Cinema of Karnataka
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The cinema of Karnataka, sometimes colloquially referred to as Sandalwood and as Chandanavana in Kannada, is a part of Indian cinema, where motion pictures are produced in the Indian state of Karnataka, and based in Bangalore. Today more than 100 films are made every year. With a total of 650 cinema theatres in Karnataka, a handful of the movies are released in the USA, Australia, Germany, UK and other countries.
Early history 
Both Sati Sulochana and Bhakta Dhruva were major successes. Sati Sulochana was shot in Kolhapur at the Chatrapathi studio; most filming, sound recording, and post-production was done in Chennai. It was difficult, as well, to find financial backing for new film projects in the region; thus, very few movies in Kannada were released during the early years of Indian sound cinema.
Gubbi Veeranna could be considered the doyen of Kannada cinema during the mid to late forties. In 1949, Honnappa Bhagavathar who had earlier acted in Gubbi Veeranna's films, produced Bhaktha Kumbara and starred in the lead role along with Pandaribai. In 1955, Honnappa Bhagavathar again produced a Kannada film Mahakavi Kalidasa in which he introduced B. Saroja Devi.
Ku Ra Seetharama Sastry ("Kurasi") was an actor, film director, lyricist, and screen playwright from the mid-forties through the late seventies. Kurasi introduced several artists to Kannada film industry, including Shivaram (Beratha Jeeva) and Shakthi Prasad (Karaga Shakti, father of Kannada,Telugu & Tamil actor/director Arjun).
Narasimharaju and G. V. Iyer decided to form a partnership and produce movies. The partnership lasted for only a couple of movies. Ranadhira Kanteerava was one such successful joint venture. The majority of the films during this decade were either mythological or historical in nature.
The rise of Rajkumar in the early 1950s encouraged the Kannada film industry to make more historical movies. Bedara Kannappa (1954) was the first Kannada movie which completed 100 days and it received a letter of appreciation from the central government.
1970s and 1980s 
The 1970s and the 1980s are often considered to be the Golden Age of Kannada cinema. It was also the period that witnessed the birth of alternate cinema or parallel cinema. Kannada cinema spearheaded the parallel cinema movement in India along with Hindi, Bengali and Malayalam cinemas.
B. V. Karanth's Chomana Dudi (an evocative film on caste distinctions), Girish Karnad's Kaadu and Girish Kasaravalli's Ghatashraddha spearheaded the Kannada parallel cinema. Vamshavruksha, Prema Karanth's Phaniyamma, Kadu Kudure, Hamsageethe, Accident, Akramana, Mooru Dhaarigalu, Tabarana Kathe and Bannadha Vesha and mainly Puttanna Kanagal's Naagarahaavu were some of the important movies of this era. Dr.Vishnuvardhan and Dr.Ambareesh were the two superstars born from the film Naagarahaavu. Dr. Vishnuvardhan became a Super star of South India. He acted in 220 films in total in 5 main languages of the country. Dr.Rajkumar and Dr.Vishnuvardhan are considered the two pillars of Kannada cinema.
Shankar Nag made his own mark with the internationally acclaimed Ondanondu Kaladalli and Malgudi Days, along with several commercial hits. Ambareesh, Tiger Prabhakar, Ananth Nag, Lokesh, Ashok, Srinath, M. P. Shankar, and Sunder Krishna Urs were other actors who made their own mark in the industry. Puttana Kanagal paved the way for the above mentioned actors as well as Ramakrishna, Kokila Mohan, and Chandrashekar. Lakshmi, Padma Vaasanthi, Geetha, Madhavi, Saritha, and Jayamala were some of the actresses who made their mark.
The late 80's saw the emergence of V. Ravichandran and Shivarajkumar as top heroes with good number of family oriented films were made during this period. Rajendra singh babu, D.Rajendra babu, V. Somashekhar,SaiPrakash, M.S Rajshekhar, are some of the top most directors of this era. H. R. Bhargava directed numerous popular Kannada movies during the 1980s and 1990s.
