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Mahakavi Kalidasa (1955)

This is the story of Kalidasa, one of the greatest poets, known for his distinct contribution to Sanskrit literature. It stars Honnappa Bhagavatar as Kalidasa who was an exceptional theatre artist, film actor, producer, musician and singer of those days. He might be lesser known to this generation but definitely an exemplary artist. The movie tells the story about how the, aristocratic young man Kalidasa cursed by his guru with ignorance, goes on to become a great poet. If you belong to that classy audience of Indian cinema looking forward to an out of the world or acting beyond, then this is a must watch!.

national award winning kannada movies

Satya Harischandra (1965)

It is an extraordinary Kannada mythological and epic film directed by Hunsur Krishnamurthy. It stars Dr. Rajkumar in the lead role, as Harishchandra, a king who was renowned for upholding truth and justice under any circumstance. Dr.Rajkumar has brought about phenomenal acting in the movie and it was extensively appreciated and celebrated throughout the country and of course with Dr. Rajkumar never failing to win the hearts of his loveable fans. The film was awarded the President’s silver medal for the Best Feature Film in Kannada. The movie was hugely successful at the time of its release and is seen as a milestone in Kannada cinema.

national award winning kannada movies

Gejje Pooje (1969)

This socially relevant movie explores the problem of prostitutes. It was based on the novel written by M. K. Indira and directed by Puttana Kanagal an outstanding director Sandalwood can ever witness. The heroine role Chandra played by Kalpana is the daughter of a devadasi and is in love with a young man who is her neighbor and always wanted to reject the life of prostitution. Circumstances and the young man’s suspicion makes him abandon the Chandra. His neighbor then marries a girl who is her father’s daughter who had abandoned both her and her mother.

Chandra who failed to put an end to her prostitution life agrees to perform ‘gejje pooje’, with so many disappointments and intense mental trauma she finally commits suicide by swallowing a diamond. Sadly a climax actually similar to the climax of her real life isn’t it?

national award winning kannada movies

Sharapanjara (1971)

Directed by the legend Puttanna Kanagal the film revolves around the issues of a woman’s chastity, depicting the acceptance of mentally ill by society and unfaithful spouses. Kalpana (Kaveri ) as the heroine marries the hero and Kaveri being educated, sophisticated and beautiful form a picture-perfect couple. During her second pregnancy, she loses her mental balance and is admitted to a mental hospital. After recovery, she is discharged and all fine. But Kaveri discovered that she will have to face scorn from her family, neighbors and her husband.

The final blow comes when Kaveri discovers that her husband has an extra-marital relationship. Unable to bear the extreme insults and harassment by society and husband, she ultimately goes insane and is admitted back to the same mental hospital. Kalpana’s performance as a traumatic woman was widely acclaimed by critics. This movie for sure throws ethical responsibility on all the viewers on how we treat people facing mental challenges.

national award winning kannada movies

Hamsageethe (1975)

Directed by  G.V Iyer is one of the best Indian Classical Music featured film Kannada Industry ever witnessed. The movie is based on the novel by the Kannada writer Ta.Ra.Su which tells the story of an 18th-century Carnatic singer ‘Bhairavi’ Venkata subbaiah whose master asks him to compose a musical masterpiece before his death. However, his failure to handle fame lands him in trouble. The movie is a musical masterpiece in itself!. It is a melodramatic saga of devotion to art, ambition, ego, betrayal, and sacrifice but the movie filmed in the majestic ruins of Hampi has an austerity that keeps the focus on the soul-stirring music. A must watch to all the classical music lovers out there!.

