Sep 2 - State funeral for eminent Telugu Film Director-Cartoonist Bapu

The Andhra Pradesh government has announced State funeral for director-cartoonist Bapu which will take place after the arrival of his son from Japan on Tuesday (Sep 2, 2014). Informing this to the Assembly while moving a condolence motion on Bapu's death in Chennai on Sunday evening, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said a Minister of Andhra Pradesh would attend the funeral.

A world class cultural centre would be constructed in memory of Bapu and his writer friend Mullapudi Venkata Ramana who passed away three years back. The existing museum at Vijayawada would be renamed after Bapu.

The man whose pencil etched what was universally accepted as the epitome of beauty is no more (passed away on Aug 31, 2014). Artist, cartoonist, film director, designer and painter, Bapu (born Sathiraju Lakshminarayana) leaves behind a legacy as one of the finest filmmakers on the firmament of Indian cinema.

Starting from ‘Sakshi’ in 1967, to ‘Sri Rama Rajyam’ starring Nandamuri Balakrishna, he wielded the megaphone for 51 films in all, including 12 in Hindi. His seven decades-old collaboration and friendship with writer, late Mullapudi Venkataramana was as well known as much as his works – be his cartoons, paintings and of course, his films. His cartoon character ‘Budugu’ is famous even today in Telugu households. The duo worked together in every one of the 51 films.

What people describe as a major loss to the Telugu film industry occurred in Chennai, following a heart attack. He was said to be battling illness for a few weeks now and the end came on Sunday at a hospital after he complained of chest pain.

Bapu was born on December 15, 1933, in Narsapur, West Godavari district in a ‘Niyogi’ family to Sattiraju Venugopala Rao and Surya Kantham. He worked as a political cartoonist for the newspaper ‘Andhra Patrika’ in 1945, after which he acquired degrees in Commerce and Law.

His films ‘Muthyala Muggu’ and ‘Mister Pellam’ won National Awards and Bapu was honoured with Raghupati Venkaiah and Padmasri Awards, apart from five Nandi Awards. His notable works include ‘Balaraju Katha’, ‘Andala Ramudu’, ‘Pelli Pustakam’, ‘Mr. Pellam’, ‘Seetha Kalyanam’, ‘Vamsa Vruksham’ and ‘Sri Rama Rajyam’. Among his films that could be termed ‘runaway successes’ was ‘Muthyala Muggu’.


(Source: The Hindu   Sep 2, 2014 and Aug 31, 2014)

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