The Kannada film industry did well this year with offbeat films finding favour with the audience. The author does a flashback

Poet, lyricist and director Gulzar recently observed that, one can dub a particular film industry successful, if 10 per cent of the total films released in a year succeed at box office. Going by that evaluation, 2013 has been a successful year for the Kannada film industry. Of the 120 plus films released this year, more that 15 films made good their investment. Films in every genre from horror to love stories succeeded in attracting the audience. The annual turnover of the film industry is pegged at Rs. 300 plus crore.

Audience, who had been avoiding theatres, thanks to poor quality of films returned in droves. Directors who had been banished to obscurity came into their own. Newbies such as Viji, Santosh, Suni, Phaneesh Vikas, Nanda Kishore Giriraj, Ashok, Pawan Kumar, Jayatheertha, Pawan Wadiyar and others also proved their mettle.

Santosh’s Gombegala Love, which is said to have been made on a shoestring budget of Rs.75 lakh, won accolades across the board. Ditto for Suni’s Simpallag Ond Love Story. The film leveraged the might of social networking sites to create a buzz. The dialogues clicked with the young audience. Pawan Kumar’s dreamlike Lucia set new standards for the industry as an experiment (not experimental mind you) in terms of making and as a business venture. Before its commercial release, Lucia received the audience award at the London Indian Film Festival. Giriraj’s Jatta questioned society, culture and tradition in a different way and addressed the stereotypes and hypocrisies in culture and society. Venkatachala’s Chitramandiradalli was appreciated by every section of society because of its treatment. The Blair Witch Project inspired 6-5=2 succeeded at the box office. Viji’s Dyavare appealed, thanks to its treatment of the subject of imprisonment. After last year’s Olave Mandara, Jayateertha found success again with Tony, which followed three simultaneous story lines showing the results of greed and the importance of contentment in one’s life. Auteurs Girish Kasaravalli (Koormavatara) and P. Sheshadri (Bharat Stores) did not disappoint. The film industry seemed to favour originality as the number of remakes came down considerably.

Centurions

Nagashekar’s Myna, Lucia, M.D. Sridhar’s Bul Bul, and Pawan Wadiyar’s Googly ran for 100 days. Simpallag Ond Love Story and Nanda Kishore’s Victory completed 75 days. Guru Deshpande’s Raja Huli, Vikas’ Jayammana Maga and R. Chandru’s Charminar ran for 50 days and returned producer’s investment. Films that celebrate crime, such as Khatarnak, Bluemoon, Satyananda, Ashirwada, Silk Sakkat Hot Maga have also hit the screen. Guru Prasad’s Director’s Special, A.M.R. Ramesh’s Attahasa, Chaitanya’s Parari and Abhaya Simha’s Sakkere did not make the expected impact.

On the actor front, Darshan and Yash retained their positions while Shivaraj Kumar bounced back with the success of Bhajarangi. Radhika Pandit made a mark while Ravishankar was identified as the best supporting actor. Neenasam Sathish and Dhananjaya emerged as promising faces. Ganesh, Vijay, Prajwal did not get expected success. Ramya has moved into politics and is now MP from Mandya. Cinematographer Satya Hegde continues to produces exquisite frames comparable with the best of the best.

As far as scoring music goes, Arjun Janya has left Harikrishna behind. He had audience hum along to ‘Modala Maleyante’, ‘Karagida Baninalli’, ‘Nille Cauvery’, ‘Darling Darling’ and ‘Yeno Yeno Agide’, among others.