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Vasanth Mokashi, screenwriter of Shankar Nag’s classic ‘Accident’, no more

Vasanth Mokashi Punekar

Vasanth Mokashi Punekar | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K.

Vasanth Mokashi Punekar, who wrote the script of Shankar Nag’s cult-classic Kannada film Accident, passed away on Sunday (July 7). A native of Dharwad, Vasanth Mokashi, was suffering from a prolonged illness. His wife Asha survived.

Son of renowned Kannada writer Shankar Mokashi Punekar, Vasanth made the film Gangavva Gangamayi Based on the popular novel of the same name by his father. Vasanth mostly spent his days as a writer in Bengaluru and Mumbai.

“It was lovely working with him for Accident.” said Arundhati Nag, actor and founder, Ranga Shankara. “I felt enlightened whenever I spoke to him. He would often visit Ranga Shankara with his wife. I regret that I couldn’t work with him more,” she added.

Accident, a crime drama known for its fine visual storytelling, won the National Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues in 1985. The film bagged five Karnataka State Film Awards, including for Best Screenplay for Vasanth Mokashi. In an interview with the film portal Film Companion, Mokashi said that the story of Accident was inspired by a real event in Mumbai.

Vasanth Mokashi had a strong visual sense, said well-known writer and film critic N. Manu Chakravarthy. “He wouldn’t write your regular linear plots. He liked constructing abstract realities driven by images,” said Mr. Chakravarthy, adding that he was extremely fond of Hindi poetry, with Dhoomil being one of his favourites. Mokashi was also a great admirer of filmmakers Kamal Swaroop and Mani Kaul. In 2014, Mokashi served as the artistic director of the Karnataka International Children’s Film Festival.

David Dass
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