which was an epic film, was Karnad’s tribute to Kurosawa’s samurai films. The film attempts to revive a South Indian martial arts technique which survives mainly in the Kerala-based form of the Kalaripayattu.

Noted for its cinematography and stunt sequences, the film won best Kannada film award at the 26th national film awards,” the release said.

The NFAI said “Kanooru Heggadithi” (1999) was noted as the comeback film of Karnad into direction.

It was another national award winning film and was based on the novel “Kanooru Subbamma Heggadithi” by Kannada writer Kuvempu.

“Kaadu” (1973) was the first solo directorial venture of Karnad. The film presents a violent rural drama about the rivalry between two villages from the perspective of a young boy. The film is recognised as one of the earliest films in Kannada parallel cinema.

“Umbartha” (1981) is a landmark Marathi social realist film directed by Jabbar Patel starring Karnad and Smita Patil in lead roles.

Jabbar Patel himself will be present during the screening on Saturday and will share his thoughts and memories on the occasion.