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on 2008/1/5 11:08:25

ANR AWARD



CELEBRATING CINEMA

In Moments of reflection, I am amazed with the path my life had taken. Eight decades of trials and tribulations, agony and ecstasy reels through my mind. A career that I had never anticipated – rare and unique, laced with opportunity and challenge. It was a path that had transformed a psyche of simple farm hand into one in an ambience of Art.

The arduous trek, from my village to an incomplete schooling, the responsibilities of household chores as the youngest child, visits to the meadows stretching into the horizon. What was my destiny? My life was the answer. Hard work, commitment, sincerity and integrity – values that would never fail any individual.

I arrived at Madras, with a vague sense of anticipation, euphoria and hope, on the 8 th day of May, 1944 into the punch of cultural shock. It was not disappointing but a revelation. I was invariably presented with the right path at every step. Was it luck or determination? I surmise it is a combination of both.

I was accepted, encouraged and elevated in a developing world of Cinema. From time to time, I was offered roles that reflected the trend of those times – a folk lore hero, a social heart throb, a romantic Prince or a tortured soul driven into a drunken tragedy. There were over 250 films since 1940 – a good portion of them touching the hearts of the audience.

Every success vindicated my confidence and every challenge motivated me to face adversity with courage and determination. I had the great privilege in partnering the development of the Telugu Film Industry. The stakeholders reposed unflinching faith in me and offered me challenging roles without hesitation. Success gushed forth in abundance – fame and awards followed.

The world of Cinema has made me what I am today – a hero and, more importantly, an individual. Invitations from the Governments of the United States of America, Britain, France, Germany and Russia, as an ambassador of Indian Cinema exposed me to the world of different cultures. It had broadened my horizon and imparted a certain clarity of thought. I have a closely knit family – a noble wife, able children and affectionate grandchildren - all a source of joy. What else does one want?

Where are these gifts from? For some they were God's; for me they were a blessing of my foster mother – the silver screen. The industry nurtured me as a wide eyed teenager. It taught me discipline and the facts of life, both as an artiste and an individual. To her I owe a debt that I cannot repay.

I was invited in 1991 to Delhi to receive Dada Saheb Phalke Award. The imposing hall, in all its regalia, was adorned with several dignitaries. I climbed those steps to the dais with humility and respect to be greeted by the President of India. Those were poignant moments. A sense of gratitude pervaded my being – gratitude for my industry that had me facing the Nation, represented by its President.

The awards I had received earlier – Padmasri and Padmabhushan, Raghupathi Venkaiah Award and NTR National Film Award from Andhra Pradesh, Anna Award from the Madhya Pradesh, Honorary Doctorates from Universities and more were given to me as an Artiste. However, this Award was also for my contribution to the development of the Film Industry.

It was during these moments that a thought struck me. I had to pay obeisance to the industry. I should institute an Award as a token offering towards a debt of gratitude. I had similar feelings earlier. I had missed formal education which has left me longing for it. I, therefore, donated to establish ANR College, near my native place. Instituted scholarships in all South Indian Universities and Bombay University. I partnered in the production of value based films and built Annapurna Studios at the expenses of a personal fortune. I, however, had to honour my colleagues who had made outstanding individual contribution to the Movie Industry.

THE AKKINENI INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION was established. It will take up activities to recognize and encourage those who excel in various arms of the Industry. It also will institute an Award for Excellence in dedicating one's life towards service to our medium.

This is the culmination of more than six decades of a career in eight decades of life. This adds up to fulfilling a promise, I made to my conscience. I sincerely hope that this Award will transcend a feeling that here is one whose heart and soul are with Cinema and with those who serve its cause.

Cinema is a prolific, pervasive and persuasive medium of mass entertainment. It is a cementing force in a world of stress and strife. It will live forever. The AKKINENI NAGESWARA RAO AWARD, I hope, will also live forever – celebrating Cinema with honesty and dignity. I, too, wish to live forever with my little deed – MY AWARD.

AKKINENI NAGESWARA RAO

Smt Anjali Profile



Smt. Anjali Devi was born and grew up in the beautiful seaside town of Peddapuram, in Kakinada on 25 th October, 1928. She started acting in stage plays at a tender age of eight years. It is ironic that male artists such as ANR, started their careers as a female and Anjali Devi as a male. Her first stage appearance was as 'LOHITASYA' the son of Raja Harichandra and their drama club was named 'Young Men's Happy Club'.

