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Just as Hollywood is related to American Cinema and Bollywood to Hindi cinema, Sandalwood is the name given in relation to Kannada cinema. Gandhinagar in Bengaluru is the seat of Kannada cinema. Today more than a hundred films are made in Kannada, a few Tulu, Konkani, Kodava and Banjara films have also been made till now. There are about 650 cinema halls in Karnataka but one of the limitations of Kannada cinema is that it has a very much limited market outside of Karnataka. 


The first talkie in Kannada, Sati Sulochana was released in 1934; just three years after the first Hindi or Tamil talkie release in India. In the same year another Kannada talkie was released by name- Bhaktha Dhruva, both the productions were grand successes. The bane for the first movie makers in Kannada was that there were no facilities available in Karnataka to make movies indigenously. Both of the first movies in Kannada were shot, filmed, sound-recorded and post- produced outside Karnataka, there was a general lacking of studio facilities and technical crew members were not readily available in Karnataka.


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During the decades of 1940 and 1950, Kannada cinema saw the emergence of some talented and eminent faces such as producer and actor Honnappa Bhagavatar, producer Gubbi Veeranna and actor, director, lyricist and screenplay wright K.R.Sitaram Shastry (popularly known as Ku Ra Si). The talk of Kannada cinema would never be complete without making the reference of

Dr. Rajkumar, whose original name was Muthuraj. A popular theater artist and a talented singer, he made his debut as an actor in the lead role for HLN Simha’s mythological and devotional film Bedara Kannappa. The film was a grand success and became the first Kannada film to complete 100 days, it also received a letter of appreciation from the Government of India. Dr. Rajkumar has acted in more than 200 films in Kannada. The film also marked the entry of a talented film director G.V.Iyer. During the later part of 1960s Kannada had its first film studio in Bangalore, noted supporting actor Balakrishna managed to start a film studio in Bangalore by name Abhiman Studio. It is during this period; Puttanna Kanagal emerged as the most talented director that Kannada film industry has ever produced.


The period between 1970s and 1980s can be considered as a golden era in the history of Kannada cinema. Along with the popular cinema, another form of cinema; the parallel or alternate or artistic cinema also grew side by side and at this time challenged the art cinemas made in Hindi, Bengali, Tamil and Malayalam. Films such as Chomana Dudi, Kaadu, Ghatashraddha, Vamshavruksha and Tabarana Kathe are some of the noted parallel cinemas.


Vishnuvardhan, Ambareesh, Prabhakar and Ravichandran are the famed heroes of yester years, and Bharathi, Sumalatha, Jayamala, Manjula, Kalpana, B.Sarojadevi, Jayanthi are their female counter parts. Recent commercial successes include Jackie, Hudugaru and Paramathma with Puneeth Rajkumar in the leading role, Sarathi with Darshan as the lead actor and Super with Upendra as an actor in a leading role. Off late there has been a blame of deterioration in the quality of Kannada cinema, unless some rapid and effective measures to elevate the standards of Kannada cinema is not taken it may lose its ground in Karnataka.Contact for translating medical documents into Kannada


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