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RIP Kashinath! The First Trendsetter Of Kannada Cinema

By Mayur Javali
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    One of the very few peculiar talents of the Kannada cinema industry, actor-writer-producer-director, Kashinath passed away today morning leaving the film fraternity and fans stranded with disbelief.

    Kashinath's contribution to the Kannada cinema is distinctive as he had been a trendsetter of sorts, introducing some varied dimensions to the industry. Let's us take some time to revisit some of his achievements and contributions towards cinema.

    Early Phase Of His Career

    Post his graduation degree, Kashinath pursued his passion towards cinema and ventured himself into short film making with another aspirant, Suresh Heblikar, through a troop called Asima during the early decade of 1970. The film-making pattern and the narratives were well advanced which were considered to be path-breaking and well ahead of its time. Kashinath started his career as a director in the year 1975 with Aparoopada Athitigalu.

    Stardom

    He rose to instant stardom with his subsequent thriller suspense flick, Aparichitha, starring his friend, Suresh Heblikar. The movie was a runaway blockbuster and propelled Kashinath's fame to the zenith. The success of Aparichitha announced the arrival of a talented film-maker. Aparichitha was remade into Hindi as Be-Shaque and in Malayalam as Avano Atho Avalo.

    Trendsetting Movies

    Post Aparichitha, Kashinath came out with Anubhava, a movie which pressed on a certain social taboo. The success of the movie assured that the young director was not a one-time wonder. Anubhava marked the debut of actress Abhinaya, and the content of the movie was a surprisingly new one for the Kannada audience.

    Though a certain section of critics didn't quite receive the movie well in favour of them, the audience embraced the flick making it a Blockbuster at the box office. Anubhava was remade as Anubhav in Hindi and Aadhyathe Anubhavam in Malayalam.

    Followed by this experimental movie, Kashinath went on to direct Ananthara Avanthara and Ajagajantara, which were moderate grossers at the box office but later on, achieved cult classic status amongst movie lovers.

    Methodical Film-maker

    He was often regarded as the systematic film-maker with a strong technical knowledge. Kashinath used to pen down the duration of his movie sequences, shot compositions, camera angles and the dialogue flow which were eventually executed to perfection.

    This practice enabled the entire team to stick to the schedule and complete the flick within the prescribed timeline and budget. He was also regarded as the disciple-friendly filmmaker as he was all ears for any suggestions, feedback and constructive criticism from his pupils.

    Legion Of Talented Disciples

    There is nothing better than introducing raw talent into the industry to continue one's legacy. V. Manohar, a popular music director and a part time actor graduated from Kashinath's school and it was his Hodeya doora song from Anubhava which gave him the recognition.

    One of most technical and artistic film-makers, Sunil Kumar Desai, who has directed the likes of Vishnuvardhan, Ananth Nag, Shivarajkumar, Ramesh Aravind, Sudeep, Devaraj etc. was also a disciple of the trendsetting film-maker.

    The Real Star of Kannada Cinema who is seen as a maverick director had learnt his tricks and trade to an extent under the guidance of Kashinath. Upendra adores Kashinath as his Guru and calls Kashinath's home as his Gurukula. Upendra entered the filmdom as a lyricist and then started penning screenplay and dialogues.

    In a certain interview, Uppi was happy to recollect the fact that Kashinath was not a conventional mentor who would be stern on his disciples but instead was always open for ideas and brain storming sessions. This enabled an uncompromised quality in the product and also a seamless relationship between the mentor and disciples.

    Death

    On 18th of January 2018, Kashinath passed away in Sri Shankara Cancer Hospital as he was suffering from cancer which was in its advanced stage. Kashinath is survived by his wife, son (Alok Kashinath), who is also an actor and a daughter (Amruthavarshini Kashinath).
    The entire film fraternity mourns the passing away of this great legend and sincerely pray that his soul rests in peace.

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