Gollapudi Srinivas Award is a national-level private award given to the most impressive first-time director in Indian Cinema every year. It is given out in the memory of Gollapudi Srinivas (3 March 1966 – 12 August 1992) who had an untimely death through a water accident at the age of just 26, while directing his first Telugu film Prema Pustakam. His family established the Gollapudi Srinivas Memorial Foundation to perpetuate his memory and instituted an annual cash award for the Best Debut Director chosen from among all films made in India. The awards are being given out since the year 1998 and some noteworthy winners include Aamir Khan for Taare Zameen Par (2007). This is one of the very few award functions that Aamir has attended over the course of his career.
The Gollapudi Srinivas award comprises a cash prize of Rs 1.5 lakh and a memento which will be presented at a ceremony to be held on August 12 (Gollapudi Srinivas’ death anniversary day) later in the year. The winner for the year 2018 has been announced and it’s C Prem Kumar who delighted one and all with the romantic 96, starring Vijay Sethupathi and Trisha. 96 released in October last year and went on to gross more than 50 crore worldwide. After Janaki Vishwanathan for the film Kutty (2001), 96 marks only the second time that a Tamil film director would be bagging the Gollapudi award.
Prem Kumar will soon begin directing the Telugu remake of 96 with Sharwanand and Samantha in the lead roles. Amid huge expectations, he would be looking to repeat the magic of the Tamil version.