Adieu to 2002. Perhaps in the recent past Kannada filmdom had not recorded 50 percent of success and glee on the face of the producers was not seen. Like the age- old Kannada adage – ‘Hosa Neeru Bandaga Hale Neeru hindhe Sariyithu’ – the crop of newcomers yielded good results. Among the oldies it is only superstar Vishnuvardhan sailed comfortably in the year with two hits and one flop.
Compared to 2001 there has been increase of five films in 2002. Out of 77 films 22 were remakes in the year 2002. In the mega hit list – Appu, Ninagaagi, Thavarige Baa Thangi, Friends and Dakota Express figure. In above average list we have Dharmadevathe, Majestic, Jamindaarru, Simhadriya Simha, Dhum, Olu Saar Bari Olu. In Moderate hits we have Muthu, Law and order, Sainika, Chandu, Thuntaata, Prem Qaidhi, Make Up, Marma and Super Police. The utter flops of the year are H20, Yekangi, Kodandarama, 1 2 3, Superstar, Naanu Naane, Nagarahaavu, Dheera, Love You and Balarama. The box office progress of the first half has been pretty good. But not the second half - Shivrajkumar’s ‘Thavarige Baa Thangi’ and ‘Olu Saar Bari Olu’ saved the face of the industry. Two yesteryears child artistes Puneet and Vijayaraghavendra – cousins deserve applaud. Puneet’s ‘Appu’ and Vijaya Raghavendra’s ‘Ninagaagi’ both were silver jubilee hits. While Appu is a straight film Ninagaagi by Romoji Rao is a remake. In the youth wing, dashing heroes Sudeep with three films – Chandu, Dhum, Nandi and Thuntaata and Darshan with debut from Majestic, Dhruva, Ninagoskara and Kitty showed promise of long stay in the industry.
It is a sickening year for superstar Upendra. He had appeared in five films and four of them (Naanu Naane, Nagarahavu, H2O and Superstar) are flops. Nearly 20 crore was invested on Upendra and what made Uppi to accept the films left right and center? Released in the fag end of the year ‘Hollywood’ is crawling at the box office for success. Shivrajkumar (one hit), Ramesh, B.C.Patil, Mohan (one hit), Rockline Venkatesh’s (one hit) three films were released of them. It was not a good year for Ravichandran. The much cherished subject of ‘Yekangi’ burnt his bank balance by two crores while ‘Kodandarama’ he accepted on contract also gave a jolt for him. Re-shooting of ‘Yekangi’ could not bring audience to the theatre for his class film.
In the heroines category Radhika and Rakshita the local girls shares the top honors. It was an above average year for Anu. Annayya Thammaya failed miserably. Thavarige baa Thangi and Olu Saar Bari clicked. Sparsha Rekha gave a startling performance in ‘Majestic’ but her Parva was a disastrous. New faces like Ruthika, Deepti, Radhika Verma, Sonia, Navya, Asha Saini, Jyothika, Keerthi Reddy, Gayathri Raghuram, Shireen, Urmila Srivatsav, Laila Patel, Felicity, Priya Karfa, Monica, Rashmi made their debuts in Kannada. In the male category – Alankar, Vinod Prabhakar, Shambu Hegde, Shakthi Kapoor, Nirmal Pandey, Shivamani, Anand, Raghunath made a beginning in films. It is the most successful year for music director Gurukiran. Out of nine films seven of his films have done good business at the audio and he got the rave reviews. Hamsalekha has eleven films to his credit and it is average success for him. Hamsalekha has also made debut in small screen through ‘Preethigaagi’. Rajesh Ramanathan, Manohar, Sadhu Kokila and Devaa had four films to their credit. H.C.Venu is undoubtedly the cameraman of the year. Venu’s Parva, H2O, Nata, Dhum and Marma received good response. R.Giri stands second with four films to his credit.
