Popular Telugu movie critic, actor and Dalit intellectual Kathi Mahesh Kumar who had sustained grievous injuries in a road accident on June 26, is no more. He was 43.
He was battling for his life at a private hospital in Chennai after meeting with the road accident in Chandrasekharapuram village in Kodavalur Mandal of Nellore.
“Kathi Mahesh passed away at 4 PM on July 10. His condition was serious since Friday night and he passed away due to respiratory complications,” the hospital authorities said.
“Shocked to hear that Kathi Mahesh gaaru passed away. From what I’ve seen, he always tried to encourage films with unique content through his reviews. Strength to his family and friends,” Actor Nani tweeted.
“We are deeply saddened and shocked to hear the demise of Kathi Mahesh, an Ambedkarite, an intellectual, actor, filmmaker and film critic. We pay our condolences to his family and friends. His intellectual works will always be remembered and cherished,” read a tweet by filmmaker Pa. Ranjith’s Neelam Cultural Centre.
“Deeply saddened by the untimely exit of a well wisher,” Senior IPS officer RS Praveen Kumar from Telangana tweeted.
Kathi Mahesh, a promoter of alternative cinema, had proved his mettle as a director with ‘Edari Varsham’, which was based on Devarakonda Balagangadhara Tilak’s story, ‘Oori Chivara Illu.’
He had floated ‘Navatarangam Chalanachitram’ for crowdfunding. He made this first crowdfunded short film in Telugu titled Pesarattu, which used flowcam technology popularised by Ram Gopal Varma.
He was a co-writer of the film Minugurulu, the “first Telugu script to be preserved in the Oscar Library’s permanent core collection” and the first Telugu film to contend for the Academy Awards’ best feature film (2014).
Kathi Mahesh had made his acting debut with Sampoornesh Babu’s ‘Hrudaya Kaleyam’.
He had also appeared on the Telugu reality TV show, ‘Bigg Boss’.
An alumnus of the University of Hyderabad, Mahesh began his professional career in the field of development communication. Later, he worked with UNICEF, World Bank, Save the Children and the Clinton Foundation before finding his passion in filmmaking.