indian cinema heritage foundation

S Shivaram

Director
  • Real Name: S Shivaram
  • Born: 1938 (Choodasandra village, Madras Presidency)
  • Primary Cinema: Kannada
  • First film: Hrudaya Sangama (1972)
  • Spouse: Padma
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Essentially an actor who played a variety of character roles as also comedic parts, S Shivaram, fondly addressed among friends and film industry circles as Shivaramanna, in a career that spanned over six decades, was also a producer. He has to his credit the direction of Hrudaya Sangama (1972). The film, which was partly in color and black and white, had thespian Dr. Rajkumar playing a dual role. It centered around its protagonist who, despite enjoying a luxurious lifestyle and whose affairs are managed by his caretaker, aches to lead a more somber normal life and tries to break free from the shackles of such an existence that constricts his ways.

With a famous producer in elder brother S Ramanathan, he joined hands with him and the two produced several films under the Rashi Brothers banner. Besides Kannada, they also took to producing a few Hindi films as well.

Born in a middle-class Hindu Brahmin family in Choodasandra village, situated on the border of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in the then Madras Presidency, Shivaram, after primary education in the village, headed to the capital city Bangalore along with his other elder brother Srikanteshwara Iyer, who was running the famous Vani Typewriting & Commerce Institute.

However, the lure of plays staged by the stalwart Gubbi Veeranna’s troupe, saw Shivaram veer towards filmmaking and acting. After polishing his acting skills in several stage plays, he migrated to cinema in 1958, assisting various directors such as Ku Ra Seetharama Sastry besides also working as a camera assistant to veteran cinematographer Boman D Irani.

He assisted other prominent directors like K S L Swamy, Geethapriya, Singeetam Srinivasa Rao, and Puttanna Kanagal thereby inculcating the subtle nuances of direction as well.

After his stint as assistant director from 1958 through 1965, he finally got a break in direction and directed Hrudaya Sangama (1972), fulfilling his cherished dream.

He, however, did not get further opportunity to try his hand at direction but with brother S Ramanathan co-produced many blockbusters and critically acclaimed films like Gejje Pooje (1969), Upasane (1974), Nanobba Kalla (1979), Driver Hanumanthu (where he played the main role, 1980) and Bahala Chennagide (2001).

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