A time to celebrate Kannada cinema

Cinema-lovers were in for a treat at an exhibition which was organised to mark 80 years of Kannada cinema.As many as 150 films stills from 140 Kannada movies and 5,000 postal stamps were on display. On the final day of the exhibition, a special first-day cover was released by the postal department. The event, organised by the Karnataka Chalanachithra Academy (KCA), was held at Rangoli Metro Art Centre at the MG Road Metro Station.

Actress Jayamala, who was present for the release said, “The collection is wonderful. But it would have been better had there been more stamps of those from the Kannada film industry. Only those of actor Rajkumar and Vishnuvardhan are here. There are so many who have contributed to the industry and it has reached where it is only because of them. That’s why it’s sad that so many veterans have not been recognised.”

She further said, “When it comes to Indian cinema, a number of Hindi actors have been recognised. But it’s important to remember that artistes from other languages have also made an equal contribution. There should have been a better representation.”

Actor Srinagar Kitty, who was also present, had a similar grouse. “I’m glad that I am part of this celebration, especially since Sathi Sulochana, the first Kannada talkie, was released on this day (March 3). But like many other have pointed out, I too feel that many veterans have not been given due credit. While those from other languages have been recognised better, why should the Kannada stars not be?” he questioned.

The exhibition included photographs right from the 1934 films upto the recent ones. Pointing out that they are digitising old photographs, KR Niranjan, director of information department, said, “We are trying to do all that we can so that the public gets an idea about the collection we have. The Kannada film industry has a lot to display and be proud of.”

Veena Srinivas, postmaster general (Business Development and Marketing), explained that a lot can be learnt from Kannada cinema. “Films provide much more than entertainment. There is a lot that one can learn from the two-hour films. It is a very effective method of conveying a message,” she said.

At the same time, she was urged by HD Gangaraju, president of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, to see that more stamps with Kannada stars are released. Explaining that there was a time crunch in putting together the event, producer S Shivaram, said, “This is just the beginning of the celebrations. Talks are on to celebrate it further in the month of June. But we’re really happy with the response we have received so far.” 

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