Tollywood director Bapu passes away

Tollywood director Bapu passes away

Renowned Telugu filmmaker Sattiraju Lakshmi Narayana, famously known as Bapu (80), died at his residence in Chennai on Sunday, his family said.

Bapu, a great illustrator, cartoonist, movie director, writer and a journalist, is survived by two sons and a daughter. “He passed away following a cardiac arrest. He was struggling with illness for the last few months,” Bapu’s brother Sattiraju Shankar Narayana said. Bapu’s last rites will be performed in Chennai on Monday.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu extended his condolences on the death of Padma Sri Bapu. The chief minister said Bapu’s loss was immeasurable to Telugu people and to the world of arts and cinema.

“Bapu, through his unique style, blended the Telugu culture with modern techniques,” said writer Posani Krishna Murali. Bapu also had an enormous impact on contemporary Telugu arts and movies.

Born on December 15, 1933, at Narsapur in West Godavari district, he was awarded the Padma Sri in 2013 for his contribution to Indian art and cinema.

Bapu specialised in Hindu mythological characters and has painted the Hindu epic Ramayana as a pictorial story.

Bapu is credited with introducing a new style of cursive writing in Telugu. His font, in his own handwriting, reflected the same simplicity as his art. Apart from being awarded the Padma Sri, he also won the Lifetime Achievement Award from Indian Institute of Cartoonists in 2001, the President of India Rashtrapati Award from the Academy of Fine Arts, Tirupati.

Bapu also won two national awards, five Andhra Pradesh state Nandi awards and two Filmfare Best Director awards.

Bapu started his career as a cartoonist for Telugu newspaper “Andhra Patrika”. His filmmaking career started with 1960 Telugu film “Sakshi”, whose story and dialogues were written by his best friend Mullapudi Venkata Ramana.

Bapu and Ramana worked together in several memorable Telugu films such as “Andala Ramudu”, “Bhakta Kannappa”, “Sampoorna Ramayanam”, “Mutyala Muggu”, “Mister Pellam”, “Pelli Pusthakam” and “Seetha Kalyanam”.

Bapu’s last directorial was 2011 Telugu mythological drama “Sri Rama Rajyam,” starring Balakrishna and Nayantara. Ramana passed away a few months after the film’s release. Bapu had also directed a few Hindi films such as “Hum Paanch”, “Seeta Swayamwar”, “Woh Saat Din” and “Mera Dharam”.

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