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Philatelic show to mark 78th anniversary of ‘Sati Sulochana'

Muralidhara Khajane
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Over 1,000 stamps representing important personalities will be on display

A still from Sati Sulochana
A still from Sati Sulochana

March 3 is an important day in the 78-year-old history of Kannada films. Sati Sulochana , the first Kannada talkie film, was released on that day at Paramount Cinema (now Parimala) near City Market.

Sati Sulochana released in 1934 was also the first film to be screened in the erstwhile Mysore Kingdom.

To mark the 78th anniversary of the film, Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy has organised an exhibition on “World Stamps on Cinema” on March 3. Over 1,000 stamps representing important personalities and events in world cinema will be displayed on the occasion.

Philatelist Jagannath Prakash with the help of M.R. Prabhakar is presenting this philatelic picture of celluloid media.

Mr. Prakash described the event as a “philatelic journey into the history of world cinema.”

Speaking to The Hindu , Mr. Prakash said that the exhibition would have hundreds of stamps representing stalwarts of world cinema including Charlie Chaplin, Marlin Manro, Frederiko Rossi, Steve Golin, French actor Raimu, Lino Ventura, Lumiere Brothers, Alfred Hitchcock and others.

In the Indian scene, film enthusiasts can have a glimpse of Dada Saheb Phalke, Prithvi Raj Kapoor, V. Shantharam, K.L. Saigal, Nargis, Raj Kapoor, M.G. Ramachandran, N.T. Rama Rao, S.S. Vasan, Shivaji Ganesan, Jemini Ganesan, S.D. Burman and others. “It is sad that we have only one stamp representing Kannada film industry. Obviously the credit goes to Dada Saheb Phalke award recipient actor Dr. Rajkumar,” he says.

Surprisingly, the first-ever Kannada talkie Sati Sulochana itself has not made it to the philately fraternity, despite its historic importance.

The film was made by Shah Chamanlal Doongaji, who started South India Movietone in 1932. He had asked Yaragudipati Varada Rao to direct the film. He also engaged the services of Bellave Narahari Shastri to write the screenplay, dialogue and lyrics. Stalwarts from the professional theatre, including Nagendra Rao, Lakshmi Bai and Tripuramba, were selected for important roles.

Sachin Nayaka shot the film in Chatrapathi Studio in Kolhapur. The production of the 16,000 ft. long film commenced in December 1933 and was completed in March. Shooting was done under sunlight and Rs. 40,000 was spent. The war scene in the film was shot by using two cameras.

The film was a great success and ran houseful for six weeks in Bangalore and equally well in other places in the then Mysore State. As the first Kannada talking picture, it had generated enormous public interest. Hundreds of families not only from the city but also from small towns and villages near Bangalore came in bullock carts to watch it. The two-day exhibition will be on till March 4 at Badami House at Corporation Circle.

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