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Veteran director and actor Kalatapasvi K. Vishwanath was overwhelmed with the praises showered on him by several Telugu film industry bigwigs as he was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Second Gulf Andhra Music Awards (Gama) held at Zabeel Park on Friday.

As the citation read out by singer SP Balasubrahmanyam in a pre-recorded video was projected on the big screen, the 1,000 plus audience gave a standing ovation to the legend who directed such memorable, artistic movies as Shankarabharanam, Sagarasangamam and Swarnakamalam in Telugu and Sargam, Kaamchor and Eeshwar in Hindi.

A recipient of several National Film Awards, Filmfare Awards and Nandi Awards from the Andhra Pradesh state government, Vishwanath was filled with emotion and said he was fortunate to receive the award while he was still hale and hearty.

Thespian Krishnamraju, comedian Brahmanandam, music director Koti and Devisri Prasad, singers Chitra and Vandemataram Srinivas praised the art and craft of the veteran director.

The awards night belonged to music director and singer Devisri Prasad who bagged awards in four categories: best music director for the film Evadu, best title song for Legend, best background score for Legend and best item song.

Simha won the best male singer award for Race Gurram; actor Raviteja won the best celebrity singer award for Power; Neha Bhasin bagged the best female singer award for her Hello Rockstar song from Nenokkadine; music director Anup Rubens won the best love song award for Manam; composer Thamann won the best duet award for Race Gurram; Chandrabose won the best lyricist award for Manam.

The 5-hour event presented by Kesari Trimurthy’s Gulf Andhra Events was interspersed with songs by Chitra, Geeta Madhuri, Neha Bhasin, Malathi, Indian Idol winner Sriramachanda, Vandemataram Srinivas and dances by actresses Sada, Saloni, Naveen and Anasuya. The show was compered by TV presenter Suma and comedy actor Ali who regaled the audience with their wit and humour.