Kannada cinema, also known as Sandalwood, Kannada Film Industry or Chandanavana, is the segment of Indian cinema dedicated to the production of motion pictures in the Kannada language widely spoken in the state of Karnataka. The 1934 film Sati Sulochana directed by Y. V. Rao was the first talkie film in the Kannada language. It was also the first film starring Subbaiah Naidu and Tripuramba, and was the first motion picture screened in the erstwhile Mysore Kingdom. The film was produced by Chamanlal Doongaji, who in 1932 founded South India Movietone in Bangalore.
|No. of screens||950|
|• Per capita||1.3 per 1,00,000|
|Main distributors||Mahatma Pictures|
Sri Vajreshwari Combines
Sri Eswari Combines
|Produced feature films (2019)|
Major literary works have been adapted to the Kannada screen such as 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 the Bronze Leopard at Locarno International Film Festival, and T. S. Nagabharana's Mysuru Mallige (based on the works of acclaimed poet K. S. Narasimhaswamy).
Kannada cinema is known for producing experimental works such as Girish Kasaravalli's Ghatashraddha (1977), which won the Ducats Award at the Manneham Film Festival Germany, Dweepa (2002), which won Best Film at Moscow International Film Festival, Singeetam Srinivasa Rao's silent film Pushpaka Vimana (1987), screened at the Cannes Film Festival and Prashanth Neel's historical drama, K.G.F: Chapter 1 (2018), which became the first Kannada language film to have grossed ₹250 crores worldwide at the box office.
In 1934, the first Kannada talkie, Sati Sulochana, appeared in theatres, followed by Bhakta Dhruva (aka Dhruva Kumar). Sati Sulochana, starring Subbaiah Naidu and Tripuramba in lead roles, 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. B. S. Ranga was an Indian photographer, actor, writer, producer and director made many landmark movies in Kannada, under Vikram Studios.
Matinee idol, Rajkumar entered Kannada cinema after his long stint as a dramatist with Gubbi Veeranna's Gubbi Drama Company, which he joined at the age of eight, before he got his first break as a lead in the 1954 film Bedara Kannappa.
He went on to essay a variety of roles and excelling in portraying mythological and historical characters in films such as Bhakta Kanakadasa (1960), Ranadheera Kanteerava (1960), Satya Harishchandra (1965), Immadi Pulikeshi (1967), Sri Krishnadevaraya (1970), Bhakta Kumbara (1974), Mayura (1975), Babruvahana (1977) and Bhakta Prahlada (1983). His wife Parvathamma Rajkumar founded Film production and distribution company, Vajreshwari Combines.
Method actor Shankar Nag received the inaugural IFFI Best Actor Award (Male): Silver Peacock Award" at the 7th International Film Festival of India for his work in the film Ondanondu Kaladalli. He is the younger brother of actor Anant Nag. M. V. Vasudeva Rao, the first Kannada actor to win National Film Award for Best Actor, was starred in over 200 films in his career; however, post Chomana Dudi, he only played minor roles.
Vishnuvardhan entered Kannada cinema with the National Award-winning movie Vamshavruksha (1972) directed by Girish Karnad based on the novel written by S. L. Bhyrappa. His first lead role was in Naagarahaavu, directed by Puttanna Kanagal and based on a novel by T. R. Subba Rao. It was the first in Kannada film history to complete 100 days in three main theatres of Bangalore. In his 37-year career, he has played a variety of roles in more than 200 films.
With his debut in Puttanna Kanagal's National Award-winning Kannada film Naagarahaavu (1972), Ambareesh's acting career commenced with a brief phase of portraying antagonistic and supporting characters. After establishing himself as a lead actor portraying rebellious characters on screen in a number of commercially successful films, he earned the moniker "rebel star". He also earned the nickname Mandyada Gandu (English: Man of Mandya)
B. Saroja Devi is One of the most successful female leads in the history of Indian cinema, she acted in around 200 films in over six decades. She is known by the epithets "Abinaya Saraswathi" (Saraswathi of acting) in Kannada and "Kannadathu Paingili" (Kannada's Parrot) in Tamil.
