C. V. Sridhar
|C. V. Sridhar|
|Born||Chithamur Vijayaraghavulu Sridhar
22 July 1933
Chithamur, Chengalpattu, Madras Presidency, British India
|Died||20 October 2008
Sridhar hailed from Chitthamur, a village near Madurantakam, Tamil Nadu. He studied at St. Joseph's Higher Secondary School, where he began writing and staging plays while he was in the Seventh Standard.
In 1951, 18-year-old Sridhar went to AVM Productions with his story Latchiyavathi but P. Neelakantan rejected his story. Avvai T. K. Shanmugam was very much impressed by the story and Sridhar wrote the screenplay and dialogues for the drama. It was staged as Raththa Paasam and was one of the most successful dramas staged by TKS brothers. Sridhar was proudly taken to the stage and introduced to the audience as the writer. It was later produced jointly by TKS and Jupiter pictures under Jupiter – Avvai Productions where Jupiter pictures recommended some other writer to write the dialogues for the film. It was T. K. Shanmugam who was staunch that Sridhar should write the screenplay and dialogues. Sridhar made his entry into films as a screen writer in Ratha Paasam. Later AVM Productions produced it in Hindi as Bhaai Bhaai starring Ashok Kumar and Kishore Kumar. The film gave a big commercial break for the music director Madan Mohan.
Sridhar wrote story and dialogues for Edhir Paradhathu. Sridhar wrote the dialogues in Tamil for the Telugu movie Parivartana and the movie was dubbed in 1955 as Latchadhipathi. Sridhar continued on writing for films like Maaman Magal, Maheswari, Amara Deepam, Maadharkula Manikkam, Engal Veetu Mahalakshmi, Yaar Paiyan, Manjal Mahimai, Uthama Puthiran and Punar Jenmam.
While working in Modern Theatres as writer for the film Maheswari, Sridhar had an opportunity to improve his knowledge and skills about film production. T. R. Sundaram had a huge library of international books about great films and directors, about film production, critical and technical essays. Sridhar had a very high esteem on the legendary director V. Shantaram.
In 1956, Sridhar turned producer along with associates Krishnamoorthi, Govindarajan and Sundararajan in Venus Pictures where he scripted Amara Deepam and followed by Uthama Puthiran. Both films had Sivaji Ganesan and Padmini as the main roles. He made his debut as a director with Kalyana Parisu. This movie ran for more than 25 weeks, and is revered to this day as a milestone in the history of Tamil cinema. After this, he had a huge fan following and his name was talked about among the middle class movie going audience.
He started his own production company Chithralaya (the emblem was designed by Art director Ganga) in 1961 with his friends Gopu, Vincent, Sundaram and Tiruchi Arunachalam made Then Nilavu. The latter which had Gemini Ganesan and Vyjayanthimala in the lead was the first Tamil film to be shot in Jammu and Kashmir. He made a series of commercially successful films like Nenjil Ore Alayam, Kaadhalikka Neramillai, Vennira Adai and many more.
Sridhar wrote in a variety of styles, from the comical Kaadhalikka Neramillai to the serious Nenjil Or Aalayam. The latter was remade in Hindi with Rajendra Kumar and Meena Kumari as Dil Ek Mandir which earn him two nomination at Filmfare Awards, Best Director and Best Story categories. He brought out the best in comedians T. R. Ramachandran, K. A. Thangavelu, and Nagesh, and helped introduce Murthy to a wider audience in Vennira Adai. Murthy, now a TV and movie comedian, is still sometimes referred to as "Venniradai Moorthy" after the fame he received from his performance in the movie.
Sridhar's Kaadhalikka Neramillai was one of the greatest blockbusters of Tamil film history;. It was later remade in Hindi with actor Kishore Kumar and Shashi Kapoor. Sridhar helped launch the career of some of the celebrities in Tamil cinema namely R. Muthuraman and Devika in Nenjil Or Aalayam, Sreekanth, J. Jayalalithaa, Vennira Aadai Nirmala and Venniradai Moorthy in Vennira Adai (White Dress), Ravichandran, Kanchana and Rajasree in Kaadhalikka Neramillai, Jayashree in Thendralae Ennai Thodu and Vikram in Thanthu Vitten Ennai.
His Bollywood films include Nazrana (1961), Dil Ek Mandir (1963), Pyar Kiye Jaa (1966) and Gehri Chaal (1973). Nazrana, starring by Raj Kapoor, Vyjayanthimala, Usha Kiran and Gemini Ganesan in guest appearance, earned him Filmfare Award for Best Story.
Sridhar's films with Sivaji Ganesan include Ooty Varai Uravu, Nenjirukkum Varai, Sivantha Mann. Sivanthaman was the first color movie in Tamil shot at foreign locations. Dharti, the Hindi version was released in 1970.
In all his films he used a combination of stars, melodrama and melodious songs. He has directed films in Tamil, Hindi and Telugu. Sridhar was considered an expert in song picturisation as he could transform any song into sheer poetry. The formidable Sridhar – Kannadasan – M. S. Viswanathan combination held a magic spell on the audience and the songs contributed to the tremendous success of those films.
Retirement and death
In 1997 when Sridhar was in poor health, Rajinikanth offered financial help to tide him over, but Sridhar refused the charity. He gave the same reply to director P. Vasu, who was his disciple. Sridhar, whose career spanned four decades, is credited with understanding the pulse of the public and creating movies in tune with the times.
List of films directed by Sridhar. You may refer to the notes for the extra activities of him in the particular films.
- 1959: Certificate of Merit for Best Feature Film in Tamil – Kalyana Parisu
- 1962: President's Silver Medal for Best Feature Film in Tamil – Nenjil Or Aalayam
- Kalaimamani Award from State Sangeeth Natak Academy.
- Filmfare Award for Best Story for Nazrana (1961).
- Tamil Nadu State Film Honorary Award - Arignar Anna Award in 1997
- Filmfare Award for Best Director for Dil Ek Mandir (1963)
- Filmfare Award for Best Story for Dil Ek Mandir (1963)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 November 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- "Tamil film director Sridhar passes away". The Indian Express. 20 October 2008. Archived from the original on 22 October 2008. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
- Sridhar – Director, producer, producer, script writer, nenjil oru aalaya, vennira aadai, ratha pasam, ilamai oonjal aadugiradhu, ooty varai uravu, kadhalikka naeramillai, gala...
- IndiaGlitz – Events – Veteran Director Sridhar Passes Away
- Dore, Shalini. "Indian director C.V. Sridhar dies". Variety. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
- "7th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "10th National Film Awards". International Film Festival of India. Retrieved 9 September 2011.