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Venkatappa Somashekhar (27 July 1937 – 22 August 2003) was an Indian film director, producer and screenwriter in Kannada and Malayalam cinema. In 40 years of his career as a director, he directed 49 films, including commercial successes such as Premada Kanike (1976), Shankar Guru (1978), Seetharamu (1979) and Chakravyuha (1983).[1] Widely known for action-oriented movies, he was much sought as a hit-machine.[2]

V. Somashekhar
Native name
ವೆಂಕಟಪ್ಪ ಸೋಮಶೇಖರ್
Venkatappa Somashekhar

(1937-07-27)27 July 1937
Died22 August 2003(2003-08-22) (aged 66)
Bangalore, India
Cause of deathKidney failure
ResidenceJalahalli, Bangalore, India
Other namesV. Somasekharan
OccupationFilm director, producer, screenwriter
AwardsPuttanna Kanagal Award (2001)

Following his directorial career, he worked as the President of Kannada Film Directors Association. Recognizing his contribution to Kannada cinema, he was awarded the Puttanna Kanagal Award in 2001.[3]



In 1955, in Madras (now Chennai), at the age of 18, Somashekhar entered cinema hoping to become an actor and started as a clapperboard operator. He then appeared in uncredited film roles before working as a dubbing artist. Following this, he worked as an assistant director to popular film directors at the time, R. Nagendra Rao, N. G. Rajan, Y. R. Swamy, Ramamurthy and Babu Rao.

Somashekhar started out as an independent director with the 1974 film Bangaarada Panjara starring Rajkumar in the lead role. The film was a commercial success. Collaborating with Rajkumar, he followed this up with other hit films such as Premada Kanike (1976), Shankar Guru (1978), Thayige Thakka Maga (1978) and Parashuram (1989).

He was instrumental in building the career of Shankar Nag as an action hero, directing him in films such as Seetharamu (1979), Aarada Gaaya (1980) and Devara Aata (1981).

He directed Ambarish in the 1983 film Chakravyuha for Eshwari Productions, after their previous venture Ajith ran well. Chakravyuha, a commercial success, was remade in Hindi as Inquilaab, and revived the latter's career following a series of failures. Ambarish went on to do a string of movies with Somashekhar, namely Gajendra, Chaduranga, Deverelliddaane, Mrugaalaya, Bete, Mr Raja and Bedi, each having a tone of a rebel hero fighting against the corrupt, earning the sobriquet "Rebel Star."[4]

With Vishnuvardhan, he worked in the film Kalinga (1980) and Chanakya (1984). Other popular films directed by him include Point Parimala (1980), Ranaranga (1988) and S. P. Bhargavi (1981).[1] In the late 80s, he collaborated with director Vijay and writer CV Shivashankr and made a string of successful movies.

Final years and deathEdit

Following his film career as a director after retiring in 1992, Somashekhar associated himself with the Kannada Film Directors Association, serving as its President and as a working committee member of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce.[1]

Recognizing his contribution to Kannada cinema, he was awarded the Puttanna Kanagal Award in 2001, for 1999–2000.

He took to agriculture in the following years and also suffered from renal disorder during this time. He died on August 22, 2003, at a hospital in St. John's Medical College, Bangalore.[4]


Year Film Language Credited as Notes
Director Producer Screenwriter
1974 Bangaarada Panjara Kannada Yes Yes
1976 Premada Kanike Kannada Yes Won, Karnataka State Film Award for Third Best Film
1978 Shankar Guru Kannada Yes
1978 Thayige Thakka Maga Kannada Yes
1979 Seetharamu Kannada Yes
1979 Vijay Vikram Kannada Yes
1980 Point Parimala Kannada Yes
1980 Kaalinga Kannada Yes
1980 Rama Parashurama Kannada Yes
1980 Aarada Gaaya Kannada Yes Yes
1981 Havina Hede Kannada Yes
1981 Devara Aata Kannada Yes Yes
1982 Andada Aramane Kannada Yes
1982 Mareyalagada Kathe Kannada Yes
1982 Ajith Kannada Yes
1983 Chandi Chamundi Kannada Yes
1983 Chakravyuha Kannada Yes
1984 Gajendra Kannada Yes Yes
1984 Premigala Saval Kannada Yes
1984 Chanakya Kannada Yes
1985 Njangal Jayikkum Njangal Bharikum Malayalam Yes
1985 Chaduranga Kannada Yes
1985 Devarelliddane Kannada Yes Yes also wrote story
1986 Mrugaalaya Kannada Yes Yes
1986 Ee Jeeva Ninagagi Kannada Yes
1986 Aparadhi Nanalla Kannada Yes
1986 Bete Kannada Yes Yes Yes
1986 Vishwaroopa Kannada Yes
1987 Mister Raja Kannada Yes Yes
1987 Bedi Kannada Yes Yes Yes
1987 Verukal Thedi Malayalam Yes
1988 Kirathaka Kannada Yes
1988 Vijaya Khadga Kannada Yes
1988 Ranaranga Kannada Yes Yes
1989 Gandandre Gandu Kannada Yes
1989 Onti Salaga Kannada Yes Yes
1989 Parashuram Kannada Yes Yes
1990 Ranabheri Kannada Yes Yes
1990 Prathap Kannada Yes Yes Yes also wrote story
1991 Varagala Bete Kannada Yes also wrote story
1991 S. P. Bhargavi Kannada Yes Yes Yes also wrote story
1992 Chuvanna Kaipathi Malayalam Yes
1992 Chitralekha Kannada Yes Yes Yes also wrote story
1993 Sarkarakke Saval Kannada Yes
1993 Kempaiah IPS Kannada Yes Yes also wrote story
1997 Gandede Bhaira Kannada Yes


  1. ^ a b c "V Somashekar Dead". 23 August 2003. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Shivaraj, Tara, Anu bag State film awards". The Hindu. 17 December 2001. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Somashekar passes away". The Hindu. 23 August 2003. Retrieved 18 November 2014.

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