Kannda actor Ramesh drops Kuselan

Kannada actor, director Ramesh Aravind always comes up with some really cool concepts in his films. Which is why he even agreed to remake Kuselan in Kannada, when the makers of the film approached him to direct it in Kannada. “But now, we’ve decided to junk it as Kuselan hasn’t been received well,” the actor informs us. So he’s begun scripting an action cum comic flick, which he will be making for a corporate house. Meanwhile, when Ramesh isn’t working on his film, he’s watching the latest films. “I want to watch Bachna Ae Haseeno; and only for Ranbir Kapoor,” he says

Sandalwood in Hollywood

The Kannada film frat is currently in the US to attend the annual AKKA celebrations. We spoke to Nagathihalli Chandrashekhar and he told us they were having a good time, in firang land. BTW, there’s also Tara, hubby Venu, Uppi and wifey Priyanka and Guru Kiran who’re keeping the Kannada flag flying high in Hollywood.

Hot kannada Aindrita Ray is flying around

Kannada sexy actress Aindrita Ray’s literally going places. The hot actress was in Austria and Italy for the shooting of Nannavanu recently. “I had such a blast in Austria. I had never seen snow in my life and my wish was fulfilled when I went there for my shooting. My films have helped me realise all my childhood dreams,” she gushes.

Then she went to Thailand. “I was there to shoot a couple of songs for my Telugu film, Sari Nee Istam. It’s my sixth visit to Thailand — it offers the best shopping experience in the world. And everything is dirt cheap. I picked up 40 pairs of shoes and 8 bags this time,” she adds. The petite lass is back in Bengaluru to shoot the remaining portions of Nannavanu. “But not for long,” she tells us, “I will be off to Australia for the remaining portions of Vayu Putra.”

Her next release is Januma Janmadallu which will release in October. “I have high hopes on the film because it has been directed by Dinesh Babu. But as of now, I’m chilling out with family and having night outs with my girl pals,” signs off hot kannada actress Aindrita.

Kanada director Kavitha Lankesh’s love story

She’s back after a quick holiday in Coorg, so kannada director Kavitha Lankesh is all rejuvenated to get going with her next project. “After kannada film Avva which was a critically acclaimed film, I’m working on a commercial flick. It’s on the lines of my other hit film, Preethi Prema Pranaya. But that film portrayed the love of three generations. My forthcoming film will focus on the relationships of two generations — parents and children,” says Kavitha.

But this kannada film requires a huge budget, “and the producer will take a call on it,” she adds. Avva had the lead actors sharing some steamy moments...wonder what’ll be in this one?

Kannada yajamaana Vishnuvardhan teaches some lessons

The super hit combination of kannada actor Vishnuvardhan, Suhasini Mani Ratnam and director Dinesh Babu is back again. The trio have earlier done kannada films like Suprabhata and Hendthige Helthini. Vishnu and Suhasini were last seen in Nagathihalli Chandrashekar’s Maathad Maathad Mallige. The current flick has been titled Master in which Vishnu plays a school teacher. The music for the film is being scored by V Sridhar, who recently gave a hit in Mussanje Maathu.

Kannada music director Guru scores a perfect 10

He’s had a big hit in kannada film Bindaas and music director Guru Kiran is lapping up big projects in the industry. “I’ve been really busy in the last couple of months but I’m happy that my work’s being appreciated. I will also be performing at the annual AKKA celebrations in the US, this month end,” says Guru. He has 10 releases this year and Guru’s thrilled. The composer has Gulama, Yuva and Antu Inti Preethi Bantu among others.

Chocolate Heros of Kannada film industry

THE 60s are making a comeback through men’s fashion. And the extroverts are carrying off floral motifs with panache, say style experts. “The 60s style is nice, but doesn’t suit everyone. It suits a guy who’s outgoing and social. I like a single floral motif either on the collar or on the sleeve and can carry if off because I’m an extrovert,” says model and actor Zulfi Syed.

It’s not just ramps that are seeing floral motifs for men, office wear is getting soft touches too. Behavioural trainer Kishore Gandhi says he sports florals to keep in touch with the masculine and feminine aspects of his personality. “There are no stereotypes in my mind as to what women and men should wear; I also wear jewellery round my neck. People often compliment me for the way I carry off my attire,” he says.

