K. Raghavendra Rao (born Kovelamudi Raghavendra Rao), popularly known as Darshakendra is an Indian film director, screenwriter and choreographer, known for his works predominantly in Telugu cinema, few Bollywood and Kannada films. He has garnered seven state Nandi Awards, three Filmfare Awards South, and two CineMAA Awards. Rao has directed films across multiple genres like romantic comedy, fantasy, melodrama, action and romance films.
The 1988 action film, Aakhari Poratam, was premiered at the 12th International Film Festival of India in the mainstream section. In 1992, He directed the melodrama, Gharana Mogudu, premiered at the 1993 International Film Festival of India in the mainstream section, which became the first Telugu film to gross over ₹ 10 crore at the box office. Next he directed the instant hit Allari Priyudu, which was also premiered at the 1994 International Film Festival of India in the mainstream section.
In 1997, he scripted and directed the historical biographical film, Annamayya which won two National Film Awards, was also premiered at the 1998 International Film Festival of India in the mainstream section. Subsequently he directed, critically acclaimed devotional films like Sri Manjunatha (2001), Sri Ramadasu (2006), Pandurangadu (2008), and Shirdi Sai (2013), which received several state Nandi Awards.
Mr. Raghavendra Rao is the son of late Kovelamudi Surya Prakash Rao who is also a famous film director who made super hit movies like Prem Nagar, etc. Mr. Rao started his career, working under his father. Rao is the father of actor turned film maker Prakash Kovelamudi. Raghavendra Rao is an executive member in the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam Board.
- Nandi Awards
- Filmfare Awards South
- SIIMA Awards
- SIIMA Lifetime Achievement Award (2014)
- CineMAA Awards
- 2002 Shanti Nivasam - Story
- 2014 Soundrya Lahari Sharing his 50 years of experience in Telugu cinema