A director, writer, jury member, and film critic – the versatile KNT Sastry who donned many hats in the Telugu film industry breathed his last on September 13 at 73. Born on September 5 in Karnataka, the noted journalist has worked in different newspapers in various roles before turning a filmmaker.
This recipient of many national and international honours headed the Hyderabad Film Club as well for some time. With over 30 years of experience as a film critic, Sastry started his filmmaking career a documentary on the theatre group Surabhi.
Winning seven National Awards across multiple categories is an accomplishment that few could boast of and Sastry had that rare honour of bagging awards as the Best Film Critic, Best Documentary Film (Surabhi), Best Book on Cinema (both as writer and publisher for two different years), Best Debut Film (2002), Best Regional Feature Film (Telugu), Best Film.
His documentary film titled Harvesting Baby Girls which focuses on girl child trafficking won a Special Jury Award at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam. Sastry served as a jury member for the Nandi Awards in the erstwhile Government of Andhra Pradesh, Indian Panorama – International Film Festival of India besides Vladivostok International Film Festival (2003).
He has also written English books on Chittoor V Nagaiah, Bhanumati Ramakrishna, LV Prasad, Nagi Reddy-Chakrapani. His Telugu book on Alanati Chalana Chitram is widely read.
But, most importantly, his winning 12 international awards for some of his films like Tiladaanam, stand as a testimony to his versatility and achievements. While Kamli (inspired by Sastry’s award-winning documentary Harvesting Baby Girls with Nandita Das as the leading lady) was showcased at the Busan International Film Festival, Shaanu, his last film, was produced by CFSI.