It was during these days that she met Sri. P Adinarayana Rao, who was later to be her husband, He was the member of their troupe and scripted the plays and composed music for them.

Her first recognition was in 1943 by Sir Arthur Hope, Governor, in the form of a gold medal and a citation, in appreciation of the play 'Street Singers', written by Adinarayana Rao

Anjali Devi was introduced to Cinema, by C. Pullaiah as Mohini, the heavenly beauty, in 'Golla Bhama'. The grateful heroine had worked in a box office hit and never looked back.

Then began a series of block busters and trend setters of those times - 'Bala Raju', 'Mahatma Udangar' (Tamil), 'Keelu Gurram', 'Srilakshmamma Katha', 'Swapna Sundari', 'Raksha Rekha', 'Ek The Raaja' (Hindi), etc.. She never looked back and went on to complete around 400 films as heroine in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi.

In 1950, the couple established their own production house. Their bilingual, 'Pardesi' had stalwarts working in the production. LV Prasad directed it, Adinarayana Rao composed music, Kamal Gosh was Director of photography and Akkineni Nageswara Rao and Anjali Devi played the lead roles. They also had the opportunity to introduce legendary actor Sivaji Ganesan.

Anjali Pictures employed the latest techniques of those times – with the help of Santha Ram, 'slow motion' was introduced to the South. Their productions were known for music with haunting melody. 'ANARKALI' and 'SWARNA SUNDARI', starring ANR, touched the hearts of audience and took Anjali Pictures to new heights.

The banner went on to produce 28 films in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi. One cannot forget musicals like 'RUNAANU BANDHAM, SATI SUMATHI, SATI SAKKU BAI, SWARNA MANJARI, MAHA KAVI KSHETRAYYA, and BHAKTA TUKARAM'. Anjali Pictures became a household name for Music and Period Films. 'Maha Kavi Kshetrayya' was awarded the Golden Nandi by the Government of Andhra Pradesh.

One cannot but remember Anjali Devi as Sita in 'Lava Kusa'. She won the Presidents Gold Medal as the best actress for this epic. She entered the collective consciousness of the people of Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu as Sita, the wife of Rama. Cart loads of people visited her and devotedly addressed her as 'Seethamma'. She felt it was Rama himself blessing her.

Fame and recognition followed. The Government of Andhra Pradesh honoured her with the Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu Award, The Government of Tamilnadu with the titles, Natana Siromani, Kalai Selvi and the life time achievement Award, the Arignar Anna Award.

In recognition of her services, she was appointed as the life senate member of Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupathi, as Vice President of South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce, as President of Nadigar Sangam, Tamilnadu and as Director of AP Film development Corporation.

She is a proud mother of two sons who are leading professionals in America and a doting grandmother to two granddaughters and a grandson. One of her Granddaughters is an aspiring actress and an accomplished dancer.

Being true to the vagaries of life, she and her family faced severe financial losses in the making of a Hindi film. Life seemed hostile, lonely and unsympathetic. But then she found refuge in the teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Hope revived slowly and surely. Courage and fortitude were the answers. The devotional film, 'Sati Sakkubhai' was started and revived her fortunes, followed by 'Baktha Tukaram'. They turned out be multi-lingual super hits. She found that miseries are like clouds – they will come, but then will also leave.

She is a proud colleague to legends such as MG Ramachandran, NT Rama Rao, Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Sivaji Ganesan and Jayalalithaa. Three of them had gone on to become Chief Ministers of their respective states.

She had a dream since 1943 to make a bio-film on Sri. Sathya Sai Baba. After great persistence, she was given permission to produce a tele-serial in name of 'Shirdi Sai Parthi Sai Divya Katha', in Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and English. It was well appreciated by the devotees of Sri. Sathya Sai Baba from all over the world.

Anjali Devi symbolized and participated as a key member of the golden era of South Indian Cinema. And therefore will be immortalized in its hitory.






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    Nandi award for Nayanatara!

    2011/11/20 23:06:59


    The film Sri Rama Rajyam is getting good response from all sections of the audiences. The film directed by Bapu is rich in visuals, has a good screenplay and the dialogues by Mullapudi are simple and easy to understand.

    Nayanatara who played the role of Sita has given a wonderful performance. She has excelled so much that everyone is now saying that she us sure to bag the Nandi award fro best actress award for the year 2011.

    Ice 'n' Spice - Movies : Nandi award for Nayanatara!


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