Kannada Cinema majorly contributed to the Parallel Cinema movement of India. Directors like Girish Kasaravalli, Girish Karnad, G. V. Iyer were the early names to join the movement. T. S. Nagabharana and BV Karanth were also popular names in the movement. Puttanna Kanagal's films were however considered a bridge between Mainstream and Parallel Cinema.
Prakash Raj began his acting career with Doordarshan serials such as Bisilu Kudure (Kannada) and Guddada Bhootha (Tulu and Kannada). He later took up supporting roles in Kannada films such as Ramachari, Ranadheera, Nishkarsha and Lockup Death. He was known for his dialogue delivery and histrionics. His breakthrough role came in Harakeya Kuri, directed by K. S. L. Swamy starring Vishnuvardhan, with whom he had acted in other films such as Mithileya Seetheyaru, Muthina Haara and Nishkarsha. Prakash re-entered Kannada films through Nagamandala in 1997, directed by T. S. Nagabharana. Veteran Kannada actor Shakti Prasad's son Arjun Sarja is known for his work in South Indian cinema. He starred in movies such as Prasad; the film was screened at the Berlin Film Festival and Arjun received the Karnataka State Award for his performance in it.
Sanchari Vijay's portrayal of a transgender won him the National Best Actor Award. With the award, Vijay became the third actor after M. V. Vasudeva Rao, and Charuhasan to win the National Award for Best Actor for a performance in a Kannada film.
Shiva Rajkumar is known for his work in Janumada Jodi, Anand, Ratha Sapthami, Nammoora Mandara Hoove, Om, Simhada Mari and Chigurida Kanasu. He acted in Sugreeva, which was shot in 18 hours. His Om, directed by Upendra, set a trend of gangster movies in Kannada and other film industries in India. It continues to be shown even to this day.
Rockline Venkatesh founded Rockline Entertainments which has produced over twenty five films as of 2012. New age actors Puneeth Rajkumar, Rakshith Shetty and Sudeep are some of the highest paid actors in Sandalwood. The Rakshith Shetty starrer Kirik Party went on to become one of the highest-grossing Kannada films by collecting ₹ 50 crores against a production budget ₹ 4 crores and completed 150 days in the main cities of Karnataka.
In 2018, Yash starrer K.G.F: Chapter 1 became the first Kannada film to gross ₹100 crores and ₹200 crores at the box office. Its sequel, K.G.F: Chapter 2, slated to release in 2021, gained more than 153 million views on YouTube as of January 2021.
Composer Hamsalekha is usually referred to by the title Naadha Brahma (English: The Brahma of Music) who is considered to be the major cause for the change in the music composing and lyric writing style which would appeal much to the younger generation. He integrated folk and introduced western musical sensibilities into the Kannada cinema.
Mano Murthy scored the blockbuster film Mungaru Male starring Ganesh and Pooja Gandhi. Upon the album's release, it topped the charts with the song "Anisuthide" receiving significant radio and TV air time. The album emerged as a massive success topping every Kannada music chart. It was reported that by mid-May 2007, over 200,000 copies were sold in compact discs.
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 Bangalore. 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.
Visual effects and animation studiosEdit
- Unifi Media
- Pinaka Studios
- Vajreshwari Combines
- Arun Studio
- Renu Digi Media
- Sandeep Studios
- Unifi Media
- Wave Studios
- Visual Magic
- The song Baare Baare from the 1972 movie Naagarahaavu was the first slow-motion song of Indian cinema. 
- The 1986 movie Anuraga Aralithu was the first Indian movie to be remade in six other languages.
- The 1986 movie Africadalli Sheela was the first Indian movie to be shot in African forests.
- The 1987 movie Ondu Muttina Kathe was the first Indian film to have an underwater action sequence shot in an ocean outside India without the help of oxygen mask.
- The 1989 movie Idu Saadhya created a record by becoming the first Indian movie to be shot within a span of 36 hours.
