Kannada movies getting hugely popular overseas

Published Jun 4, 2014, 4:06 am IST
Updated Apr 1, 2019, 3:50 am IST
A still from the movie Ugram   (Photo: DC)
 A still from the movie Ugram (Photo: DC)

Bengaluru: Our famed bisi bele baath is not the only thing that is being relished outside the country. Now, with namma Sandalwood industry brimming with critically-acclaimed blockbusters like Ugramm, Maanikya, Lucia and Ulidavaru Kandanthe, we seem to have found a market for our films internationally too.

Nagathihalli Chandrashekhar’s America America might have started the trend way back in 1995, but since then, “The demand for Kannada films have boosted significantly,” says Darshan S, a distributor with Overseas Kannada Movies.

These films have made it to the shores of Australia, Germany, USA, London, Hong Kong and have even made it to the Swiss Alps. “The newest screen spaces have been Tokyo and Dublin,” says Darshan.

Sri Murali’s Ugramm not only completed 100 days here but was the first Kannada film to be screened in Tokyo and we hear it was housefull! UK, USA and Southeast Asia may have been traditional strongholds but with Sudeep’s Maanikya making waves for the first time in Oman, UAE seems to be in love with these class acts too.

The bombaat trailers and the sakkath posters were just a start. What showed on the finished reels wowed the audience and floored spectators because of how it synced with world cinema.

“People are always looking for directors with a younger perception and those who are replicating international cinema,” says the 30-year-old director, Prashanth Neel who shot to fame with Ugramm.

“True. Everyone out there is watching out for Indian films that are in sync with what the world is making,” adds director, Pawan Kumar whose film Lucia won the Best Picture Award at London Indian Film Festival. This film was primarily meant to go online but went far and wide with it being screened in Germany, Australia and the USA. “Even if it’s a clichéd love story, they need to appeal to an ever-changing audience,” he says.

While most people watch it overseas because it’s a massive hit in India, some people watch it for the stars they revere. “Puneet is one of the favourites,” says Darshan. But with his critically-acclaimed film Eega, Kiccha Sudeep seems to be a popular name in the circuits abroad too. And it is safe to say this with news of one of his fans, Junko, coming all the way from Japan to catch a glimpse of his latest hit Maanikya. “Really, really touched,” he said on one of his Twitter posts.

“We take immense pride in calling something of such good quality our own,” says Sapna Suresh, a non-resident Indian from California. And he assures he watched Ugramm at least eight times and even saw a couple of foreigners standing to catch the show. 

With the dawn of new age cinema, we’ve made our presence felt across the world and, “This is just a start,” assures Darshan.



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