Responding to the increasing interest among fashion-conscious men to sport clothes with soft touches, big brands are pitching in with bold, new designs. CEO of a leading international apparel brand Shailesh Chaturvedi says most brands have worked on softer aspects of dressing for men with the advent of the metrosexual male concept. “We have sophisticated and trendy shirt options with flowers that you can wear to work and to play. Although it’s still a small part of our business, there’s definitely a whole-hearted move towards the floral trend, thanks to global inspiration,” he says.

Which suits dandy dressers just fine. “I’m very brand-conscious and wear these clothes because I feel comfy in them; whether people consider it hot is secondary. I wear florals while conducting training programmes for corporate employees but avoid such prints if I’m at a formal meeting because my clients may not appreciate it,” concedes Kishore. Sathyaji R, COO of a formal dressing brand, says while catering to the working segment, softer prints and not florals are the order of the day. “Our brand is more relaxed and we have polka dots and small motifs creeping into this kind of fashion. Florals are more for casual occasions; our line is about breaking conventions,” he says. Breaking norms and getting experimental is Mahesh Jayaram, senior manager, corporate communications in an IT MNC. “I wear bold, bright and solid colours to work. While I wouldn’t wear floral prints to the office, I’m all for small motifs and polka dots,” he says.

“New floral trends are back so that people don’t get bored. With women going more flamboyant, men want to get more adventurous with their dressing too. But while florals look great on men, not everyone can carry it off.”

Kannada actress Tara’s in demand post Filmfare

The Filmfare Best Supporting Kannada Actress award has upped the popularity of Tara in the industry. “Of course, because it’s a very prestigious award,” laughs Tara. The actress has just bagged a silent film, which has a musical background, “and the only dialogue in the film is towards the climax,” says Tara. Besides this, she’s also part of Chaitanya’s upcoming film with Chetan. "And in August, I’m off to the annual AKKA celebrations in the US,” she adds.

So has she increased her remuneration after the award? “No comments,” she says.

Namma kannada actor Sudeep in Bollywood

Kannada actor SUDEEP’S been lying low for a while. And he’s only being seen at press conferences for his films. To which namma Kiccha says, “I believe in my work speaking for itself and not in being spoken about to stay in the news. If I have to speak to the media, I want to meet them with solid content.”

Sudeep’s also been spending a lot of time in Mumbai this year. He’ll be making his debut in Bollywood in Ram Gopal Varma’s Phoonk, a film based on black magic. “I was never apprehensive of debuting in another language. I just wanted to be directed by someone of RGV’s calibre. And I think I’ve delivered what he needed — in fact, it could be more than what he expected out of me,” says the kannada actor.

Which is probably why RGV has signed him for another flick, even before his debut, Phoonk, has hit theatres. “It’s an action-packed flick and will get rolling in November,” Sudeep informs us.

Back in Sandalwood, he has taken over the task of directing his forthcoming film, Veera Madakari. “Sadhu Kokila, who was originally slated to direct this flick, is busy with the shooting of Theertha. It was difficult to juggle two films simultaneously. So we arrived at an understanding that I’d direct Veera Madakari,” he explains. It’s the first time that the actor will be directing a film outside his home banner.

“But I will be directing my home production, Just Maat Maatalli, soon after I’m done with my present commitments. It’s a straight film and we’re in talks with Ramya to play the lead,” says Sudeep.

Rajani Kanth apologise

It took a sincere apology from superstar Rajnikant to Kannadigas to ensure his hyped Kuselan has a smooth release in Karnataka on Friday. He deeply regretted his ‘anti-Kannadadiga’ statements during the Hogennakal controversy. Speaking in Kannada to a local TV channel on Thursday which caught up with him in Hyderabad, Rajnikant admitted his ‘utterances’ were a blunder. “Kannadigas have taught me a good lesson. In future, such mistakes will not happen.’’

Kannada activists were up in arms against Rajnikant for his statements that he would not lose anything if his films were not watched in Karnataka. He had made the remarks at a meeting organized by the Tamil film industry in support of the TN government on Hogennakal in April. This followed the Kannada film industry taking up cudgels on behalf of the Karnataka government.

Once the dates for Kuselan’s release were announced, Kannada activists insisted they would allow the film to be screened in the state only if the actor apologized. They were not convinced by an appeal written by Rajnikant in Kannada to Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce chairperson Jayamala. They insisted on an apology. On Thursday, it seemed uncertain whether the film would be released on Friday following protests by Kannada activists. Late in the evening, the tension eased after Rajnikant’s apology became known. In the statement, he even referred to the fact that he’d worked as a conductor with Bangalore Transport Service before getting a break in the film industry.