It is difficult to allot complete credit for any director. Poori Jagannath’s ‘Appu’ was a mega hit. While Sai Prakash’s ‘Thavarige Baa Thangi’ a tear- jerker was a super hit straight films. The local guys in Kannada could not reach for the top honors. S.Narayan and Nagendra Magadi’s two films succeeded in the box office. Indrajit made debut in Kannada from ‘Thuntaata’ but the producers lost money even the film running after for 100 days. M.S.Ramesh turned independent director from Dhruva and he directed yet another film Dhum and showed his guts in creative thinking not only in dialogue department but also in direction.
Directors like Sathya, Gunakumar, B.Suresha, Suresh Raj, Venkatesh Prasad, Saigopal made debut as directors in this year.
It has been the year of newcomers too. Besides Radhika and Rakshita all made a hit and run. Ruthika, Deepti, Sonia, Asha Saini, Jyothika, Keerthi Reddy, Gayathri Raghuram, Shireen, Monica, Rashmi, Laila Patel, Urmila Srivatsav, Navya made their debut in Kannada. In the male category of newcomers Alankar son of Hamsalekha failed to click. Producer Rockline Venkatesh appeared in three films and only Dakota Express did good business for him.
• The Kannada film industry had to be closed for two days in the last year. On 12th September for protest against exhibitors and on 25th September protesting against the statement made by Tamil filmdom to stop power supply for not leaving Cauvery water by Karnataka.
• Chalanachitra Ithihasa 2 volumes Book raised lot of controversies. Protests, ban on journalists heading the editorial team, Parvathamma severely criticizing on portions against Dr.Rajkumar were much talked about in the year.
• Sachchi producer G.V.Ramesh complains to KFCC for director cum actor Om Prakash not cooperating to the completion of the film.
• Okkuta and Mahasamsthe exchanged unpleasant remarks. The two factions of cinema workers federation crisis not yet resolved.
• Patil hits out at Quality tag for not considering Kaurava as a straight film.
• Singaravva Mattu Aramane changed the hands from K.S.L.Swamee to T.S.Nagabharana.
• H2O Release sparks controversy for containing Tamil dialogues. The Kannada activists forced the producer Dhanraj to remove it. It was re-dubbed. Dhanraj lost heavily. He sat on a dharna to save him from losses. Upendra hits back that he would give another call sheet to Dhanraj even if he gives money to his height. Later Upendra sent arrest warrant to KCN Chandrasekhar for the recovery of his Rs.17 lakhs due from ‘H20’ film.
• Thriller Manju let on bail. He was arrested for shooting without permission at cubbon Park.
• Producer of Daddy No.1 complains about the director taking commission from the artistes and technicians from the remuneration paid.
• Music director Nagendra’s wife complains on existing Rajan for atrocity.
• Hirannaiah’s remark perturbs Jaggesh fans. They sat on a dharna and sought the apology letter from the master of theatre
• Actress Radhika’s marriage came to light. Her husband filed a case. Later he died in an accident.
• Actor Naveen Mayur slaps assistant director of ‘Halo’ Kannada film.
• Rajendra Singh Babu and Vishnuvardhan clash on caste feeling attached to Ithihasa book.
• Upendra’s name misuse lands two persons in prison.
• Dharna by all sectors of KFCC for not functioning appropriately. Tallam the sitting president resigned.
• Spectator of Nagarahavu cup died.
• Kavitha Lankesh hits out at Film’s division for not sending the film to the awards.
• Dyavanur film right was taken back.
• Tamil films and channels off air for nearly two months. Reason Bharathiraja statement and Cauvery water sharing.
• Girish Kasaravalli lashes out State awards committee as ‘Ashadaboothithana’.
• Tent in R.T.Nagar was smashed for screening Tamil film.
• Threat to Sa.Ra.Govindu and 9 others in state from Tamil Ultras.
• Sex films complete ban in the State.
DEVELOPMENTS AND EVENTS
• Ambarish solved the crisis related to H2O release.
• 13 Crore hitech Viz Works Multimedia started.
• Akash Audio spruced up. Three floors named as Hombelaku, Hongirana and Hosabelaku.
• 5 points formula announced by KFPA.
