By S.N. Venkatnag Sobers
Namma Mysuru, with a vast cultural diversity, has been contributing to Kannada Film Industry since decades. Many actors, directors and technicians from our city have scaled great heights and are rated among the best in the country. Mysuru is also home for many young talented artistes, who have been making a mark for themselves in the industry. This Weekend Star Supplement introduces the rising stars from the cultural capital of Karnataka.
The Kannada Film Industry or Sandalwood is also referred to as Chandanavana. In 1934, the first Kannada talkie, Sati Sulochana, appeared in theatres followed by Bhakta Dhruva. Karnataka has been home for many directors and actors who have made a mark for themselves in Indian Cinema.
Mysuru, the heritage city, which is also known for its cultural diversity, has to its credit some of the prominent personalities who are considered to be among the greatest. Be it Kanagal Prabhakar Shastry, Puttanna Kanagal, K.S. Ashwath, K.M. Rathnakar, Mysore Lokesh, Vishnuvardhan, Ambarish, Mandya Ramesh, Yash and Dhananjaya — they have all created a fan-base for themselves.
In the past couple of years, young actors, directors, musicians from Mysuru have been making a name for themselves.
Anup Bhandari, who came with a bang with his directorial debut Rangitharanga has been working on his next venture Rajaratha, a bi-lingual movie (Kannada and Telugu) starring his younger brother Nirup Bhandari and Avantika Shetty in the lead role. This pair was a hit in Rangitharanga. Anup’s popularity is such that he would be soon seen directing ‘Power Star’ Puneeth Rajkumar.
Apart from these, there are also other rising stars such as Akshatha Pandavapura, who was recently adjudged as the Best Supporting Actress for her role in the movie ‘Pallata’ directed by our city’s own S.P. Raghu. Playback singer Sangeetha Ravindranath was also in the news for winning the Best Female Playback Singer Award this year.
Another talented actor Poornachandra, who hails from Mysuru, has been making slow but steady inroads into the industry. The other talented artistes, who have been making sound in the industry include singers Udith Haritas, Ananya Bhat and Sudhir (Rangavalli). In fact, Sudhir was seen in the recently released Chakravarthy.
Meet city’s young artistes, who have been working towards bringing out the best in them to entertain the mass.
S.P. Raghu of Mysuru worked as one of the top executives for an India-based Pharmaceutical MNC in Congo before deciding to pursue his passion of directing movies. A native of Sanenahalli in Tiptur Taluk, Tumakaru District, Raghu completed his schooling and college at Arasikere and Tiptur. Later, after completing his M.Com from KSOU, he joined a logistics company before moving to the pharmaceutical industry. There he was posted to Congo and was in-charge of looking after the company’s affairs at four different nations.
Raghu’s passion for movie-making motivated him to write the story for the movie ‘Pallata’ during his free time in Congo. Once the screenplay was ready, he resigned his job and settled in Mysuru.
‘Pallata,’ his directorial debut movie, received critical acclaim and was screened at Delhi International Film Festival and Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFes). The movie was also adjudged as the second best film in Kannada category at BIFFes. Akshatha Pandavapura too receiving the Best Supporting Actress award for the same movie at the State Film Awards this year is another feather in Pallata’s cap.
“To have hands-on experience about direction, I directed a play for an NGO in city which was well-received. Later, I started scouting for actors and technicians and Mysuru being a place rich in talents I was able to get what I needed and the film ‘Pallata’ was shot successfully,” said Raghu.
The specialty of ‘Pallata’ is that the entire movie was shot at Raghu’s native in Sanenahalli. The crew of the movie was welcomed with open arms by the villagers who took good care of them during their stay. The movie, which received critical acclaims, also attracted many audience at the film festivals which prompted the Department of Information and Public Relations to screen the same during ‘Belli Maatu – Belli Cinema’ event that was organised to take Indie movies to the audience. Now, Raghu is ready with another script in which women play the protagonist.