Tulu cinema reaches a milestone

November 13, 2018 11:28 pm | Updated 11:28 pm IST - MANGALURU

 A still from the trendsetting 2011 film ‘Oriyardori Asal’.

A still from the trendsetting 2011 film ‘Oriyardori Asal’.

Tulu cinema will reach a milestone with its 100th film set to be released in the coastal belt this Friday.

It took 47 years for the Tulu cinema industry to achieve this feat. Tulu-speaking people are spread over different parts of the country, with a heavy concentration in West Asia, in addition to Tulu’s homeland of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and north Kasaragod in Kerala. According to the 2011 Census, 18.46 lakh people spoke Tulu.

When ‘Karne’ will be released as the 100th film, the industry will have witnessed the release of 50 movies in five years. ‘Brahmashree Narayana Guruswamy’ released on May 2, 2014, was the 50th Tulu film.

The first Tulu film —‘Enna Tangadi’, produced and directed by S.R. Rajan — was released in Jyothi theatre in Mangaluru on February 19, 1971. ‘Karne’ has been produced by Rakshith S. Kotian and Rakshith H. Salian, and is directed by Sakshath Malpe.

The Tulu cinema industry came to life after the success of ‘Oriyardori Asal’, released on May 27, 2011. It created a record by becoming the first Tulu movie to be screened for 175 days.It was based on the story of a popular Tulu drama of the same name by theatre artiste Vijaya Kumar Kodialbail. Directed by H.S. Rajashekar and produced by Roopa Vijay Kumar, it emerged as a trendsetter. Until then, Tulu cinema revolved around only serious subjects and for a long time, only one or two films got released each year.

Four films hit the screens in 2012. Though the industry could produce only one movie in 2013, it picked up momentum again in 2014 with seven more.

Tamma Lakshmana, art director, told The Hindu that it took this long to reach a century because producers failed to focus on the nuances of marketing. When films did not make profit, producers did not come forward. “Emulating the comedy trend after the success of ‘Oriyardori Asal’ is not good for the growth of the industry as it is reaching saturation point. We need quality content,” he said.

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