Nagakannika has the distinction of being the first folk-based film in Kannada. The film was produced by Mahatma Pictures. Editor, G Vishwanathan turned director with the film. Jayashree played the protagonist in the film which had music by Palavangudi Shyama Iyer. Hunsur Krishnamurthy wrote dialogues under the name KM Hunsur. Shankar Singh's wife Protima Devi (mother of Rajendra Singh Babu), played the role of a maid in the film.
The film which showcased beliefs in magic and witchcraft became a huge success. Mahatma Pictures produced one more film based on a folk theme; Jaganmohini, in 1951. This film was directed by Shankar Singh himself. P Shamanna made his debut as a music composer with Jaganmohini.