Phani Ramachandra H S is a household name in Karnataka with
his fun-filled yet informative
tele-serials and movies. The man behind the screen needs no
introduction to Kannada film goers. The characteristic names
of his movies, which are prefixed/suffixed with Ganesha,
and the unique titles of his tele-serials, where there is a
repetition of words, help the audience identify the maker of
these comedy entertainers. Phani Ramachandra (PR) has been associated
with Kannada filmdom for over twenty-five years as a scriptwriter
and assistant director, and has come out with his own movies
PR, one of eight offsprings, was determined to throw in his
lot with the movie world in 1976. But he was equally determined
to fulfill his father's wish and complete his college studies.
After his graduation in commerce from KLE College in Bangalore,
he met Kannada actor Shivaram and showed him the stories that
had been written during his college days. Shivaram in turn introduced
him to Udayshankar, a well-known personality in Kannada cinema.
It was Udayshankar who encouraged PR to venture into cinemas.
PR is an ardent admirer of the works of director Puttanna
Kanagal and has done an in depth study of the technical
aspects of the latter's movies. Late, he started working on
movies as an assistant director to Bhargava, another well known
PR assisted Bhargava in several films that include Olavu-gelavu,
Onde guri, Gandugali, Asadhya aliya and others. At the same
time, he tried his hand at writing film songs and stories and
succeeded. He has also featured in fifteen movies directed by
others. Then followed his debut as a director with Doctor Krishna,
a Vishnuvardhan starrer, in 1989. The next was a string of movies
that brought him name and fame-Ganeshana Maduve, Gowri-Ganesha,
Ganesha Subrahmanya, Ganeshana Galate and Ganesha, I
love you. His movies secured many awards like the Aryabhata
award, Kannada Chitra Rasikara Prashasthi, Filmare award,
besides bringing popularity to the artists with individual awards.
His Ondu cinema kathe brought him the Madras film
fan's association award and even got him an offer to re-make
the same in Telugu as Jeevithame oka cinema. Though he
is branded as a comedy moviemaker, he has made movies that deal
with relevant social issues like Annavara makkalu, Ammavra
ganda (with Shivraj Kumar), Choo-bana (an action
film with Devaraj).
His tele-serial spree started with Duddu, duddu, duddu
(a theme based on money), followed by Maduve, maduve, maduve
(conceptualised on marriage); Devru, devru, devru (which
depicted atheism and true belief in God); Trin, trin, trin
(a suspense thriller). Having succeeded with them as weekly
serials, now he is coming out with a daily serial Danda pindagalu.
Danda pindagalu (Idle mouth) is making waves in Karnataka
as it is based on the theme of un-employment, an issue that
is of concern to people everywhere. In the future also he wants
to direct movies/serials on themes that would educate the masses.
It would be appropriate to call PR the director of masses, aka
director of society.