53 Films in 6 Decades: A Look at Dadasaheb Phalke Award Winner K Viswanath’s Legacy

The director who worked primarily in the Telugu film industry has long been hailed as a master of his craft.

Kasinathuni Viswanath, one of the most prolific directors in Indian cinema, has been conferred with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award (for 2016), which is India’s highest award in cinema.

With over 50 films under his repertoire in a career that spanned for more than 60 years, the director who primarily worked in the Telugu film industry has long been hailed as a master of his craft.

Unsurprisingly, since the announcement, many from the film industry have spoken up about his impact on Indian cinema, including actor Kamal Haasan.

Here’s a look at his rich legacy and the impact he’s had.

Photo source: Twitter



No conversation about K Viswanath can be complete without bringing up one of the great classics of Indian cinema – Sankarabharanam. Providing a wonderful insight into the world of Carnatic music, the film went on to win four National Film Awards.

Focus on dance and art forms

It wasn’t just Sankarabharanam, Viswanath, who is known for his love of traditional forms of Indian music and dance, often highlighted them in his movies. In fact, it has been often noted that many of his films might have played a key role in reviving the public’s interest in Carnatic music.

Focus on social issues

Through his movies, Viswanath would often take on many societal evils. From dowry to the caste system, his film didn’t shy away from making strong social and political commentary about society at large. Especially his film Saptapadi has been hailed for its portrayal of the caste system.

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He shaped the careers of some of the biggest stars in the South

Viswanath has worked with some of the biggest actors and actresses in India. From N T Rama Rao, Shoban Babu, Chiranjeevi to Kamal Haasan and even Rishi Kapoor and Girish Karnad, he has had a hand in shaping the careers of many stalwarts in the industry.

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