50 years of Dwarakish Chitra

We don’t make movies to make money. We make money to make more movies,” Walt Disney once said. It’s a line that has stood the test of time.

In the film industry, success comes with a price. Taking unwarranted risks is a hallmark of a great production house.

If there is an AVM Studios (Tamil), Raaj Kamal Films International (Tamil) and a Geetha Arts (Telugu) in South Indian cinema today, it’s because of the unconditional love for films from those who built them. It was definitely a lot of hardwork but with their passions intact, they made sure that they made a name for themselves.

In Karnataka, Dwarakish Chitra is a banner with a similar reputation. With the Friday release of P Vasu’s ‘Ayushmanbhava’, Dwarakish has a bigger reason to celebrate his production house’s 50th year in the Kannada industry.

Dwarakish, the actor, director and producer, is an iconic figure in Sandalwood. Since the 1969 Rajkumar-starrer ‘Mayor Muthanna’, his debut as a producer, his spirit has never taken a beating, which led him to make another 51 films.

Working with big stars wasn’t the only striking feature of the banner. Dwarakish pushed the limit by shooting in foreign countries.

In its prime, Dwarakish Chitra roped in first-rate technicians. Box office success was a common phenomenon but inevitably, the law of averages caught up with the company.

The banner began making mistakes, which meant that Dwarakish Chitra was on the brink of shutting down.

However, Vasu’s ‘Apthamitra’ (2011), the Kannada remake of the Malayalam classic ‘Manichitrathazhu’ (1993), resurrected the production house.

“It’s a film that gave back everything to me,” the veteran has often said.

With six films since ‘Apthamitra’, Dwarakish Chitra has written a fresh narrative to its journey.

So how has the production house stayed relevant when the world of cinema changes fast?

Trusting talented newcomers has paid dividends to Dwarakish and his son Yogish. The blockbusters ‘Vishnuvardhana’ (2011) and ‘Chowka’ (2017) were made by first-time directors Pon Kumaran and Tharun Sudhir, respectively. Even ‘Aatagara’ (2015) was from the three-film old KM Chaitanya.

Giving utmost importance to the script has been another key to success.

‘Aatagara’, based on Agatha Christie’s classic novel ‘And Then There Were None’, was well executed by Chaitanya.

‘Chowka’, which focussed on four stories, was an engaging flick. The film had meaningful stories that outshone many mindless affairs.

Even in a remake, like in the case of the successful ‘Amma I Love You’ (2018), the production house showed that it understood the pulse of the audience.

Apart from the underwhelming ‘Charulatha’ (2012), Dwarakish Chitra has succeeded in drawing all types of audience by supporting films that perfectly followed old-school rules of commercial entertainers.

Staying true to its nature, the banner didn’t compromise on stage designs and songs.

Around 25 top technicians worked for ‘Chowka’ while ‘Aatagara’ had a gigantic cast.

Irrespective of the fate of ‘Ayushmanbhava’, Dwarakish, called ‘Karnatakada Kulla’, is still standing tall in Kannada cinema.

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