- The 1995 movie Om is the only Indian movie to have been re-released 550 times.
- The 2005 movie Shanti was the second Indian film to enter the Guinness Book of World Records in the Fewest actors in a narrative film category. It had only one actor with the other characters represented through voice and no physical appearance.
- The 2006 Kannada movie Mungaru Male was the first Indian movie to run for a year in a multiplex.
|1970||Samskara||Pattabhirama Reddy||Pattabhirama Reddy|
|1975||Chomana Dudi||B. V. Karanth||Praja Films|
|1977||Ghatashraddha||Girish Kasaravalli||Sadanand Suvarna|
|1986||Tabarana Kathe||Girish Kasaravalli||Girish Kasaravalli|
|1997||Thaayi Saheba||Girish Kasaravalli||Jayamala|
State film festivalsEdit
Highest-grossing Kannada filmsEdit
|1||K.G.F: Chapter 1||2018||Prashanth Neel||Hombale Films||₹150 crore (US$21 million)|||
|2||Kurukshetra||2019||Naganna||Vrushabhadri Productions||₹130 crore (US$18 million)|||
|3||Roberrt||2021||Tharun Sudhir||Umapathy Films||₹110.58 crore (US$16 million)|||
|4||Raajakumara||2017||Santhosh Ananddram||Hombale Films||₹70 crore (US$9.8 million)|||
|5||Mungaru Male||2006||Yograj Bhat||E. K. Entertainers||₹70 crore (US$9.8 million)|||
|6||The Villain||2018||Prem||Thanvi Shanvi Films||₹55 crore (US$7.7 million)|||
|7||Avane Srimannarayana||2019||Sachin Ravi||Pushkar Films, Paramvah Studios and Sri Devi Entertainers||₹52 crore (US$7.3 million)|||
|8||Pailwaan||2019||S. Krishna||RRR Motion Pictures||₹53 crore (US$7.4 million)|||
|9||Yajamana||2019||Pon Kumaran and V. Harikrishna||Media House Studio||₹55 crore (US$7.7 million)|||
|10||Kirik Party||2016||Rishab Shetty||Paramvah Studios||₹50 crore (US$7.0 million)|||
|11||Mr. and Mrs. Ramachari||2014||Santhosh Ananddram||Jayanna Combines||₹45 crore (US$6.3 million)|||
|12||Doddmane Hudga||2016||Duniya Soori||Ajay Pictures||₹35 crore (US$4.9 million)|||
|13||Uppi 2||2015||Upendra||Upendra Productions||₹30 crore (US$4.2 million)|||
|14||Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna||2012||Naganna||Sri Sangolli Rayanna Cine Combines||₹40 crore (US$5.6 million)|||
- "Film Federation of India". filmfederation.in. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
- "Film Federation Of India". www.filmfed.org. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
- ""INDIAN FEATURE FILMS CERTIFIED IN 2019" (PDF). Filmfed. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
- "From The Golden Era Of 70s To Now: A Brief History Of The Birth & Rise Of Kannada Cinema - ZEE5 News". www.zee5.com.
- Manohar, R. (11 March 2011). "Sandalwood rechristened | Latest News & Updates at DNAIndia.com". DNA India.
- Shampa Banerjee, Anil Srivastava (1988) . One Hundred Indian Feature Films: An Annotated Filmography. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0-8240-9483-2.
- Shenoy, Megha (27 December 2010). "When it rained films". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
- "Statewise number of single screens". chitraloka.com. 3 May 1913. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
- Dhaan, M S (13 April 2006). "Dr.Raj's impact on Kannada cinema". Rediff.com. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
- "First film to talk in Kannada". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 31 December 2004. Archived from the original on 10 April 2005.
- "A revolutionary filmmaker". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 22 August 2003. Archived from the original on 17 January 2004.
- "First film to talk in Kannada". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 31 December 2004. Archived from the original on 4 January 2005. Retrieved 21 April 2007.
