March 3 is an important day in the 79-year-old history of the Kannada film industry. Sati Sulochana , directed by Yaragudipathi Varada Rao, was released on that day at Paramount (now Parimala theatre near City Market).
The day will even more special henceforth, with Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy (KCA) deciding to celebrate it as the Kannada Cinema Day from this year. There is a plan to focus on one face of Kannada cinema every year and this year’s theme is music. A function has been organised at Vartha Bhavan on Infantry Road here to mark the occasion.
An exhibition of photographs on Kannada film music will be the major attraction of the event.
Photographs of those who have scored music for Kannada films — from R. Nagendra Rao ( Sati Sulochana ) till Sadhu Kokila and Harikrishna — will be displayed. One can have the glimpse of rare photographs of B.V. Karanth, Vijay Bhaskar, Upendra Kumar and G.K. Venkatesh, besides portraits of noted singers from P. Kalinga Rao to M.D. Pallavi. Pictures of lyricists including Bellave Narahari Shastry, G.V. Iyer, Chi. Sadashivaiah, P. Lankesh, Doddarange Gowda and others will also be displayed.
Kannada Chalanachitra Sangeeta , written by N.S. Sreedharamurthy will be released at the function. Sreedhar Sagar’s troupe will play classic songs in Saxaphone. Veteran actor Jayanthi, noted director Siddalingaiah, veteran music director R. Rathnam and producer K.C.N. Chandrashekar will be felicitated on the occasion.
Sati Sulochana is the first Kannada talkie, released just three years after the first Indian talkie hit the screen. Stalwarts from professional theatre such as R. Nagendra Rao, Lakshmi Bai and Tripuramba were in the main cast.
Shah Chamanlal Doongaji, who launched South India Movietone-film Production Company in 1932 in Bangalore, spent Rs. 40,000 and shot the war sequences by using two cameras. The film succeeded in attracting audience and ran houseful for six weeks in Bangalore and Mysore.
March 3 to be celebrated as Kannada Cinema Day