Actress Tulasi on Wednesday announced the Sankarabharanam Awards as a token of respect and deepest gratitude to her guru, filmmaker and Dada Saheb Phalke awardee K. Viswanath. The awards will be launched on June 20, to coincide with Tulasi's 50th birthday.
"A director is the one who gives life to an actor. When you perform well, the guru is proud of his pupil. He expects nothing in return. So, this annual award for the very film industry that he is associated with is my small way of paying my respects to my guru, who is also my friend, philosopher and guide," Tulasi told IANS.
It's a gesture of her "deepest gratitude for his influence and impact on my life and career," she said. Despite the long list of films in her illustrious career, Tulasi holds very dear her association with the veteran auteur. Amongst her best remembered roles and ones dear to her heart is the role of a boy in K Viswanath's ‘Seetha Mahalakshmi’ and ‘Sankarabharanam’. She doesn't like to call it a "big, formal award ceremony".
"I see it as a family get together, with the film family of his well-wishers, friends and colleagues coming together for one evening, to celebrate his presence in our lives. I want all the actors who worked with him, to meet him, enjoy spending an evening in his presence, watching cultural activities together," she said.
"At the same time, we should also give the industry folks an opportunity to receive the awards they deserve, from his very hands. The people he has worked with all love him as a father figure and as a guru," she added.
She plans to make the awards an annual affair which will include not only all the southern film industries but also the Hindi film industry, since Viswanath has worked in all these languages.
The awards show will be conducted by an all-women team.
"There are 4900 women in my women's organisation. They hail from different walks of life and from various professional fields. Some are dancers and from other cultural fields, some from cinema and media while others are homemakers. All of us will come together to conduct this award ceremony," she added.
Whereas normally, film award shows have dance performances and skits by film celebrities, the Sankarabharanam Awards will be different.
"We will be having a cultural performance by the underprivileged and physically challenged. We have a group of visually challenged and cancer survivors amongst others, who will be performing. We would like to use this opportunity to honour them and give them a platform to showcase their talent in the presence of Viswanath, whose association with the arts has been deep and longstanding," said Tulasi.
The first edition of the Sankarabharanam Awards is likely to be attended by Dhanush, Dulquer Salmaan and Junior NTR.