Karnataka Rakshana Vedike representatives T A Narayana Gowda and Praveen Kumar Shetty, heading two groups spearheading the agitation, said they were satisfied with the reply.

Film buffs can watch Rajnikant-starrer Kuselan on Friday without any fear of protests. A premiere of the movie was held in the city on Thursday soon after the star apologized through the electronic media.

A satisfied Karnataka Rakshana Vedike (KRV) has withdrawn protests against the movie. Even on Thursday morning, the KRV staged a dharna in front of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, as it had cleared the movie following a letter from the actor.
The KRV had called for a ban of the movie in the state, citing Rajnikant’s controversial remarks during the Hogenakkal project row.

T A Narayana Gowda of the KRV, in a release, said the organization would continue to protest against those making ‘derogatory’ remarks about Karnataka and Kannada. Shivarame Gowda, president of a KRV faction, said they have withdrawn protests following the apology.

Additional commissioner of police (law and order) M R Pujar said the police would ensure peace is maintained during the film’s release.

He told reporters jurisdictional ACPs would monitor the situation. “So far, no one has approached us for protection. Neither distributors nor theatre owners have asked for security. However, we have taken measures to maintain law and order,’’ he said.

Kannada actor Vijay's raw appeal

EVER since he debuted in Duniya, Vijay has been making news. And, frequently, it’s been for the wrong reasons. Recently, Vijay attracted media attention when he attended an event with Shubha Poonja — his costar in Chanda and Slum Bala — with whom he’s been linked with for a while now. He reportedly arrived and left with Shubha in his car, which led to much speculation. “Shubha’s my co-star and friend. If we hang out together, does something have to be brewing between us? It’s my personal life, so what I do or who I go out with is my concern. My family knows what I am, so I don’t care about anything else,” Vijay lashes out.

His spat with filmmaker S Narayan, who directed Chanda, also generated a huge buzz. Vijay was accused of unprofessional behaviour during the making of Chanda by the director. What’s his equation with him today? “We still aren’t on talking terms. I was a newcomer and was unnecessarily dragged into industry politics. Narayan kept dropping big names and how he’s made films with them, and tried to make a bakra out of me. I wasn’t willing to toe his line, which hurt his ego,” explains Vijay.

After kannada movie Duniya, why didn’t he cash in on his popularity to bag big projects?

 “It’s not easy to survive in the industry because there’s politics at every stage. And it’s taken me this long to get out of the S Narayan mess,” he says. After the commercial success of Duniya, why’d Vijay do an art film like Avva? It didn’t succeed at the BO, but his liplock with co-star Smitha garnered publicity. “Avva had a strong message and a wonderful storyline. Everyone said my market value would go down if I did that film, but it remains unshaken. And what’s wrong in kissing? It’s a part of acting. When Emraan Hashmi can do it, why not me? If I get a chance to kiss, I’d do it again,” he laughs. Is he getting stuck with the same rugged look in every film? “People like me in mass-oriented roles. If I don’t fit the conventional image of the tall and handsome hero, I’ve no regrets. I’m not a polished hero, but people like my raw appeal,” he says. So what’s with the sixpack? “When everyone made such a big deal about Bollywood heroes sporting six-packs, I thought, ‘Why can’t I do it?’ So I trained with the best instructor — a former Mr India,” the kannada actor informs us.

Nisha Kothari opposite kannada actor Power Star Puneet Rajkumar

Bollywood sexy actress Nisha Kothari (also known as Amogha and Priyanka Kothari) is playing the lead opposite Power Star Puneet Rajkumar in Prem’s Raj. The mahurat of Raj was held on April 24, the birthday of Dr Rajkumar. Nisha has acted in 10 films, including Ram Gopal Varma’s Aag, Sarkar and James. She has done a couple of Telugu flicks too. The actress was recently seen in the Emraan Hashmi flick, Killer. Puneet, meanwhile, is just wrapping up cousin Prakash’s film Vamshi which also stars newbie Nikita.

Sharmila Mandre - The new kannada hottie

I get stressed quite easily and become extremely hyperactive when I’m in one of those moods. I become restless and can’t sit in one place during such moments. Usually, when people are stressed they tend to binge on chocolates or icecream. But I lose my appetite at such times. I don’t eat the whole day and prefer sitting at home all by myself. I like to be left alone and I hate going out or meeting people during such situations. Shopping helps. I have to buy something if I’m stressed. But the respite is temporary because once I go back home, I get depressed again! I love watching light-hearted films, either romantic or stupid Govinda flicks. Or I head to a spa, get myself an exotic massage and cool off. If I really have the time, I go on a holiday with my mum. Of course, music is my biggest stress reliever. The genre varies according to my mood — it can be Bollywood to soft rock.

