Girish Kasaravalli’s actor honoured in Spain | regional movies | Hindustan Times
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Girish Kasaravalli’s actor honoured in Spain

Vaijanath Biradar, who plays Irya the gravedigger in Girish Kasaravalli’s Kanasembo Kudureyaneri in Kannada won the best actor award at the recent Imagineindia Film Festival in Madrid.

regional movies Updated: Jun 08, 2011 13:05 IST
Gautaman Bhaskaran

Vaijanath Biradar, who plays Irya the gravedigger in Girish Kasaravalli’s Kanasembo Kudureyaneri (Riding the Dreams) in Kannada won the best actor award at the recent Imagineindia Film Festival in Madrid. Kasaravalli told Hindustan Times this morning that "this was the first time a Kannada actor was winning the best actor trophy in an international film festival held outside India".



Part of India’s impressive though shrinking reality cinema that is still savoured by a small and, interestingly enough, expanding group of audiences, encouraged and facilitated by the growing number of urban multiplexes, Kasaravalli’s work has travelled to several foreign movie festivals, including those in Italy, France, Spain and England.



Gautaman Bhaskaran
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Riding the Dreams follows the torturous life of Irya and his wife, Rudri (portrayed with excellence by Umashree), who eke out a living digging graves and helping with burial rituals. Irya has the singularly rare ability to foresee death, and every time someone in his village is about to die, Siddha, the messenger of death, appears in the gravedigger’s dream with the alert.



The film is a hauntingly disturbing study of how India’s poorest of the poor live in utter degrading conditions, often going to bed hungry, and Biradar essays the gravedigger with brilliant sensitivity and natural ease, not often seen in Indian cinema.



Kasaravalli, one of the pioneers of the New Indian Cinema of the 1970s, and known for works such as The Ritual Ghatashraddha (The Ritual) and Tabarana Kathe (Tabara’s Story), remains undaunted in the face of big slick-looking productions, continuing to make movies that he strongly believes in. And he has a set of dedicated actors to help him.