'Portraying the life of commoners, I V Sasi was a man who created wonders for the silver screen.'
Veteran Malayalam director I V Sasi, best known for his films Avalude Ravukal and Devasuram, passed away in Chennai on October 23, sources close to his family said. He was 69.
Sasi had breathing trouble and passed away around 11.15 am, on his way to the Surya hospital.
In his more than three-decade long career, Sasi directed over 150 films in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi and worked with stars like Mohanlal, Mammootty, Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth.
Born on March 28, 1948, in Kozhikode, Kerala, Sasi started his career as an art director. His debuted as a director in 1975 with Ulsavam.
Amongst his biggest successes was the 1978 film Avalude Ravukal, which established him in the Malayalam film industry.
The film, which starred his then would-be-wife Seema, was later dubbed into many other Indian languages, including Hindi.
The filmmaker gave Mohanlal one of his early breaks as a co-hero in Ineyengillum. The director-actor duo went on to work in films like Devasuram, Aalkkoottathil Thaniye and Uyarangalil.
Mammootty and Sasi collaborated on more than 35 films, including Mrugaya, Inspector Balram and Ee Nadu.
He directed Haasan in films like Guru, Allauddinum Arputha Vilakkum, Karishma and Eeta.
In 1979, Sasi worked with Rajinikanth in the Malayalam film, Allauddinum Albhutha Vilakkum.
He helmed Hindi movies such as Patita, starring Mithun Chakraborty, and Anokha Rishta, starring Rajesh Khanna.
The filmmaker won the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration in 1982 for his movie, Aaroodam.
Sasi directed Katrina Kaif in the 2006 Malayalam film, Balram vs Tharadas.
Mourning his death, Mammootty said, 'I feel sad on the demise of my beloved friend.'
Calling him the 'master of Malayalam movie industry', Mohanlal said, 'Portraying the life of commoners, I V Sasi was a man who created wonders for the silver screen. I salute the master of Malayalam movie industry who made the viewers and actors, including me, understand the basics of cinema.'
Kamal Haasan wrote on Twitter, 'My friend for 45 years I V Sasi is no more. The industry and I mourn a great technician. My support and love to my sister Seema Sasi and family.'
Sound designer Resul Pookutty tweeted, 'The man who rewrote the course of mainstream Malayalam cinema I V Sasi is no more. We had been in discussions on a film together, it's my personal loss!'
Mammootty's son Dulquer Salmaan wrote on Facebook, 'RIP Sasi uncle! He created an Era of his own in Malayalam Cinema. Have fond memories of him from my childhood.'
'One of the greatest film makers of mainstream Indian cinema bids goodbye. We will miss you Sasi sir! So many personal memories!' Prithviraj Sukumaran posted.
Nivin Pauly wrote: 'RIP I.V.Sasi sir! You will be truly missed!'
Photograph: Kind courtesy Nivin Pauly/Twitter