Jan : Ace cinematographer V K Murthy, who shot India’s first cinemascope movie ‘Kagaz Ke Phool’ and best remembered for his stunning camera work for all films of legendary Guru Dutt, was on Tuesday chosen for the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Award for 2008.
This is for the first time that a cinematographer is being given the highest national award for contribution to films since its inception in 1969.
Announcing the award for 87-year-old Murthy, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said the honour which carries a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh, a Swarna Kamal and a shawl, would be conferred by President Pratibha Patil during the presentation of the National Film Awards.
Reacting to getting the honour, Murthy, “I am extremely happy to be nominated for the award”.
Murthy, who is also a freedom fighter, is best remembered for his cinematography work in Guru Dutt’s Hindi films like ‘Kagaz Ke Phool’, ‘Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam’ and ‘Pyaasa’.
His picturisation of the song ‘Chaudavin ka Chand’ is still considered one of the best cinematographic works that Hindi cinema has seen and his work in classics like ‘Kagaz Ke Phool’ and ‘Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam’ won him Filmfare Awards.
Murthy’s work spans four long decades, from his early collaboration with Guru Dutt in the 50’s to his work in Shyam Benegal’s mega-serial ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’ and one of the most acclaimed Kannada movies titled ‘Hoova Hannu’ in 1993.
He is also a recipient of the IIFA Lifetime Achievement Award at Amsterdam in 2005.
Born in 1923 in Mysore, V K Murthy earned his Diploma in Cinematography from S J Polytechnic, Bangalore in its very first batch 1943-46.
As a student, Murthy also took part in India’s freedom struggle.
He was jailed in 1943 and is a recipient of freedom fighter’s pension.
Murthy who has contributed his cinematographic skills to over 35 films produced and directed by renowned directors like Guru Dutt and Jayanth Desai recounting the saga of his five decade-old journey in the celluloid world.
Murthy also worked for films produced by famous producer-director Pramod Charavarthy and the pathbreaking teleserial “Discovery of India” produced and directed by renowned director Shyam Benegal who was one of the pioneers of “meaningful genre” in Hindi cinema.