The finale screening of Indica Pictures K Viswanath Memorial Short Film Contest and the announcement of the winners took place at Prasad Preview Theater on Wednesday (Nov 8th, 2023) night. Film producer Sri Allu Aravind, actress Smt. Manju Bhargavi, actress Smt. Amala Akkineni and others felicitated the winners with shawls. The shawls were those that adorned the shoulders of K Viswanath when he was felicitated over the decades of his illustrious career.
Out of the 8 finalists, Naveen Gandhi’s ‘Sangamam’" took the top spot with Aishwarya Perambai’s ‘Ananya’ coming in a close second. Both films won Rs 5 lakhs each. Creating huge excitement, three films tied for 3rd place – Shanmukha Karthik’s ‘Sivaagna’, Saba Mumtaz’s ‘The Imam’ and Srini Prabhala/Ram Komanduri directed ‘Sreekaram’. They won Rs 2 lakhs each. Hyderabad-based Annapurna Film School scored big with Nikhil Reddy’s ‘Kittu Katha’, and VMK Sistla’s ‘Sivaagnya’ winning Best Director, and Best Production respectively due to the fact they left an indelible mark in the jury’s mind. Prudhviraj Thumula’s ‘Navarasa Madhanam’ won Best Screenplay.
As part of the Grand Jury, Sri Allu Aravind (Geetha Arts), Sri Shobu Yarlagadda (Arka Media), Smt. Manju Bhargavi (actress and Kuchipudi Danseuse), and Smt. Radikaa Sarathkumar (actress and Owner of Radaan Mediaworks) took time to spend many hours viewing the finalists and selecting the winners. Both Sri Allu Aravind and Smt. Manju Bhargavi attended the event along with Smt. Amala Akkineni and handed over the awards.
After the screenings, film producer Allu Aravind said, "I made 'Subhalekha' with Viswanath garu when I was young. I feel lucky for that. I also felt it was a gift from him to me”. To all the 8 finalists he said, “Like a seed of a giant tree, there is a lot of talent in everyone. All of them made a good short film. Please work hard to grow your talent like a great tree. I have seen all the movies. They have good values. When I saw these films, I wanted to see the old films that I had made once long back," he said.
Actress and Kuchipudi dancer, Manju Bhargavi said, "At first it seemed as if watching these short films would be a challenge. But when I saw them, I felt they were truly emotive. I watched all 8 short films and enjoyed each and every one of them. I'm glad I was given this opportunity. K Viswanath gari Sankarabharanam changed my career. Even after 43 years, the effect of the film is still there. Whenever I went to a dance competition anywhere in the country, I would be instantly recognized. In these short films, I could see shades of Viswanath garu”.
Actress Amala Akkineni said, "I am happy that Indica Pictures is organizing the Viswanath gari memorial short film contest. And I must say I am inspired by this younger generation. Viswanath garu had a wonderful friendship with my father-in-law Akkineni Nageswara Rao garu. When I was a child, I saw Sankarabharanam which inspired me to learn Bharatanatyam. Viswanath garu was a pillar of Telugu cinema. The short films I have seen today are full of good stories. Having Aravind garu here today is an inspiration to these young filmmakers”.
Kasinadhuni Nagendranath, son of K Viswanath, came onto the stage with the family members to receive a standing ovation. He said, “Our family will always be there for any effort to recognize the legacy of our father, his vision, and his genre. We are only slowly realizing as a family how big his impact has been”.
Harikiran Vadlamani, founder of Indica said, "These short films are meant to bring Indian culture to light. Our culture is based on the guru-shishya parampara. These short films reflect it. We founded Indica Pictures four years ago. We wanted to make culture and heritage films driven by positivity. As part of that, we wanted to recreate the Viswanath genre. We will organize similar contests every year," he said.
Danji Thotapalli, the Chief Curator of Indica Pictures said, “Good short films can be made but they can get recognized only if there is a platform. It was my personal dream to be able to felicitate K Viswanath garu and his legacy. I am in deep gratitude to Aravind garu, Shobu garu, Manju Bhargavi garu, Radikaa garu, Parthu Nemani garu, Bharath Kamma garu, and my Indica Pictures team for all the support in making this prestigious event a grand success. We are so blessed to have Allu Aravind garu as Chief Guest today”. Jury Member Parthu Nemani sang the concluding final scene hymn from K Viswanath’s superhit Sagara Sangamam to close the event.