G. V. Iyer

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Ganapathi Venkatrama Iyer
Native name ಗಣಪತಿ ವೆಂಕಟರಮಣ ಅಯ್ಯರ್
Born (1917-09-03)3 September 1917
Nanjanagud, Kingdom of Mysore, British India
Died 21 December 2003(2003-12-21) (aged 86)
Mumbai, India
Nationality Indian
Other names
  • G. V. Iyer
  • Kannada Bheeshma
Occupation Actor, film director, screenwriter
Known for Sanskrit film direction
Notable work Adi Shankaracharya (1983)
Bhagavad Gita (1993)
Swami Vivekananda (1998)

Ganapathi Venkataramana Iyer (3 September 1917 – 21 December 2003), popularly known as G. V. Iyer, was a well-known Indian film director and actor. He was nicknamed "Kannada Bheeshma",[1] and was the only person who made movies in Sanskrit. His movie Adi Shankaracharya (1983) won four National Film Award, including Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Audiography.[2][3] His films were well known for their spiritual themes. He was born in 1917 in Nanjanagud in Mysore district of Karnataka state in South India. His most critically acclaimed films Bhagavad Gita (1993), which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film and was nominated for Best Film at the Bogotá Film Festival. And Swami Vivekananda (1998), Mithun Chakraborty won national award for Best Supporting Actor.

Career[edit]

He started his career at the age of eight when he joined the Gubbi Veeranna theatre group.[4] His first role as an actor in cinema was in the film Radha Ramana. Besides this he acted in a number of other movies such as Mahakavi Kalidasa, Sodhari, Hemavati, Hari Bhaktha and Bedara Kannapa. He is credited with providing breaks to two of the greatest Kannada actors, Dr Raj Kumar and Narasimha Raju in the movie Bedara Kannappa. Though Raj Kumar had acted in a single scene in a movie previously, the movie Bedara Kannappa where Mr Iyer cast him as the hero is where he got his break and is regarded generally as his first movie. Iyer also produced another critically acclaimed move Vamsha Vriksha. Based on a acclaimed novel by S L Bhairappa, it was jointly directed by B V Karanth and Girish Karnad.

He soon started directing his own movies. The movie Hamsageethe (music by Dr. Balamuralikrishna, B. V. Karanth and T.G. Lingappa) was extremely well received and made him famous. Iyer wrote scripts, lyrics and produced and directed many commercial Kannada movies. Iyer's biggest effort was Ranadheera Kanteerava. He continued making commercial movies until 1970.

In his younger days, he was a committed to Gandhi and his ideals. He stopped wearing footware from the day Gandhi died and never wore them again. He also wore hand-spun clothes colloquially called "Khadi" as was advocated by Gandhi.

He was proficient in both Kannada and Sanskrit and was soon to make the first movie in Sanskrit, about the famous philosopher Adi Shankaracharya (1983). The movie received the National Film Awards for Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Audiography and has been known as a master piece. It is believed that the movie made a great impact on Iyer.

He later went on to make a film on Madhvacharya in Kannada and Ramanujacharya in Tamil. He also made a remarkable Sanskrit movie Bhagavad Gita (1993), which won Best Film at the National Film Awards of 1993.[5] The film was also nominated for Best Film at the Bogotá Film Festival.

He also produced a television series Natyarani Shanthala,[6] a historical, on the Hoysala Jain queen Shanthala, who was married to a Vaishnava King. It was re-made in Hindi as well as in Kannada. It was based on several works by Samethanahalli Rama Rao in Kannada.

He later went on to make a movie Swami Vivekananda. It was an attempt to portray Swami Vivekananda, realistically. For this film Mithun Chakraborty won his national award for Best Supporting Actor. Mithun Chakraborty made excellent roll of Shri Ramkrishna Paramhansa. Though it had many famous actors such as Mithun Chakraborty, Hema Malini and Sarvadaman Banerjee, the movie failed to become a commercial success.

He was planning a film based on the Hindu epic Ramayana, with Sanjay Dutt playing the role of Ravana, before his sudden death on 21 December 2003 at the age of 87. His last rites took place at his Bharadhwaja Ashrama, near Dodda Aladamara, on the outskirts of Bangalore, near Kengeri.[1][7]

Filmography[edit]

Director, Writer and Producer[edit]

Year Film Credited as Language Notes
Director Writer Producer
1954 Bedara Kannapa Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Kannada
1960 Ranadheera Kanteerava Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Kannada
1962 Bhoodana Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Kannada
1962 Thai Karulu Green tickY Red XN Red XN Kannada
1962 Thayin Karuna Green tickY Red XN Red XN Kannada
1962 Gaali Gopura Red XN Green tickY Red XN Kannada Lyrics only
1963 Bangari Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Kannada
1963 Saaku Magalu Red XN Green tickY Red XN Kannada Dialogues only
1963 Lawyer Magalu Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Kannada
1964 Post Master Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Kannada
1965 Pazhani Red XN Green tickY Red XN Tamil Original story
1966 Kiladi Ranga Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Kannada
1967 Rajashekara Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Kannada
1967 Gange Gowri Red XN Green tickY Red XN Kannada Dialogues only
1968 Mysore Tanga Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Kannada
1968 Nane Bhagyavathi Green tickY Red XN Red XN Kannada
1969 Chowkada Deepa Green tickY Red XN Red XN Kannada
1969 Vichitra Samsara Green tickY Red XN Red XN Kannada
1975 Aakhri Geet Green tickY Red XN Red XN Kannada
1975 Hamsageethe Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Kannada
1977 Nalegalannu Maduvavaru Green tickY Red XN Red XN Kannada
1977 Kudre Motte Green tickY Red XN Red XN Kannada
1983 Adi Shankaracharya Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Sanskrit
1986 Madhvacharya Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Kannada
1989 Ramanujacharya Green tickY Red XN Red XN Tamil
1989 Wall Poster Green tickY Red XN Red XN Kannada
1993 Bhagvad Gita: Song of the Lord Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Sanskrit
1998 Swami Vivekananda Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Hindi Mithun Chakraborty won national award for Best Supporting Actor.

2001 Sri Krishna Leele

Actor[edit]

Awards[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]