FTII to pay tribute to V K Murthy

V K Murthy (R) legendary Cinematographer along with Guru Dutt (L)

FTII to hold three-day commemorative event to celebrate the life and work of renowned cinematographer V K Murthy. Shyam Benegal, Govind Nihalani, Tom Alter and others to participate in the unique tribute ceremony from April 7 to 9.

Taking the lead to remember, appreciate and analyze the towering benchmarks set by legendary cameraman V K Murthy in the craft and aesthetics of cinematography, the Cinematography Department of Film and Television Institute of India, Pune is hosting a unique event.

V K Murthy, who had a seemingly organic linkage with offbeat filmmaker Guru Dutt, is remembered for his amazing camerawork in classics such as Pyaasa (1957), Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959), Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962). Murthy’s magical touch immortalized Waheeda Rehman shot-by-shot in Guru Dutt’s classics Pyaasa and Kaagaz Ke Phool. Those who don’t know much about Murthy’s work need to undistractedly watch the picturisation and light-shadow interplay in the song ‘Na Jao Saiyyan Chhuda Ke Baiyan Kasam Tumhaari’ (Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam). VK, as he was fondly known, also filmed Shyam Benegal’s Bharat Ek Khoj (1988), Govind Nihalani’s Tamas (1986) and commercial flick Razia Sultan (1983). To Murthy goes the unique credit of breaking the “glass ceiling” by being the first film technician to win Indian cinema’s highest honour, Dadasaheb Phalke award in 2008.

In this commemorative festival, Murthy’s life and work would be celebrated through photo exhibition, seminar, lectures, discussions, FTII students’ paper presentation, documentaries and films. Besides Shyam Benegal and Govind Nihalani, among those attending are actor Tom Alter, cinematographers AK Bir, Jehangir Chaudhary, GS Bhaskar, A S Kanal and Mahesh Aney.

One of the highlights of the festival would be actor Tom Alter’s hosting of a special segment in the opening ceremony, recreating a song picturised by Murthy. Another draw would be Chitrahaar, a specially curated section in which a garland of unforgettable songs filmed by V K Murthy would be presented.

The daily evening screenings from Friday to Sunday – Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam are open to general public who will be afforded the opportunity to see V K Murthy’s work through the prism of his craft.

Led by Prasann Jain, head of Department of Cinematography and his faculty team with the support of the student community cutting across FTII departments, ‘Ye Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye Toh Kya Hai’ promises to be a festival that will bring both knowledge and joy to the viewers.