Ravichandran and Hamsalekha successfully created a blend exclusively for youth. Ravichandran brought in actresses from other industries. The same era also marked the beginning of many actresses such as Bhavya, Mahalaxmi, Sudha Rani, Tara, Malashri, Anjali, Vanitha Vasu, Anjana, and Shruthi came to the limelight.
Kannada film industry is the first one to do a 'Bond' type of movie in India. Dr.Rajkumar acted in this sequels and was the first Bond of Indian cinema.Kannada cinema gets its first in Indian cinemas for introducing Item song/Cabary dance.
New millennium 
The Kannada film industry managed to generate several blockbusters in the first decade of the new millennium. It suffered heavy losses with the demise of superstars of Karnataka Rajkumar, Vishnuvardhan (actor), K. S. Ashwath and Vajramuni.
Yajamana by Vishnuvardhan (actor) broke all previous box office records, running to packed houses in many theaters across the country for more than a year.
However, this decade also saw the emergence of talented artists like Darshan Tugudeep (son of actor Toogudeepa Sreenivas), Puneet Rajkumar (Rajkumar's third son), Upendra, Sudeep, Ganesh, Diganth and Vijay.
Puneet Rajkumar is considered to be the most successful box office star of the current generation actors of Kannada cinema.
Ace Director Upendra turned into an actor and acted in many Super hit films like A(1998), Upendra(1999) First Kannada movie to release in Japan, Buddhivantha(2008), Super(2010) and Katari Veera Surasundarangi(2012)First Full length 3D film.
Kannada actress Umashree won a Best Actress National Award for the movie Gulabi Talkies in 2009; the film also screened at Osian's Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema, and won three awards: Best Film in Indian Competition, Best Actress in Indian Competition (Umashree), and Best Actor in Indian Competition (Vinay BM).
Kannada cinema celebrated its 75-year anniversary in 2009. A function was held on the palace grounds in Bangalore on 1 March 2009 under the direction of V. Ravichandran, featuring a set resembling an open-winged bird. It was attended by many stars from Kannada cinema and from other film industries who had a stint in Kannada films.
In 2010, Vishnuvardhan's final film, Aptharakshaka created new box office records.. Upendra's 2010 film titled Supercollected 50 crores and has become second highest grosser in the history of Kannada cinema. darshan's Krantiveera sangolli rayanna is said to be the most expensive Kannada film to date. The record for highest grossing Kannada movie is held by mungaru male by grossing 75 crores
Critical reception 
Film directors from the Kannada film industry like Girish Kasaravalli have garnered international recognition. Other noted directors include Puttanna Kanagal, G. V. Iyer, Girish Karnad, T. S. Nagabharana, Yograj Bhat, Soori, Guruprasad and Upendra Who is in 18th place in top 100 Directors list on 
Kannada cinema, along with Bengali and Malayalam films, contributed simultaneously to the age of Indian parallel cinema. Some of the influential Kannada films are Samskara (based on a novel by U. R. Ananthamurthy), Chomana Dudi by B. V. Karanth, Tabarana Kathe, Vamshavruksha, Kadu Kudure, Hamsageethe, Bhootayyana Maga Ayyu, Accident, Maanasa Sarovara, Ghatashraddha, Tabarana Kathe, Mane, Kraurya, Thaayi Saheba, and Dweepa.
State awards 
- Other awards
Industry crossovers 
- Kannada-Tulu native artists who migrated from Karnataka, and gained notability in other language films.
- Kannada Movie News, Photos and Videos
- Seventy glorious years of Kannada Talkies - www.viggy.com
- Natasarvabhouma Rajkumar Biography
- Kannada Film Songs Collection
- Karunadu Sangeetha Vaibhava - Greatest Kannada Hits
- Kannada Cinema – Frequently Asked Questions and a Brief History of the Kannada Film Industry
- Rajakumar, king of Kannada cinema
- Sandalwood - Kannada Cinema News
- IMDb database of films in the Kannada language
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