Launched: Chitrapatha, online archive for Kannada films

Launched: Chitrapatha, online archive for Kannada films

The portal tells fascinating behind-the-scenes stories with rare pictures

Legendary director Puttanna Kanagal with actor Kalpana at a lunch she hosted at the University of Mysore. CREDT: Pragathi Ashwath Narayana

Many scenes featuring Kalpana in Puttanna Kanagal’s films are iconic. But did we know that she hosted a party in honour of the filmmaker at the University of Mysore in the presence of legendary writers and directors from across south India? 

Musuri Krishnamurthy’s dialogue delivery in a squeaky voice leaves us in splits. How many of us know that the comedy stalwart was a singer of classical music before his tryst with acting? 

Cinephiles crave for anecdotes, trivia, and visuals of forgotten stars. Chitrapatha (chitrapatha.com), an online archive of Kannada cinema, is a unique attempt at chronicling the 90-year history of the industry.

A brainchild of experienced journalist Shashidhar Chitradurga, Chitrapatha takes pride in a collection of pictures from veteran still photographers Pragathi Ashwath Narayan and Bhavani Lakshminarayana. “I always wanted to remember our technicians and actors of the bygone era,” says Shashidhar. 

“People of this generation might not have heard of comedian Gugu, stunt director Shivaiah and art director Nagaraj. Chitrapatha predominantly offers Kannada content while also focusing on important films and personalities from other industries,” he told Showtime. 

Renowned director Girish Kasaravalli is appreciative of Chitrapatha. “We have many film portals that give importance to entertainment and gossip. I am happy there is an online archive for Kannada cinema finally,” he said, after launching the portal earlier this week. 

“As a youngster with filmmaking dreams, I would wait for the year-end summary of Indian cinema in newspapers. The history of Bengali cinema was found in many books but there wasn’t much on Kannada cinema,” he recalled. 

Kasaravalli said portals like Chitrapatha help us understand how cinema impacts society.

National-award winning actor Sanchari Vijay and director Kaviraj were also present at the launch. “This portal will help film institutions across Karnataka,” said Vijay.

“At a time when we are bombarded with sensational news, a portal like this is a pleasing development,” Kaviraj said. 

Apart from the ‘Nostalgia’ and ‘Tribute’ sections, the ‘Cinema Andu Indu’ (Cinema Then and Now) category has opinion pieces from experts on Dr Rajkumar, ‘Mirch Masala’ (1987), ‘Garam Hava’ (1973) and more. Another interesting segment in ‘Chitra Kathe’ which has photo stories on Kuvempu, Puttanna Kanagal, Rajkumar, KS Ashwath and others.

Many established writers have contributed to the portal in the ‘Athithi Akshara’ section. Chitrapatha is updated as and when new material is available.