• Chalanachitra Ithihasa book was released.
• Keerthi Vishnuvardhan wed Anirudh.
• Anu weds Krishnakumar son of actress Jayanthi.
• Umasri’s daughter wedding.
• Vajramuni’s son wedding.
• Doddanna’s daughter wedding.
• Archana Udupa married Sriranga.
• Naveen Krishna’ Nee audio album released.
• Seminar on Kannada cinema at Tumkur Sahitya Sammelana.
• State axe on remake films. Remake films to cough up 52.50 percent of tax. Non Kannada films get 10 percent rebate in Tax.
• B.A.Madhu completes 50 films as dialogue writer.
• BDA site to Pandari Bai and Dwarakish.
• Ranga Shankara Theatre group started. Shabana Azmi contributes Rs.10 lakhs.
• Friends, Majestic and Parishat cricket match.
• Baby Hima becomes a dance director.
• State TV and Film artiste Hirannaiah announced retirement.
• Ambarish 50th birthday. A gala function at mandya.
• Jolaali audio of Nagendra Prasad was released.
• Shruthi becomes a mother for a baby girl.
• Hamsalekha completes 250 from Nanjundi.
• Sophisticated Rs.5 crores Abhay cinema hall was opened.
• 20 auto gas kits from Sainika team to winners of contest given.
• Kanteerava studio makes Rs.3.5 lakh profit.
• 100 days of Appu, Raj and Rajani samagama.
• Gangaraj gets Rs.60 lakhs from Rajani for failure of Baaba.
• Iyer launches Sri Ramayana in Sanskrit language.
• Vinayaprasad married Jyothiprakash.
• Piracy raid for three times in Bangalore and other parts.
AWARDS AND HONORS
• The year saw the 4th Swarna Kamal for talented director Girish Kasaravalli. Dweepa also bagged the best cameraman award for H.M.Ramachandra.
• This is the year Tallam N.Nanjunda Shetty resigned, K.V.Chandra sekhar was ad hoc President and in the end of the year S.Ramesh took the office of Film Chamber as the President.
• Swara Sadhaki award was given to S.Janaki.
• Sandesh award for S.V.Rajendra Singh Babu.
• Gubbi Veeranna award was presented to Nagarathnamma.
• Veteran M.P.Shanker besides winning the Hamsarathna award also bagged the Karnataka Rajyotsava award. Girish Kasaravalli, K.C.N.Gowda and Jayashri also got Rajyotsava award.
• K.Manju was crowned the ‘Gandugali’ award.
• PRO Sudheendra completed 750 films and honored Ankalgi and Dr.Vijaya who bought him to this field.
• Vaishali Kasaravalli bagged the Natata Academy award, P.G.Srinivasamurthy got Sangeetha Nritya academy award.
• Ravichandran got the state award for ‘Yekangi’ as best actor.
DEATHS IN THE YEAR 2002
• The year lost two wonderful composers Upendrakumar and Vijayabhasker. The contribution made by the two stalwarts scored many lilting tunes.
• Stage, TV and Film artistes G.V.Shivanand and Thyagaraj Urs died.
• Abisarika alias Monal heroine of Indhradhanush Kannada film committed suicide.
• Sadhu Shetty an underworld don who figures in Hats off India was shot dead.
• Veteran theatre personality and film lyricist H.N.Yoanarasimha died of old age after 50 years of contribution.
• Distributor Mohan committed suicide.
• Murali producer of Beladingala Baale dead.
• Veterans Y.R.Swamy a director of repute and M.D.Sunder story- writer of many popular Kannada films died.
QUICK LIST OF REMAKE FILMS RELEASED IN THE YEAR
Friends, Manase Oh Manase, Muthu, Vamshakobba, Daddy No.1, Dakota Express, Ninagaagi, Kodandarama, Manasella Neene, Balarama, Dheera, Ninne Preethisuve, Nagarahavu, Punjabi House, Nata, Dil, Chelvi, Naanu Naane, Make Up, Cheluve Ondu Helthini and Olu Saar Bari Olu.