The Kannada Film Industry deals with movies in the Kannada language and related topics.
While not as popular or well known as Bollywood and Kollywood, Kannada films occupy an in important position in the history of Indian Cinema. Movies like Bedara Kannapa, Ranadhira Kantiveera, Dabangg 2 ashraddha, Akramana and many others have been landmark films. While the industry is smaller in scale compared to the other industries, 'Sandalwood' as it is fondly called has always encouraged ambitious cinema.It may be a horror flick like the recently released Aaptharakshaka or a more subtle approach like the national award winning film Dweepa.
The most popular actor in Kannada films has been Dr. Raj Kumar or Dr Raj. He has acted in over 200 movies and is a recipient of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. He is considered an icon and his work stands testimony to the fond memories he has left behind in the hearts of the people who adore him.
Other actors/actresses/directors/producers in Kannada films include doyens like B.R. Pantulu, G.V. Iyer, Gubbi Veeranna, Balakrishna, and Puttanna Kanagal and over the last few decades Vishnuvardhan, Ambarish, Aarathi, Bharathi, Manjula, Ravichandran, Anant Nag, Girish Karnad, M.P. Shankar, Vajramuni, Shivrajkumar, Upendra, and Narasimharaju. The younger lot like Sudheep, Ganesh, Vijay and Puneeth Rajkumar are all also currently riding a good wave of success with quite a few hits to their names.
Music directors who have made their mark in Kannada films include M. Ranga Rao, G. K. Venkatesh, the duo Rajan & Nagendra, Sathyam, C. Ashwath, Hamsalekha, and T.G. Lingappa. Lyrics of Kannada film music have been penned by Chi. Udayashankar, R.N. Jayagopal, Hamsalekha, and Doddarange Gowda among others. Playback singers in Kannada films have mostly been from outside the state like Dr. P.B. Sreenivos, SP Balasubramanyam, S. Janaki and P. Susheela. Recently, local artists like B.R. Chaya, Rajesh and Manjula Gururaj have also made their mark while Udit Narayan, Chitra and Shankar Mahadevan have also started singing in Kannada films.