Phaniyamma (1983)

Phaniyamma is an iconic drama film directed by Prema Karanth. The story is based on acclaimed novelist M. K. Indira’s 1977 Sahitya Academy Award-winning novel of the same name. The film highlighted the plight of a child widow and her struggle for survival. An iconic movie which came up in the 80’s exceptionally depicted the social concerns of what was actually happening in the society then. The movie was wholeheartedly loved and appreciated by critics and audience upon release. Because every bit of the movie especially the role of phaniyamma played by baby pratima was indeed an eye-opener. The child has undoubtedly raised the bars of Indian cinema with exceptional acting skills put forth by her and a fine set of theatrical background actors.

national award winning kannada movies

Mysore Mallige (1991)

Meaning ‘Jasmine of Mysore’ was a brilliant drama film directed and co-written by T. S. Nagabharana. Mysoora Mallige is woven from the lyrical poems of K. S. Narasimha Swamy. The movie is simply beautiful, taking you back into the old world charm, be it the city, culture, traditions, costumes, food etc. A pleasing movie that would let anyone connect to it soulfully. Padma the character played by Sudha Rani is totally praiseworthy. The movie also highlights some great patriotism and freedom struggle. Sudha Rani plays the role of Padma a village girl and one who falls in love with a poet cum patriot and all about how they unite with the help of Chennaiah, a bangle seller in spite of her father’s opposition.

national award winning kannada movies

Kraurya (1996)

The phenomenal movie directed by Girish Kasaravalli, based on a story written by T. N. Seetharam is extremely heart touching which would surely leave you in tears. Renukamma Murgod an acting school herself has taken the movie to another level ensuring it touches our souls. Kraurya is the story of Rangajji, a widow who loves to tell stories of fantasy to the children of her village. Rangajji’s hardships start when her only son dies young mysteriously and due to ancient traditions she had to leave her beloved house, hence Rangajji further goes to live with a distant relative of hers only to receive a cold welcome. And life goes on endlessly for Rangajji.

The title in Kannada literally means “cruelty” which is so apt because though people reacting to her were so cruel in their thoughts and deeds, Rangajji was always broad-minded, kind, loveable and very young at heart. The movie has her childlike cuteness overloaded with an intense climax of Rangajji lying in an unconscious state in the police station will simply make tears roll down your eyes and leave you with a heavy heart.

national award winning kannada movies

Bharath Stores (2013)

The movie is an absolute reality and remarkably directed by P. Seshadri, starring Sudharani, and H. G. Dattatreya in the lead roles. It’s all about the ‘Bharath Stores’ which was Dattatreya(Govinda Shetty’s) provision store which witnesses a fatal declination. Globalization, industrialization etc made way to westernization deep route in India. It’s been a couple of decades India also accepted the Malls and marts culture that popped up. Repercussion was the deteriorating retail, small, petty box shops. Govinda Shetty too was a victim of the tsunami of this dangerous evolution.

The movie is the status of lakhs and lakhs of those like him which leaves us disturbed as well. Sudharani as Bharathi search and unfolds the cruel reality of the invasion of mall culture which actually happened with Govinda Shetty and the purpose for which she had arrived. Truly, a must-watch movie which highlights Dattatreya’s as usual phenomenal acting.

national award winning kannada movies

Thithi (2016)

Of Course the-this generation’s most loved and internationally recognized movie, surely a must watch to all of you who still haven’t. To talk about this movie, frankly, you don’t feel like you are watching one! Because it’s a new experiment with mostly untrained and real on spot shooting!. The movie co-written and directed by Raam Reddy is iconic. Consisting of a cast of non-professional actors from villages in the Mandya district of Karnataka, the film is a light-hearted story about three generations of men reacting to the death of their 101-year old patriarch.

Thithi being premiered at the 68th Locarno International Film Festival on 8 August 2015, won the Golden Leopard in the “Filmmakers of the Present” category as well as the First Feature award. Consequently, it was screened at various film festivals around the world. Wow!, it is actually a matter of sheer pride to India in the sectors of Entertainment and surely a revolution in the Kannada Cinemas.

national award winning kannada movies

You want to watch some classy Kannada stories with substantial, outstanding works of epic actors and directors then make sure you don’t miss on these wonderful ones and of course, they are worth the watch as they are nationally awarded u see!

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