Changing scenario of Kannada cinema

The Kannada film industry has seen the marked rise of a new generation of young directors who have come out with creative themes and low budget productions that has profoundly affected Sandalwood in many ways

Published: 20th April 2013 11:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th April 2013 01:32 PM   |  A+A-

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A group of Kannada directors have jumped into new genres of film-making and are coming out with new flicks that have set the box office on fire. In fact, the recent trend in Sandalwood has been attracting the audiences back to the multiplexes and single screen theatres. In recent times, the Kannada film industry has seen the marked rise of a new generation of young directors who have come out with creative themes and low budget productions that has profoundly affected Sandalwood in many ways. With the floodgates opened for these new directors to experiment with different genres, films are not only earning critical acclaim but are also doing well at the box office.

While most of the directors in the industry have taken up original stories, the new lot are emphasising on realism as they are confident of turning them into successful ventures. In fact, such subjects have never been touched before. Among the directors who have made the movie going experience  better and refreshing are : Yograj Bhat, Soori, Shashank, Nagashekar, Guruprasad, R Chandru  Upendra and Sumana Kittur.  There are other directors like Vijay Prasad and Sunil Kumar who have developed a body of work and made a grand entry with a good debut flicks like Sidlingu and Simple Aagi Ondhu Love Story respectively.

Wholesome entertainment: Presently, among the most bankable directors who has proved time and again, is director Yograj Bhat. Long ago, he made a smashing film Mungaru Male and still continues to rule the roost with movies like Gaalipata, Pancharangi, Manasaare and the recent Drama.  His productions are often based on ‘love and life’ as he manages to provide wholesome entertainment with minimal budget.

We have Soori, a highly acclaimed director who does films that have substance as well as style. His debut Duniya got him lot of accolades and he emerged as a director to watch out for.  On the other hand, director Nagashekar dares to tackle subjects and ideas with a splendid visual treat that encompasses unknown, beautiful locales. He is a director who can connect with his audience and therefore, his films like Sanju Weds Geetha and Mynaa have been big hits and largely liked by all.

Another director who has turned heads recently is R Chandru with his films Taj Mahal, Prem Kahani and Mylari.  But it was Charminar, the first superhit film of 2013  that elevated and zoomed his career.

Says director, Sunil Kumar, “People are actually rejecting star value and looking for new line of subjects and are more than happy to see newcomers. We recently had new themes in films like Mynaa, Charminar and in my own film, Simple Aagi Ondhu Love Story.  Audiences are also accepting different kind of filmmaking. Even some minor mistakes committed by us have been forgotten if the cinegoers find it a good and watchable film.”

A different narrative: Listing out his favourite directors, Sunil said, “I like Upendra’s direction that usually comes out with a different narrative. Nobody can imitate his uniqueness. Director Guruprasad is good with his thematic dialogues while Yograj Bhat scores with his tight screenplays and dialogues. The speciality about him is that he takes on a small subject and gives us a full two-hour good entertainment. Though Vijay Prasad has just added Siddlingu to his kitty, he has come a long way after doing a good number of TV serials. His dialogues and film making technique is superb,” Sunil emphasises.

Although female directors are a rarity in Kannada industry, director Sumana Kittur, for a change, tops in the popularity charts. Off late, Sandalwood is witnessing some of the best filmmakers and film productions. “In the recent years, many different directors are getting a good platform. If you realise, the obsession with stars has slowly come down. Today, a film like Edegarike was seen by the entire family while Simple... attracted the youth. At this stage, we have a combination of directors which is a good sign for Sandalwood,” she says.

Coming out with her preferences, Sumana adds, “Nagashekar’s films have substance without any vulgarity. AMR Ramesh and I are mostly into subjects based on real life incidents for which we usually take time to research even before we start any production work. Then we have Chandru who specialises in bringing out the human elements and the myriad relationships. Of course, Soori is known to be a sensible director,” she smiles. However, Sumana feels that though the industry has sensible directors but there are no good producers to back the industry. “I hope even this sees a paradigm change soon,” she opined.

“There was a time when only a set formula type of film-making was accepted in the film industry which is not the case now,” said Vijay Prasad who took up serial production before coming into mainstream cinema. “Since Gandhinagar producers were not accepting new subjects, the directors were sticking to the old formula. That’s when the technicians took risk of making their own investments and ultimately that gave rise to new actors and fresh subjects followed by new trends. This not only helped in breaking the monotony but even the new directors slowly stopped banking on established heroes. The interest level and independent thinking grew among the new set of directors to do new kind of films with low budget. To top it, directors and audience are getting closer everyday through social media which has been helping the industry to a major extent.”

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