2019: The year when Kannada cinema went national

Actor Yash in a still from ‘KGF’   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

It is the age of multilingual releases for Kannada films. The success of Kannada films across states has proved that they are no longer confined within the border of its State.

Kannada films are dubbed in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi and released simultaneously in all the south Indian states and Mumbai. Filmmakers too are eager to have their films screened in other states and believe it gives their film better visibility. They believe audience connects to the storyline and the emotions conveyed in the film.

Yash-starter KGF Chapter 1, ran to full houses not only in Karnataka but also in Chennai, Mumbai and Hyderabad. Shah Rukh Khan starrer, Zero, did little to deter KGF’s successful run.

The film created a buzz on social media with many YouTubers promoting and reviewing the film, not just in India, but also in Pakistan, Australian and Japan.

The grungy film with its retro look and feel, had its share of detractors as well. Whether they loved or hated it, there is no denying the fact that KGF changed the game plan for the Kannada film industry.

The beginning

Yet it would be wrong to say that KGF was the first film with a multilingual release. Satya Harishchandra (1943) produced by Saraswati Cine Films Limited and directed by R Nagedra Rao, was dubbed to Tamil. It is also said to be the first Kannada film that was dubbed in the 1940s.

Fast forward to 2018 and even before KGF hit the screens, techie-turned-film maker Anup Bhandari released Rajaratha in Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. Anup shot Rajaratha simultaneously in three languages.


The success of KGF made film makers dream bigger and multilingual releases soon became a norm. The next in line was producer Naganna’s Kurukshetra, starring Darshan.

2019: The year when Kannada cinema went national

The film chock full of A-listers including ‘D Boss’ Darshan, ‘Crazy Star’ V Ravichandran and Arjun Sarja to name a few, had erected a huge set in Ramoji Studio in Hyderabad.

Kurukshetra, shot in 2D and 3D formats, had a multilingual release and a good run in theatres.

Effects of piracy

When we speak of stars, we cannot ignore Kiccha Sudeep’s Pailwan. The film was marketed aggressively by the actor who shared the screen with the Hindi film actor Suniel Shetty who made his debut in Kannada films with Pailwan. This film too saw a release in five Indian languages and ran houseful for the first few days till piracy played spoilsport.

2019: The year when Kannada cinema went national

On a roll

Filmmakers today refuse to sit on past laurels and are on a mission to break every past record. So we have Rakshit Shetty’s Avane Srimannarayana (ASN), which has been in the making for a little over a year and a half and is set for a release next week.

2019: The year when Kannada cinema went national

Going by Rakshit's professional record with films such as Ulidavari Khandante and Kirik Party, one can sure that there will be something different this time too be it the content or his marketing strategy.

Rakshit has upped his game with ASN. He has announced that his film will be released in every Indian language and each will have a different release date and title.

Rakshit fans have loved the teaser of the film and have already termed the film as a hit. Yet only time will tell if ASN will break the record set by its predecessors.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 2:13:21 AM |

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