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Viswanathan is a mathematics graduate from St. Xavier's College, Kolkata, and a post graduate in film direction from the Film and Television Institute of India. He has been active in both film and video media as a director, screenplay writer, actor and presenter, having directed more than 150 films and television programmes including feature films, documentaries, telefilms, music videos, and teleserials. He has won three National Awards and two International Awards. Three of his feature films and two of his short features have been included in the INDIAN PANORAMA sections of IFFI ’94, 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2005. His films have been shown at the Commonwealth Film Festival, Manchester, the Pyongyang International Film Festival, the Dhaka International Film Festival, and the Ipswich Film Festival, among others.
Viswanathan has represented India at the Cambridge Seminar on contemporary British writing, held at Downing College, Cambridge (1997). He has also been an Assistant Professor and Head of the Department of Direction at the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute and a Visiting Professor at Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, at the Dept. of Cinema and Theatre, Tufts University, Boston, Dept. of Film Studies, Jadavpur University, and Dept. of Film Studies, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata.
He has presented papers and illustrated lectures at Monmouth University, New Jersey, Tisch School of Arts, New York University, and at Downing College, Cambridge.