Kannada new movie Kalidasa’s ready

It’s the only Kannada film to be shot in the world heritage ruins of Cambodia and that could turn out to be the biggest highlight of the film. Kalidasa Love Alli Bidda which has been directed by Venkatesh Panchangam, stars newcomers Amith Raj and Vardhini. “The music is excellent and I’m sure the song will become chartbusters,” says Venkatesh.

Maestro Illayaraja for a silent film

The Karnataka Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Dr YS Rajasekhar Reddy features in a film produced by Y Sonia Reddy. Dr Brahmanandam is in the lead cast. It is designed as a commercial silent film, on the lines of Pushpaka Vimana. It is now confirmed that music maestro Illayaraja is going to take up the re-recording, which is very crucial for this film, according to the director. 

Director PA Arun Kumar expressed his happiness at this and said Illayaraja’s contribution will raise the level of the movie to great heights. He added that the title will be announced soon. 

According to the presenter CC Reddy, 30 per cent of the movie has been completed in the first schedule spanning ten days. The next schedule will start from August 1.

Kannada actress Jennifer Kotwal having mast majaa

She might be in Mumbai gearing up for her upcoming Himesh Reshammiya film, Mudh Mudh Ke Na Dekh, but this hot kannada actress  Jennifer Kotwal misses Bangalore ‘terribly.’

“And I was in Bangalore over the weekend and it was so refreshing — the climate is simply awesome! I was down to catch up on my latest film, Tata Birla and I went to Kapali to watch it with the mass. The reactions were very encouraging and it has boosted my confidence to take up more comedies,” says JK. The actress has recently signed another rib-tickler titled, Mast Majaa Madi. “I will be the centre of attraction because it stars four guys — Diganth, Vijay Raghavendra, Komal and Nagraj,” laughs Jennifer. Now there’s also another reason for the actress to come to namma Bengaluru more often.

“I love the new airport; it’s swanky. Also all the trolleys have my pictures on it, because of the jewellery store that I endorse,” adds Jenny.

‘Namma kannada singers V/S BTown Singers’

THE recent report about Bollywood singer Sonu Niggaam cutting an album in Kannada has sparked off a debate in the Kannada industry. Local singing talents have expressed displeasure over music directors giving preference to Bollywood singers and “ignoring” them, to the extent that they’re holding a protest tomorrow.

It has become a trend for producers in Sandalwood to use “Bombay music artistes” to sing for their films. “The market for Kannada films is small and local singers have to make do with limited work,” rues music director Rajesh Ramnath. “Our singers are more talented than the ones from Mumbai. They take just 45 minutes for a recording while Bollywood singers take more than two hours because they have to get the diction right,” points out Rajesh. Although Rajesh has earlier used BTown names for his films, he clarifies, “I’ve stopped doing so for the past year because I’m concerned about the situation.”

Shamita Malnad, the voice behind Nannale Naanilla, agrees that local singers are neglected. “If you compare us with singers in Hyderabad and Chennai, we’re way ahead,” says Shamita. “When there are singers available to suit all singing styles, why do producers still seek names from Bollywood?” she asks. According to another singer, Nandita Rakesh, Bollywood singers aren’t grateful to the Kannada industry for promoting them. “I’ve watched so many of their interviews and not one of them mentions having worked on Kannada projects,” she says. But give local talent a similar opportunity, and they’ll take brand Kannada to another level, promises Nandita. “Any incorrect pronunciation and style by a Bollywood singer is liked and promoted. But in Mumbai, unless you have a typical north Indian style of singing, they don’t hire you for a jingle, let alone a song,” says Rajesh Krishnan, one of the most popular Kannada singers in the industry. But debutant director and screenplayscriptwriter of Mungaru Male, Preetham Gubbi, feels Bollywood singers have a better market than local talent. “And it’s not because filmmakers are pushing them. These singers have had back-to-back hits and have become so popular among fans that we have to keep going back to Mumbai for more,” explains Preetham. Which is why he’s used the who’s who of B-Town’s singing talent, including Sonu, Kunal Ganjawala, Udit Narayan, Sunidhi Chauhan and Shreya Goshal, for his upcoming Haage Summane. “Nobody can lend the feel to a song like Sonu or sing a rock song like Sunidhi,” he asserts.

