Kailasam Balachander has carved for himself a unique place in the history of Tamil cinema as a director who explored social themes in a manner that stimulated in viewers an appetite for such bold creations. Today, at the age of 82, Balachander has expanded his creative horizon to explore the limits of television as a medium to express himself. In 2010, KB, as he is fondly called by his admirers, became the first Tamil film director to be honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
M. Karunanidhi, five-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, has made many a contribution to Tamil cinema. Apart from writing stories for several films, he has penned the screenplay and dialogues for more than 75 films and lyrics for about 20 films. His five production companies have produced more than 26 films. In his movies, he has espoused the cause of the Self-Respect Movement launched by ‘Periyar’ E.V. Ramasamy. A special article by M. KARUNANIDHI
The convergence of brand culture, television and stardom has forever changed the profile of the Indian film star, generating new sites for the production of value. By RANJANI MAZUMDAR
Vipin Vijay is a postgraduate in film-making from the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata. He has made several award-winning short films, documentaries and one feature film, Chitra Sutram. Among the films he has made are A Flowering Tree and Palace of the Winds (documentaries) and Video Game (a short film). He lives and works in Kerala. His films have been shown at many international festivals. In conversation with Vipin Vijay. By C.S. VENKITESWARAN
As differentiation between genres began to get blurred in the early 1970s, the star and his relation to the fan became the sole aesthetic preoccupation, giving birth to the highly successful “mass film”in the Telugu industry. Today, with these films failing at the box office, it seems stuck in a narrative dead end. By VENKATESH CHAKRAVARTHY
Mainstream Indian cinema’s hundred year spree makes for a pulsating narrative. Though it has gone from selling dreams in the initial days to commodifying wish-fulfilment fantasies in recent years, the journey is nowhere near its end. By SASHI KUMAR
Balu Mahendra passed out of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, in 1969. He began his career as a cameraman for the Malayalam film Nellu in 1974 and his directorial debut with the Kannada film Kokila in 1977. He won the National Film Award for Best Cinematography for Kokila and for Moondram Pirai (1983). His Veedu won the National Film Award for the Best Feature Film.
Gulzar is a poet, story and dialogue writer, and director, but it is as a lyricist that he is primarily known. Many everlasting numbers have come out of his association with a number of music directors. At the 81st Academy Awards in 2009, he shared the award for Best Original Song with A.R. Rahman (for “Jai Ho” in Slumdog Millionaire). It also won him a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.
Amitabh Bachchan has been a towering presence in Indian cinema, particularly the Bollywood film industry, for over four decades. He has more than 180 movies to his credit, but it is as the “angry young man” he played in the movies of the early 1970s that he rules hearts. Apart from acting, Bachchan has sung songs for movies and has been a film producer and television presenter. He also had a stint in politics in the 1980s.
K. Viswanath Some of his best directorial works revolve around the world of art. The main character in all his films, be it the classical singer in Sankarabharanam, the dancer in Sagara Sangamam or the instrumentalist in Sirivennela, carries the Viswanath touch of humanism and tradition. A recipient of many awards, including the Padma Shri, Viswanath has dealt with a wide range of social issues in his films, which also stand out for their universal appeal.