Pattabhi Rama Reddy

Born in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, Pattabhi Rama Reddy studied English at Calcutta University and Mathematics at Columbia, New York. He joined the Madras Players amateur theatre. He participated in the opposition against the emergency during the Indira Gandhi regime along with his wife Shehalata Reddy, who died in police custody for want of medical assistance. He founded Jayanti Pictures and latter made Samskara a milestone Kannada film. He is also known as one of the first free-verse poets in Telugu.

Notable Films:

Samskara - 1970 - Kannada
(Funeral Rites)

Based on noted Kannada novelist U R Ananthamurthy's novel, Samskara launched a cinematic version of the literary 'Navya Movement'. The film helped New Indian Cinema gain a foothold in the South.

Naranappa belongs to the close-knit community of the Madhva Brahmins. He lives in a Brahmin village, but eats meat, drinks and keeps a low-caste mistress, Chandri. A constant reminder to the other Brahmins of the pleasures they will never know, Naranappa's rebellion is a source of intense resentment and hatred in the community. When he dies of the plague, no one is willing to cremate him, until Chandri appeals to the scholar Praneshacharya, who cannot find a solution to the problem in the scriptures. Praneschacharya seduces Chandri and his subsequent guilt induces him to assume responsibility when the entire village becomes plague infested. He is lectured by a talkative commoner and eventually returns to cremate Naranappa himself, rejecting brahmanical bigotry.

Direction: Pattabhi Rama Reddy
Screenplay: Girish Karnad
Cast: Girish Karnad, Snehalata Reddy, P Lankesh, B R Jayaram, Dasharathi Dixit, Lakshmi Krishnamurthy
Cinematography: Tom Cowan
Editing: Steven Cartaw, Vasu
Music: Rajeev Taranath


  • Samskara (1970)
  • Chanda Marutha (1977)
  • Sringara Masa (1984)
  • Devara Kaadu (1993)

¦ Home  ¦ Indian Film Database ¦