According to a source in the industry who wishes to remain anonymous, “Everybody knows that Rajesh Krishnan takes three days to return a call. I’m worried that if BTown singers are banned from singing here, then Rajesh might switch off his phone because he’ll be inundated with work! Besides, there aren’t many singers other than Hemanth and Rajesh. How much versatility can you expect from just two singers?” he asks.

Audio companies also have their take on the issue. While Mohan Chabria of Anand Audio feels that Bollywood singers have an edge over their local counterparts, Velu of Lahari Audio feels that, “local singers aren’t given adequate opportunities to prove themselves.”

A sentiment echoed by Huduga Huduga singer, Chaitra HG. “Namma singers could’ve done a better job with most of the hit numbers rendered by Bollywood singers. Many of them were so easy that anybody could’ve sung them. It doesn’t need a Bollywood name to make a chartbuster.”

Her only request? “Before producers head to Mumbai in search of singing talent, just think of local singers and give them a platform to excel too.”


• Anisutide — Sonu Niggaam

• Neene Neene — Kunal Ganjawala

• Thara Thara — Shaan

• O Gunavantha — Shreya Goshal

• Gubbachi Goodinalli — Udit Narayan


• Usire Usire, Kariya I Love You — Rajesh Krishnan

• Huduga Huduga — Chaitra HG

• Ayitha Lakadi, Jopana Rathri Aithu — Shamita Malnad

Why’s Kannada director Indrajit in Mangalore?

Star kannada director Indrajit was at the Mangalore airport recently. When we asked him about it, Indrajit told us that he’s taking a muchawaited break in the coastal city. “I’m heading to a friend’s plantation in Kundapur to spend some time away from the noise and pollution of Bangalore. It’s a beautiful location with greenery all around,” he says. Now that sounds more like location hunting than a break, Indrajit!

Kannada actress Shubha Poonja’s loving success

Kannada hot actress Shubha Poonja is on cloud nine. Her debut film Chanda opposite Vijay was a massive hit and now, her second film Mogina Manasu looks set to follow suit. “I am very happy with the response Mogina Manasu has received. I think the movie’s doing well because it has a very female-oriented storyline. I am very thankful to the director Shashank and producer E Krishnappa for giving me this role. I just hope that the Kannada industry continues making such films,” says the actress who will next be seen in Slum Bala opposite Vijay. This Bangalore gal is also working on Preethi Hungama opposite newbie Vivek Raj and Tamil film Sutta Phazham in which she stars opposite Mike Mohan.

Kannada actress Neetu wants to get lovey dovey

After hit kannada movie  Gaalipata where’s hot Neetu? When we spoke to her recently, the actress was shooting in Shravanabelagola for Baraguru Ramchandrappa’s Ugragami. 

“I play a girl called Shanti, who’s just married and the day she steps into her new home, the entire family is held hostage by a terrorist. The film is about the happenings in the house in 24 hours. I found the script really engrossing,” says Neetu. Isn’t it too early to play such roles in her career? “I know I’ve just started, but I couldn’t let this opportunity pass because Baraguru is known for his mature subjects,” she says. 

This hot kannada actress Neetu’s also doing a Tamil flick Chintamani with newbie, Velu. “I’m also excited because I’ve just completed by first year MA in Philosophy,” gushes the actress. Meanwhile, Neetu adds that hence forth, she wants to do more lovey dovey roles.

Kannada new actor Kiran lies his way out

HE’s the new kannada actor with chocolate faced hero of Pritam Gubbi’s debut, Haage Summane. And Kiran had a blast shooting for his first flick.“We’ve wrapped up the film and the dubbing and it’s now in the post production stage,” says Kiran. About his role, he says, “I play a happy-go-lucky guy who lies to get out of trouble.” So does he relate to his role? “Yeah, even I lie to get out of trouble sometimes,” laughs the actor. Kiran adds that he won’t sign any films until Haage Summane releases.

Kannada actor digant's exclusive interview

I never step out of the house without my favourite bag. It’s from London and it was gifted to me by a cousin who lives there. And what makes it more special is that it has been signed by the Yankees. 

 I’m very organised about what I carry in my bag and am not someone who just throws random stuff in there. I usually carry a sunscreen lotion, a moisturiser, hair gel, a digital camera, my wallet, car keys, phone, deodorant and lip balm. And I never leave my house without glasses and and my credit cards. Even when I travel, I carry a very light bag.

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