Singeetam Srinivasa Rao

Singeetam Srinivasa Rao
Born (1931-09-21) September 21, 1931
Gudur, Andhra Pradesh, India
Residence Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Nationality Indian
Alma mater University of Madras
Occupation Film director
Awards National Film Awards
Filmfare Awards South
Karnataka State Film Awards
Nandi Awards

Singeetam Srinivasa Rao (born 21 September 1931) is an Indian film director, producer, screenwriter, composer, singer, lyricist and actor, known for his works in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi films, across multiple genres.[1] The octogenarian is widely regarded as one of the versatile directors of India.[2][3] He is credited with having revolutionised the South Indian cinema with experimental films.[4][5][6][7] He has garnered two National Film Awards, six state Nandi Awards, three Filmfare Awards South, and three Karnataka State Film Awards.[8]

In 2010, Srinivasa Rao headed the Jury of the Indian Panorama at the 8th Chennai International Film Festival.[9] In 2011, Rao received the Life Achievement Award from the Film Federation of India at the 4th Global Film Festival.[10] Rao was also the Guest of honor alongside Barrie Osbourne at the Media and Entertainment Business Conclave 2012 hosted by FICCI and FFI.[11][12] In 2012, Rao served as one of the selection committee member for the Sundance Institute's screenwriters lab.[13]

The 2003 animation film, Son of Aladdin had 1100 shots and 125 characters.[14] The film won Special Mention in the Competition section at the 2003 International Children’s Film Festival Hyderabad,[15][16][17] and was subsequently premiered at the 37th International Film Festival of India.[18] The 2008 animation film Ghatothkach, was premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival in the Critics' Week section,[19][20] and was also premiered to special mention at the Grand Finale - Children's Film Festival 2014 of the 44th International Film Festival of India.[21]

Rao served as the executive director for the 1970 Kannada film, Samskara which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film, and Bronze Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival.[22] He made his Telugu directorial debut with Neethi Nijayithi (1972). He then directed social problem films like Dikkatra Parvathi (1974), which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil, Filmfare Award for Best Film – Tamil for that year,[23] and Tharam Marindhi, which won Nandi Award for Best Feature Film, both of which were premiered at International Film Festival of India and the Moscow Film Festival.[24] The 1988 silent film, Pushpaka Vimana gained international acclaim, including 1988 Cannes Film Festival premiere in the International Critics' Week. The film has received the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment, and Filmfare Award South for Best Film.[25][26][27]

Early life and career

He graduated with a Physics Degree from University of Madras.[28] Rao worked as associate director and singer to Harindranath Chattopadhyay, K. V. Reddy, and Pingali Nagendrarao, for films like Mayabazar (1957), Pelli Naati Pramanalu (1958), Jagadeka Veeruni Katha (1961), Sri Krishnarjuna Yuddham (1963), Sathya Harischandra (1965) etc.[29] In 1970, subsequently Rao ventured into direction, and directed about sixty films in various languages including Hindi and English.

Kannada cinema

Rao directed Kannada blockbusters like Haalu Jenu (1982), Chalisuva Modagalu (1982), Eradu Nakshatragalu (1983), Shravana Banthu (1984), Jwaalamukhi (1985) Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma (1985), Anand (1986), Devatha Manushya (1988), and Ksheera Sagara (1992), etc. to name a few. The Kannada film journalists association has honored Srinivasa Rao with a Special Biography. Rao received three Karnataka State Film Awards, including two for Best Screenplay.[30] He was also the music director of 2 Kannada movies - Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma (directed by him) and Samyuktha - (not directed by him).

He has the distinction of having directed Rajkumar and all his 3 sons - the first director to do so. He directed Rajkumar in 7 movies including his 200th movie Devatha Manushya . He was also the director of debut movies of Rajkumar sons - Shiva Rajkumar's Anand and Raghavendra Rajkumar's Chiranjeevi Sudhakara. He also directed Puneeth Rajkumar in a lead role as a child artist in Eradu Nakshatragalu in which he had played a dual role.

Lyricist and Composer

He composed lyrics for films like Bhairava Dweepam (1994), and sound tracks for few Kannada films. He edited many magazines in Telugu such as Bharati, and scripted plays like Brahma, Antya Ghattam, and Chitrārjuna. Chitrārjuna was also translated into English, and was telecasted in American Television.[31]

Film craft and Innovative cinema

The 1984 Telugu biographical dance film, Mayuri, which won the National Film Award – Special Mention (Feature Film), was premiered at the 1985 International Film Festival of India, has also received several state Awards, including the State Nandi Award for Best Feature Film, and Filmfare Award South for Best Direction.[32] The film was later remade into Hindi as Naache Mayuri.