- Khajane, Muralidhara (25 February 2012). "Philatelic show to mark 78th anniversary of 'Sati Sulochana'". The Hindu. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
- "Wealth of material found on first Kannada talkie". DailyHunt. Deccan Herald. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
- "Tikkavarapu Pattabhirama Reddy – Poet, Film maker of international fame from Nellore - 1Nellore.com". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
- "TS Nagabharana movies list". www.bharatmovies.com. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
- "Asiatic Film Mediale". asiaticafilmmediale.it. Archived from the original on 16 November 2008.
- "Girish Kasaravalli to be felicitated". The Hindu. 25 April 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
- "A genius of theatre". The Frontline. 25 October 2002. Retrieved 14 March 2009.
- "Oscar nominees among 240 films to be screened during Biffes". The Hindu. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
- Sharadhaa, A (2 January 2016). "Killing Veerappan is a Slick RGV Thriller". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
- "KGF becomes first Kannada film to break into Rs 200 cr clubs; Njan Prakashan declared blockbuster", Firstpost, 9 January 2019, archived from the original on 13 January 2019
- "First film to talk in Kannada" Archived 5 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine article in The Hindu
- K. Moti Gokulsing; Wimal Dissanayake (17 April 2013). Routledge Handbook of Indian Cinemas. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-77284-9.
- Guy, Randor (19 July 2014). "Ratnapuri Ilavarasi (1960)". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 31 July 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
- PTI (12 April 2006). "Rajakumar, king of Kannada cinema". Rediff.com. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
- RAY, BIBEKANANDA (5 April 2017). Conscience of The Race. Publications Division Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. ISBN 9788123026619 – via Google Books.
- C R, Sharanya (14 March 2013). "This one's for Shankar Nag". The Times of India. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
- Anand Chandrashekar (7 November 2009). "Shankar Nag Last Interview - Part 2" – via YouTube.
- Rao, M. K. Bhaskar (14 April 2002). "A natural". Deccan Herald. Archived from the original on 25 April 2002. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
- "Vishnuvardhan helped me to get stardom: Rajinikanth". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 7 January 2010.
- "When 'Rebel Star' rewinds past days in Mysore". Deccan Herald. 20 September 2014.
- "'Mandyada Gandu' gets rousing welcome". The Hindu. 13 April 2013.
- "Documentary on legendary Saroja Devi - Chitramala.com". Archived from the original on 11 July 2011.
- Taniya Talukdar (5 May 2013). "B Saroja Devi in the list of greatest Indian actresses ever". The Times of India.
- "The parallel cinema of Girish Kasaravalli: A look at Kannada industry's stalwart filmmaker", The News Minute, 7 November 2017
- "Kannada's parallel cinema loses its star", The Hindu, 28 March 2019
- Cinema in India, Volume 3. Mangala Chandran. 2003. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
- "If artistes become cowards, they make society a coward: Prakash Raj". The Indian Express. 10 December 2017.
- "Prakash Raj exclusive: Everyone has the right to differ, but this is orchestrated trolling. And you cannot threaten me with continuous abuse - India News , Firstpost". Firstpost.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 March 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Vijay bags National Award for Best Actor". timesofindia. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
- "Sanchari Vijay Actor–Profile and biography". cinetrooth. 21 June 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
- "Vijay elated on winning best actor award". deccanherald. 25 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- Sundaram, Praveen. "Meet the first Kannada actor to win a National Award". Rediff.
- ಪ್ರೇಕ್ಷಕರ ಒತ್ತಾಯದ ಮೇರೆಗೆ ಮತ್ತೆ ಬಂದಿದೆ ಓಂ!, One India, 1 September 2010
- "63rd National Film Awards" (PDF) (Press release). Directorate of Film Festivals. 28 March 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- Box Office Collection: 'PK', 'Mr & Mrs Ramachari' Dominate Bengaluru Collection Centres. Ibtimes.co.in (9 January 2015). Retrieved on 11 November 2016.
