He was the first to do it; the first to receive it

Amid all the gloom over the death of a spate of movie industry mavens, some good news: V.K. Murthy, the Bombay-born Mysore-born cinematographer of all of Guru Dutt‘s films, being chosen for the nation’s highest cinema prize: the Dadasaheb Phalke award, the first time a lensman has been picked for the high honour.

“Murthy broke new grounds, ushered in modern and highly sophisticated techniques and brought in rich visual artistry to Indian cinema. He shot India’s first cinemascope movie Kagaz Ke Phool (1959) and was the cinematographer for all of Guru Dutt films,” an official statement said.

In the frame, above, Murthy with his mentor and director, and alongside, Murthy, 86, with his relatives in Chamarajpet in Bangalore on hearing the glad tidings, the second Kannadiga to do so after Dr Raj Kumar.

Photograph: Newspaper archives (above), and Karnataka Photo News