L.V. Prasad, a man who lived and breathed cinema
Right from the early days L.V.Prasad was driven by the passion for acting and the moving image. He used to take part in the local touring theatres in small roles. He never missed an opportunity to see whatever old and damaged rolls of films that were shown in those days in ramshackle tents. This passion is what took him to Bombay in his quest for cinematic glory. This passion is what made him endure untold hardship in his long road to the heights of glory. His journey to fame was full of potholes and downfalls, but he always managed to find a bright spot. The many disappointed journeys he made between his native village, Bombay and Madras in search of a job or a better life could have left anyone depressed, but not L.V.Prasad. Undaunted he strove to fulfill his passion for cinema. In the mid-fifties when he was suffering from a bout of sciatica, his passion for cinema made him ignore the advice for rest and went about his duties. In fact it was after this that L.V.Prasad went on to produce almost all his films. Says Shavukar Janaki, who was introduced by L.V.Prasad in the film Shavukar ‘One film with him puts an artiste into the mould and one should be lucky to get an assignment to work with him’. B.Nagi Reddy another veteran of the south Indian Film industry remarked “to me Prasad is a veritable Shantaram of the South, for Prasad breathes cinema and has been in it as a loyal and committed worker who has seen it grow to these heights”. Shivaji Ganesan who acted in Manohara under the direction of L.V.Prasad wrote about him in a magazine in 1983 thus ‘L.V.Prasad’s journey into the world of cinema which began in the silent era, continues till date. For him work has been paramount. Today, when he is over 75 years old, it is amazing to see him so very active. Whether it is seeing a film or offering criticism he is a match to anyone years younger. There are many experiences that I treasure from those years of working with him. Prasad would usually act and show the actor how he is expected to do his role. In fact one would become is fan by seeing this kind of tuition.” T.Prakash rao who was an assistant to L.V.Prasad and later became a popular director said ‘he was an expert as far as technical knowledge was concerned. In fact I would not hesitate to say that there is a Prasad School of direction – all his assistants including myself have followed this path set by Prasad.