- "Birthday gift to Yash: Ramachari to enter cr club soon!". www.sify.com. Archived from the original on 22 August 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
- "'Mr and Mrs Ramachari' Review: Audience Live Response". ibtimes.co.in. 25 December 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- "Rakshit Shetty's Kirik Party dubbed by malayalam movie premam and Telugu remake rights sold; talks on for other language rights". International Business Times. 28 March 2017. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
- "The budget of 'Kirik Party' would be around ₹4crore". The Hindu.
- "Kirik Party completes 150 days: Rakshit Shetty, Rashmika Mandanna celebrate with fans". India Today.
- "Raveena Tandon, Sanjay Dutt Respond To 'Overwhelming' Response To KGF 2 Teaser". India.com. 11 January 2021. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
- "KGF 2 Teaser Sets Big YouTube Record: Yash Starrer Gets Over 130 Million Views And 6.6 Likes". India.com. 11 January 2021. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
- "Hamsalekha 60". Chitraloka. 23 June 2011.
- "Dr. Hamsalekha now". Indiaglitz. 14 May 2014.
- "'Mungaru Male' still tops the charts". The Hindu. 17 May 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
- "'Mungaru Male' album a mega hit". Hindustan Times. 18 May 2007. Archived from the original on 10 October 2015. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
- "GFTI". www.filminstitutebangalore.com. Archived from the original on 21 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- "Not Rajinikanth or Amitabh Bachchan, Rajkumar's film was first to be remade in 6 languages in India". newsable.asianetnews.com.
- "Ondu Muttina Kathe is the first Indian movie to be shot under water - Times of India". The Times of India.
- "A day in a director's life -- Giridharilal Nagpal shoots film in 24 hours". 9 March 2016. Archived from the original on 9 March 2016.
- "Shivarajkumar sets a new record!". The Times of India. 9 March 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
- "Did you know 'Shanthi' was the first Kannada movie and second Indian movie to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for featuring only one actor in the film? - Times of India". The Times of India.
- "Did you know? 'Mungaru Male' was the first film to cross Rs 50 crore at the box office as well as run for a year in a multiplex". The Times of India. 27 April 2020. Retrieved 25 March 2021.
- "Bengaluru International Film Festival - BIFFES". Bengaluru International Film Festival.
- "'K.G.F.: Chapter 1' To 'Avane Srinamnarayana': Top 5 Highest-Grossing Films In The History Sandalwood". The Times of India. 21 July 2020. Retrieved 25 December 2020.
- "Roberrt Collection: 8 ದಿನಗಳಲ್ಲಿ 78 ಕೋಟಿ ಗಳಿಸಿದ ರಾಬರ್ಟ್ ಸಿನಿಮಾ..!" [Roberrt Collection: Robert Cinema earns 78 crores in 8 days]. News18 (in Kannada). 19 March 2021. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
- "This man is the highly paid actor in Kannada film industry". Asianet. 12 June 2018. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 6 April 2021.
- "Mungaru Male Mints 70 crore at box office".
- "Will Shiva Rajkumar's 'The Villain' reach the magic Rs 100 crore mark?". The News Minute. 26 October 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
- "Top 8 highest-grossing Kannada movies of all time". Times Now. 25 March 2021. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
- "Yajamana grosses Rs 50 crore, becomes Darshan's first movie to cross the mark". Asianet News Network Pvt Ltd.
- Upadhyaya, Prakash (28 March 2017). "Rakshit Shetty's Kirik Party Telugu remake rights sold; talks on for other language rights". www.ibtimes.co.in.
- "Content over star power: Story of south cinema in first half of 2015". Hindustan Times. 1 July 2015.
- Upadhyaya, Prakash (29 March 2017). "Raajakumara box office collection: Puneeth Rajkumar's film cashing in on Ugadi holiday". www.ibtimes.co.in.
- A Sharadhaa (17 August 2015). "Sandalwood hits Rangitaranga and Uppi 2 Run to Full House in USA". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
- "Sangolli Rayanna set to complete 100 days". The Times of India. 16 January 2017. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
- Media related to Kannada cinema at Wikimedia Commons