B V Karanth

B V Karanth entered the world of theatre at the age of seven as an actor and later turned into a director producing for stage, the works of renowned Kannada playwrights like P Lankesh, Girish Karnad and Kambar. He introduced folk idioms borrowed from Yakshagana, a folk art, to the stage. He also worked as the director of the National School of Drama.

Karanth's debut in cinema as a director was with Vamsha Vriksha and later made the legendary Chomana Dudi. He also scored music for films from directors like G V Iyer, Mrinal Sen, M S Satyu and Girish Kasaravalli.

Notable films:

Vamsha Vriksha - 1971 - Kannada
(The Family Tree)

A proud Brahmin scholar looks after his widowed daughter-in-law and grandson until she falls in love with her English lecturer and remarries. She loses custody of her son and her son, who becomes her student refuses to acknowledge her as his mother, which aggravates her guilt feelings. Eventually the old patriarch discovers that he himself was illegitimate and foregoes his wealth to prove to the heroine, on her deathbed, that she was right to insist on inventing her own notion of tradition.

Co-directors: B V Karanth, Girish Karnad
Cast: Venkata Rao Talegire, L V Sundara Rao, B V Karanth, Girish Karnad
Cinematography: U M N Sharief
Music: Bhaskar Chandavarkar

Chomana Dudi - 1975 - Kannada
(Choma's Drum)

The film is set in the Southern part of Karnataka, where the untouchable caste of Mari Boleya is forbidden from owning or tilling her/his own land.

Choma has a dream; get a piece of land from his landlord and become a farmer rather than be a slave to his landlord. He carries a burden of five children and is a debtor to an estate owner. Tragedy grips Choma's life one by one as the death of his sons, conversion of another son to Christianity and finally when he finds his daughter, whom he was always proud of, with the estate clerk. Choma reacts to all these tragic events through his drum. He beats his drum in various rhythms according to the moods of his eventful life.

Direction: B V Karanth
Screenplay: K Shivarama Karanth
Cast: M V Vasudeva Rao, Jayaram, Honnaiah, Padma Kumtha, Sunderraj
Cinematography: S Ramachandra
Music: B V Karanth


  • Vamsha Vriksha
  • Chomana Dudi
  • Kalla Kalla Bachitka
  • Tabbaliyau Neenade Magane

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