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Cinema of Karnataka

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Title: Cinema of Karnataka  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of Kannada films of 2007, List of Kannada films of 2008, List of Kannada films of 2009, List of Kannada films of 2010, List of Kannada-language films
Collection: Cinema of Karnataka
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Cinema of Karnataka

Kannada Cinema
Number of screens 950 Single-screens in Karnataka
Main distributors Vajreshwari Combines
KCN Movies
Jayanna Combines
Yograj Creations
Produced feature films (2014)[1]
Total 118

The Cinema of Karnataka, sometimes colloquially referred to as Chandanavana or the Sandalwood,[2][3] is a part of Indian cinema, where motion pictures are produced in the Kannada language, and based in Bengaluru. As of 2013, more than 100 films are made each year.[4]

Kannada films are released in a total of 950 single screen theatres in Karnataka and a handful of the movies are also released in the United States, Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom and other countries.[5] The first government institute in India to start technical courses related to films was established in 1941 named as occupational institute then named as S. J. Polytechnic in Bengaluru. In September 1996, two specialized courses Cinematography and Sound & Television were separated and a new Institute Government Film and Television Institute was started at Hesaraghatta, under the World Bank Assisted Project for Technician Development in India.[6]


  • Early history 1
  • 1970s, 1980s and 1990s 2
  • 2000s 3
  • Critical reception and Parallel cinema 4
  • State awards 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early history

In 1934, the first Kannada talkie, Sati Sulochana,[7] appeared in theatres, followed by Bhakta Dhruva (aka Dhruva Kumar). Sati Sulochana was shot in Kolhapur at the Chatrapathi studio; most filming, sound recording, and post-production was done in Chennai.

In 1949, Honnappa Bhagavathar, who had earlier acted in Gubbi Veeranna's films, produced Bhaktha Kumbara and starred in the lead role along with Pandaribai. In 1955, hagavathar again produced a Kannada film, Mahakavi Kalidasa, in which he introduced B. Saroja Devi.

Ku Ra Seetharama Sastry was an actor, film director, lyricist, and screen playwright from the mid-forties through the late seventies. He introduced several artists to Kannada film industry, including Shivaram and Shakthi Prasad (Karaga Shakti, father of Kannada, Telugu and Tamil actor/director Arjun Sarja).

Rajkumar 's first movie as a lead actor Bedara Kannappa (1954) was the first Kannada movie which completed 365 days at the theatres and it received a letter of appreciation from the central government. The majority of the films during these decades were either mythological or historical in nature.

Rajkumar, Narasimharaju and G. V. Iyer decided to form a partnership and produce movies which included Ranadhira Kanteerava.

The first colour movie in Kannada, Amarashilpi Jakkanachari was made in the year 1964 by B.S Ranga.

Prominent Directors during this period were HLN Simha, T.V Singh Takur, Dorai-Bagavan, B.S Ranga, KSL Swamy, Siddhalingiyah and Puttana Kanagal.

Puttana Kanagal 's directorial works include Bellimoda, Gejjepuje, Saakshathkara, Sharapanjara, Naagarahaavu, Upasane and Ranganayaki. He made female centric movies which did not have the usual fight scenes and dance. He introduced many actors including Kalpana, Aarthi, Vishnuvardhan, Ambarish, Srinath, Ramakrishna and Ashok.

Leelavathi, Jayanthi, B.Sarojadevi, Bharathi, and Kalpana were some of the prominent actress during this period.

1970s, 1980s and 1990s

Rajkumar became a singer during this period working solely in Kannada film industry. His wife Parvathamma Rajkumar founded Film production and distribution company, Vajreshwari Combines.

B. V. Karanth's Chomana Dudi , Girish Karnad's Kaadu and Girish Kasaravalli's Ghatashraddha were part of the Kannada parallel cinema. Vamshavruksha, Prema Karanth's Phaniyamma, Kadu Kudure, Hamsageethe, Accident, Akramana, Mooru Daarigalu, Tabarana Kathe, Bannadha Vesha and Puttanna Kanagal's Naagarahaavu were released. Vishnuvardhan and Ambareesh were the two stars born from the film Naagarahaavu.

