It is time to say happy birthday to the first talkie film in Kannada. Today, Sati Sulochana, the first talkie film has become 83 years old.


Sati Sulochana created a history in Kannada cinema as for the first time Kannadigas heard the actors speak in the film. This history was created on March 3 in 1934. However, first talkie film to be shot was Bhakta Dhruva. But everything went well for Sati Sulochana and it was released earlier than Bhakta Dhruva, becoming a milestone in the Kannada film industry.





When Sati Sulochana was released, already 175 silent movies were being shot. Interestingly, though shooting and editing of most Kannada films was held in Madras (Chennai), the distribution of films was taking place in Bengaluru. Films distributed in Bengaluru not only came from Madras, Vijayavada, Thiruchinapalli but also from Cyclone.


Going down the memory lane, it was Gubbi Veeranna, who gave a definition to professional theatre activities in Karnataka started making silent movies under the banner ‘Karnataka Pictures Corporation.” He had made films like Song of life (1930), His Love Affair (1931) and Harimaya (1932).


The hero of His Love Affair movie, Subbayya Naidu was chosen as the hero for Sati Sulochana. Shah Chamanlal Dungaji, who migrated to Bengaluru for business in 1903 agreed to produce the movie. In fact, Dungaji first built a team and became the main resource which started the era of talkie films in Kannada.


Another name which becomes important in creating the history is R Nagendra Rao. He was the one who gave the idea of talkie films. He even was seen in a major role and composed music for the movie of historical importance. The captain of the ship- director- was YV Rao. He had the experience of acting in the silent movies and was very much interested in making a movie and this dream came true with Sati Sulochana.


The role of protagonist, Indrajithu, was enacted by MV Subbayya Naidu. He was already a big name in the field of theatre and helped in paving the way for the Kannada films to come. R Nagendra Rao played the role of Ravana in the movie, another major role of Lakshmana was donned by director YV Rao.


DN Murthyrao was the Rama; Sheshachalam was the Narada. At a time when women were not allowed to be a part of theatre or films, Tripuramba played the lead female as Sulochana. Lakshmi Bai enacted the role of Mandodari. Thus by becoming the Sulochana of the film, Tripuramba became the first heroine of Kannada films.


Narahari Shatry, who wrote the screenplay and lyrics, became the first story-writer and lyricist. Sati Slochana had 16 songs. The final output was of the film roll of 16,000 length. The total cost of the 
movie was Rs 40,000 which was quite a huge amount at that time.


The film was first released at the Paramount theatre at Kalasipalya inBengaluru on 1934, March 3.