In 1988, He co-produced, scripted and directed the first Indian silent film, Pushpak premiered at Cannes Film Festival, and has received the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment, Filmfare Award South for Best Film, and several International honors, including special mention at Shanghai Film Festival.[33][34] The film was listed among CNN-IBN's hundred greatest Indian films of all time.[35] The comedy-drama blockbuster Apoorva Sagodharargal was one of the enduring works on dwarfism in popular media.[36] The film won the Filmfare Award for Best Film – Tamil, and was premiered at the International Film Festival of India.

The Telugu Crossover cinema like America Ammayi, and America Abbayi, were box office hits. The 1990 action comedy, Michael Madana Kama Rajan became an instant hit at the box office. The Science fantasy in Telugu Aditya 369 was the highest grossing Telugu film of 1991. The film grossed 90 million (US$1.3 million) at the box office. Another science fantasy in Tamil, Chinna Vathiyar was also an instant hit. The 1994, folklore Bhairava Dweepam has garnered the state Nandi Award for Best Direction.


Film Federation of India
National Film Awards
Nandi Awards
Karnataka State Film Awards
Filmfare Awards South


Year Film Language Director Producer Writer Notes
1972 Neethi Nijayithi Telugu Yes Yes Yes Directorial debut in Telugu cinema
1974 Dikkatra Parvathi Tamil Yes Yes Yes Directorial debut in Tamil cinema
National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil
Filmfare Award for Best Film - Tamil
1975 Zamindharugari Ammayi Telugu Yes
1976 Oka Deepam Veligindhi Telugu Yes
1976 America Ammayi Telugu Yes Yes Yes
1977 Tharam Marindhi Telugu Yes Yes Yes Nandi Award For Best Feature Film
1977 Andhame Anandham Telugu Yes Yes Yes
1977 Pantulamma Telugu Yes Yes Yes Also actor
1977 Niraparayum Nilavilakkum Malayalam Yes Directorial debut in Malayalam cinema.
1978 Sommokadidi Sokokadidi Telugu Yes Yes Kamal Haasan
1978 Raamachilaka Telugu Yes
1978 Gammathu Goodacharulu Telugu Yes
1979 Mangala Thoranalu Telugu Yes
1980 Thriloka Sundhari Telugu Yes
1980 gandhara Golam Telugu Yes
1981 Raja Paarvai Tamil Yes Kamal Haasan
1981 Jai Gantalu Telugu Yes
1982 Thrilok Sundhari Hindi Yes
1982 Haalu Jenu Kannada Yes Yes Yes Karnataka State Film Award for Best Film
1982 Chalisuva Modagalu Kannada Yes Yes
1983 Eradu Nakshatragalu Kannada Yes Yes
1984 Shravana Banthu Kannada Yes
1984 Sangeetha Samrat Telugu Yes
1984 Mayuri Telugu Yes Yes Nandi Award for Best Feature Film
Filmfare Award South For Best Direction
Nandi Award for Best Screenplay
1985 Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma Kannada Yes Karnataka State Film Award for Best Screenplay
Also Music director
1985 Jwaalamukhi Kannada Yes Yes
1986 Anand Kannada Yes Yes Karnataka State Film Award for Best Screenplay
1986 Naache Mayuri Hindi Yes
1987 America Abbayi Telugu Yes Yes
1988 Pushpaka Vimana Silent Yes YesYes Silent Film
National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment
Filmfare Award for Best Film – Kannada
Kamal Haasan
1988 Devatha Manushya Kannada Yes
1988 Chiranjeevi Sudhakara Kannada Yes
1988 Samyuktha Kannada Yes Music director
1989 Apoorva Sagodharargal Tamil Yes Kamal Haasan
1991 Michael Madana Kama Rajan Tamil Yes Kamal Haasan
1991 Aditya 369 Telugu Yes Yes Nandamuri Balakrishna
1992 Ksheera Sagara Kannada Yes Yes
1992 Belliyappa Bangarappa Kannada Yes
1992 Brundavanam Telugu Yes Nandi Award for Best Screenplay
1993 Phool Hindi Yes Yes
1993 Madam Telugu Yes
1994 Magalir Mattum Tamil Yes Kamal Haasan
1994 Bhairava Dweepam TeluguYes Yes Nandamuri Balakrishna
Nandi Award for Best Director
Nandi Award for Best Feature Film
Also Lyric writer for Virisinadhi Vasantha Gaanam
1995 Chinna Vathiyar Tamil Yes
1996 Shri Krishnarjuna Vijayam Telugu Yes Yes Nandamuri Balakrishna
1998 Kaathala Kaathala TamilYes Kamal Haasan
1998 Raja Hamsa Telugu Yes
1999 Tuvvi Tuvvi Tuvvi KannadaYes Raghavendra Rajkumar
2001 Akasa Veedhilo Telugu Yes Yes
2002 Little John TamilYes Yes
2002 Make-up Kannada Yes
2003 Vijayam Telugu Yes
2003 Son of Aladdin English Yes Yes Special Mention in the Competition section at the 2003 International Children’s Film Festival
2005 Mumbai Express Tamil Yes Kamal Haasan
2005 Mumbai Xpress Hindi Yes Kamal Haasan
2008 Ghatothkach Hindi Yes Yes Animation Film
2010 Varudu Telugu Actor
2013 Chinni Chinni Aasa Telugu Actor
2013 Welcome Obama TeluguYes Yes
2016 Aditya 999 TeluguYes Yes Nandamuri Balakrishna
2016 Prince of Peace[38][39][40] TeluguYes Yes Pre-Production


