Kannada cinema, also known as Chandanavana or Sandalwood, is the Indian film industry based in the state of Karnataka where motion pictures are produced in the Kannada language. The Kannada film Industry is sometimes metonymously referred to as Sandalwood. As of 2017, the Kannada film industry based in the city of Bengaluru produces more than 190 films each year. Kannada films are released in more than 1250 single screen and multiplex theaters in Karnataka and most of them are also released across the country and in the United Kingdom, United States, UAE, England, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Nederland, Holland, Russia, Kenya, South Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and other countries.
|No. of screens||650 Single-screens in Karnataka|
|Produced feature films (2018 till September)|
|Gross box office (2018 till September)|
|National films||India: ₹250 crore (US$36 million)|
The first government institute in India to start technical courses related to films was established in 1941 named as occupational institute then called the Sri Jayachamarajendra (S J) Polytechnic in Bengaluru. In September 1996, two specialized courses, Cinematography and Sound & Television were separated and the Government Film and Television Institute was started at Hesaraghatta, under the World Bank Assisted Project for Technician Development in India. The industry is known for Kannada language literary works, being translated into motion pictures. Some of the works which received global acclaim include B. V. Karanth's Chomana Dudi (1975), Girish Karnad's Kaadu (1973), Pattabhirama Reddy's Samskara (1970) (based on a novel by U. R. Ananthamurthy), which won Bronze Leopard at Locarno International Film Festival, and Girish Kasaravalli's Ghatashraddha (1977) which won the Ducats Award at the Manneham Film Festival Germany.
Films such as Bedara Kannappa (1954), School Master, Sharapanjara (1971), Vamshavruksha (1971), Bhootayyana Maga Ayyu (1974), Ghatashraddha (1977), Kaadu Kudure (1979), Bara (1979), Ranganayaki (1981), Accident (1985), Pushpaka Vimana (1987), Tabarana Kathe (1987), Kraurya (1996), Thaayi Saheba (1997), A (1998), Mane (2000), Dweepa (2002), Kariya (2003), Apthamitra (2004), Mungaru Male (2006), Super (2010), Sangolli Rayanna (2012), Dandupalya (2012), Lucia (2013), Mr. and Mrs. Ramachari (2014), RangiTaranga (2015), Uppi 2 (2015), Thithi (2016), Kirik Party (2016), Doddmane Hudga (2016), Kotigobba 2 (2016), Shivalinga (2016), Killing Veerappan (2016), Raajakumara (2017), Tagaru (2018), K.G.F: Chapter 1 (2018), Bell Bottom (2019) are some of the landmark films in recent times.
In 1934, the first Kannada talkie, Sati Sulochana, 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 Bhakta Kumbara and starred in the lead role along with Pandaribai. In 1955, Bhagavathar again produced a Kannada film, Mahakavi Kalidasa, in which he introduced actress B. Saroja Devi.
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Rajkumar became famous during this period working solely in Kannada film industry. His wife Parvathamma Rajkumar founded Film production and distribution company, Vajreshwari Combines. Vamshavruksha, Prema Karanth's Phaniyamma, Kaadu Kudure, Hamsageethe, Accident, Akramana, Mooru Daarigalu, Tabarana Kathe, Bannada Vesha and Puttanna Kanagal's Naagarahaavu were released. Vishnuvardhan and Ambareesh were the two stars born from the film Naagarahaavu. Rajkumar and Vishnuvardhan are considered the two pillars of Kannada Cinema.
Shankar Nag was starred in works such as Ondanondu Kaladalli and Malgudi Days. Tiger Prabhakar, Ananth Nag, Lokesh, Dwarakish, Ashok, Srinath, M. P. Shankar, and Sundar Krishna Urs were the prominent actors who came in this period with Kalpana, 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, T. S. Nagabharana and M. S. Rajashekar. Directors Puttana Kanagal and Shankar Nag died. Bhavya, Mahalaxmi, Sudha Rani, Tara, Malashri, Anjali Sudhakar, Vanitha Vasu, Anjana, and Shruthi were the notable actress of the era.
At present actors like Puneeth Rajkumar Darshan, Sudeep, Shiva Rajkumar, Yash, Ganesh, Duniya Vijay, Upendra, Vijay Raghavendra, Srimurali, Prajwal Devraj, Diganth, Rakshit Shetty, Prem, Sharan, Chiranjeevi Sarja, Dhruva Sarja, MG Srinivas , Prashanth Neel (Director) Pawan Kumar (Director)[[Dhananjay (actor) Rishab Shetty are contributing themselves as in Kannada industry. Heroines like Radhika Pandit, Ramya, Amulya, Pooja Gandhi, Aindritha Ray, Ragini Dwivedi, Shanvi Srivatsava, Rachita Ram, Shruthi Hariharan, Deepa Sannidhi, Neethu, Meghana Raj, Manvitha Harish, Radhika Chetan, Pranitha Subhash, Avantika Shetty, Shraddha Srinath, Samyuktha Hegde, Parul Yadav, Haripriya, Sanjana are made hit in Kannada cinema. Comedians like Chikkanna, Sadhu Kokila, Bullet Prakash, Kuri Prathap are very busy themselves in film shooting.
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