Shankar Nag's works include Ondanondu Kaladalli and Malgudi Days. Tiger Prabhakar, Ananth Nag, Lokesh, Ashok, Srinath, M. P. Shankar, and Sunder Krishna Urs were the prominent actors who came in this period with Aarathi, Lakshmi, Padma Vaasanthi, Geetha, Madhavi, Saritha, Manjula and Jayamala being some of the actresses.

The late 80's saw the emergence of V. Ravichandran and Shivarajkumar and Ramesh Aravind with works directed by Rajendra Singh Babu, D. Rajendra Babu, V. Somashekhar, H. R. Bhargava, Sai Prakash, Nagabharana and M.S Rajshekhar.

Directors Puttana Kanagal and Shankar Nag died.

Bhavya, Mahalaxmi, Sudha Rani, Tara, Malashri, Anjali Sudhakar, Vanitha Vasu, Anjana, and Shruthi were the actress in thise period.


Deaths of this period included Rajkumar and Vishnuvardhan, Tiger Prabhakar, K. S. Ashwath and Vajramuni .

This decade also saw the emergence of artists including Puneeth Rajkumar (Rajkumar's third son), Upendra, Kiccha Sudeep, Darshan (son of actor Thoogudeepa Srinivas), Ganesh, Diganth, Duniya Vijay and Yash and the female actors, Ramya, Rakshita, Radhika Kumaraswamy, Aindrita Ray, Sharmila Mandre, Bhavana, Pooja Gandhi and Ragini Dwivedi .

Director Upendra turned into an actor and acted in films including A(1998), Upendra(1999), Buddhivantha(2008), Super(2010) and Katari Veera Surasundarangi(2012) (first full length 3D film in Kannada).

Child actor Kishan Shrikanth became the youngest director of a professionally made feature film in the world by directing C/o Footpath at 9 years in Kannada which won him the Best Children's Film National Award in 2007, two Karnataka State Awards and 11 International Awards from countries including Italy, Spain, Greece, Egypt, Qatar, Iran, USA and UK.

Kannada actress Umashree won a Best Actress National Award for the movie Gulabi Talkies in 2009. The film also screened at Osian's Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema and won three awards: Best Film in Indian Competition, Best Actress in Indian Competition (Umashree), and Best Actor in Indian Competition (Vinay BM).

Kannada cinema celebrated its 75-year anniversary in 2009. A function was held on the palace grounds in Bangalore on 1 March 2009 under the direction of V. Ravichandran, featuring a set resembling an open-winged bird. It was attended by many stars from Kannada cinema as well as actors from other film industries who had a stint in Kannada films.

In 2010, Vishnuvardhan's final film was Aptharakshaka.

Critical reception and Parallel cinema

Film directors from the Kannada film industry like Girish Kasaravalli, M.S.Sathyu have garnered international recognition. Other directors include Puttanna Kanagal, G. V. Iyer, T. S. Nagabharana, P. Sheshadri, Girish Karnad, V. Ravichandran Yogaraj Bhat, Soori, Guruprasad and Upendra.

Some Kannada films include Samskara (1970) (based on a novel by U. R. Ananthamurthy), Vamshavruksha (1971), Bhootayyana Maga Ayyu (1974), Chomana Dudi (1975), Hamsageethe (1975), Ghatashraddha (1977), Kaadu Kudure (1979), Bara (1979), Maanasa Sarovara (1982), Accident (1985), Tabarana Kathe (1987), Kraurya (1996), Thaayi Saheba (1997), Mane (2000) and Dweepa (2002).

State awards

Other awards


  1. ^ List_of_Kannada_films_of_2014
  2. ^ Sandalwood's Gain. Deccan Herald. January 23, 2006 Archived 26 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Young talent applauded. Deccan Herald. December 28, 2003 Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ When it rained films. Retrieved on 2013-07-29.
  5. ^ [1]. (1913-05-03). Retrieved on 2013-07-29.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "First film to talk in Kannada" article in The Hindu
  8. ^ BIFFES

External links

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