The Dada Saheb Phalke Award for 2008 has been conferred on a technician, for the very first time since the inception in 1969. The winner being cinematographer V.K. Murthy. He dedicated his award to Guru Dutt with whom he has worked closely in his lifetime.
VK Murthy shot India's first cinemascope movie, Kagaz Ke Phool (1959), produced and directed by the legendary Guru Dutt. Murthy was a regular part of Dutt's crew, and worked on Sahib, Bibi aur Gulam (1962) and Pyaasa (1957) too.
Murthy's use of light was what really set his work apart. He used light to bring out a range of emotions in the actors. Without Murthy's camera work Guru Dutt's films would definitely have had some magic missing.
Murthy provided some of Indian cinema's most breathtaking images in starkly contrasted black and white. While on a training stint in London to work on color films worked with the crew of The Guns of Navarone.
Apart from working with Guru Dutt, who met an untimely death, V.K. Murthy also worked with Kamal Amrohi on Pakeezah and Razia Sultan. In later years, he worked with directors like Pramod Chakravarthy (Naya Zamana, Jugnu), Shyam Benegal and Govind Nihalani (Tamas).