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  2. "Spinning magic". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 2005-05-20.
  3. "Robinhood is my hero: Singeetham Srinivasa Rao". The Hindu.
  4. "Profile: Singeetham Srinivasa Rao".
  5. "Bollywood epic to focus on the early life of Jesus". National Post. 1 September 2010.
  6. "Singeetam Srinivasa Rao's unique record". The Times of India.
  7. "Gems Before Christ". Rediff. Hyderabad, India. 2010.
  8. "Four decades later, a flashback". The Hindu.
  9. "Chennai International Film Festival opens". The Times of India.
  10. "Singeetam Srinivas Rao to be awarded Life-time Achievement by FFI".
  11. "Stalwarts to zoom in on creative, commercial secrets of celluloid". The Hindu.
  12. "FICCI to celebrate 100 years of Indian cinema". IBNLive.
  13. "Eight Feature Film Projects Selected For First-Ever Mumbai Mantra - Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab".
  14. "Log in ...Tribune: IT supplement of The Tribune, Chandigarh, India. Feature page".
  15. "The Hindu Business Line : Children's film fest comes to a close".
  16. "Tintin a bonanza for children at film festival". The Times of India.
  17. "The Hindu : Lights, camera... chaos".
  19. "Ghatothkach, Cannes-bound!". Rediff. 12 May 2008.
  20. "Animation film 'Ghatothkach' to premier at Cannes". Merinews. 8 May 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-05.
  22. "Directorate of Film Festival" (PDF).
  23. "Spinning magic". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 2005-05-20.
  24. "Directorate of Film Festival" (PDF).
  25. "Need for a universal story". The Hindu.
  26. "'Pushpak' completes 25 years: Tinnu Anand, Amala go down memory lane". IBNLive.
  27. "Sakhya Indian Cinema Club: Pushpaka Vimana (The Love Chariot)". Graduate Union.
  28. "Directorate of Film Festival" (PDF). p. 141.
  29. "Singeetam, legend, Gurthukosthunnayi". MAA Tv. Hyderabad, India. 2011-05-20.
  30. "Spinning magic". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 2005-05-20.
  31. "Pawan Kalyan to star in Bollywood film of Christ's life". the Guardian.
  32. "Directorate of Film Festival" (PDF).
  33. Profile: Singeetham Srinivasa Rao
  34. Sri Singeetam Srinivas Rao Profile
  35. 100 Years of Indian Cinema: The 100 land mark Indian films of all time|Movies News Photos-IBNLive
  36. "Singeetam reveals secret behind Kamal's dwarf role". The Hindu.
  37. "Spinning magic". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 2005-05-20.
  38. Telugu - Telugu cinema|Telugu movies|Telugu songs|Telugu news|telugu cinema news|Telugu cinema reviews|Telugu film|Hot telugu|Telugu songs download|Latest telugu film news|Tol...
  39. The Leading Cinema Jaa Site on the Net
  40. "".

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