Hide & Seek locks release date

Puneeth Nagaraj, a Civil Engineer turned filmmaker who spent a decade as an assistant director, is now making his debut as a feature film director with Hide & Seek. Deriving the title from the popular children's game, the film is billed as a suspense thriller, with Anoop Revanna (Lakshmana, Kabzaa) and Dhanya Ramkumar (Ninna Sanihake) in the lead roles. The makers recently unveiled the trailer at a grand event attended by politicians including Anoop's father, HM Revanna, Ramlalinga Reddy, and Vishwanath, as well as Senior Professor Dr K Ravi, among others, extending their wishes to the team. The makers also officially announced that the film will be released across Karnataka on March 15.

In an interview on the sidelines of the trailer launch and release date announcement, Puneeth Nagaraj spoke about the film and described Hide & Seek as a fictional story centred around kidnapping, all unfolding within a week. "The film portrays a world where a gang of kidnappers operates with a mysterious leader amidst them," he explained. "Anoop's character is one of the members of this gang, and the narrative explores the complexities of their organisation and the challenges they face."

Apart from the lead actors, Hide & Seek produced by Vasantrao M Kulkarni features Bal Rajavadi, Suraj of Comedy Khiladigalu fame, Jaggi, Aravind Rao, Krishna Hebbale, and Rajesh Nataranga in pivotal roles. Rijo P John is handling the cinematography, Sandy Adanki (Killing Veerappan) has scored the music for the film, while Madhu Tumbakere serves as the editor.

Puneeth Rajkumar’s cult classic Jackie set for a grand re-release

Puneeth Rajkumar’s beloved classic, Jackie (2010), directed by Suri, is set for a grand re-release on March 15, coinciding with the actor’s birthday anniversary on March 17. This commercial entertainer, distributed by KRG Studios in association with Ashwini Puneeth Rajkumar, will hit over 100 theaters.

“We’ve planned to re-release one blockbuster film of Appu every year on his birth anniversary, and it starts with Jackie,” says distributor Karthik Gowda. Explaining the choice of Jackie as the starting point, Karthik says, “Jackie was one of the most celebrated films of Puneeth Rajkumar. Furthermore, songs like ‘Ekka Raja Rani,’ ‘Jackie Jackie,’ and ‘Shiva antha Hogutide‘ continue to captivate audiences and top the charts, adding to the film’s enduring charm. The scenes from the film are still immensely popular. Moreover, today, the trend of re-releases is gaining momentum in South Indian cinema. So we thought it is the best way to encapsulate that trend than with Jackie. I’m confident that the craze on day one for Jackie will be as intense as it was 15 years ago when the film was first released in 2010.”

Interestingly, the ticket prices for the re-release will remain normal as the distributors aim to celebrate Puneeth Rajkumar’s films. This will be the case every year; one of his films will see a theatrical re-release each year,” he says.

Jackie also marked the debut of Bhavana Menon, who is now an established actor in South Indian films. The film also featured Harshika Poonacha, Rangayana Raghu, and others in pivotal roles. Satya Hegde handled the cinematography, while V Harikrishna composed the music for the film.

Upadhyaksha actor Malaika Vasupal bags next project Vidyapati

Malaika Vasupal is currently on cloud nine for finding success in her silver screen debut with Upadhyaksha, which starred her alongside Chikkanna. The film was produced by DN Cinemas and Umapathy Films. "I expected the film to be a hit, but we never expected that it would be a super duper hit, and the tremendous reception to my character was overwhelming. The people have accepted me in my feature film, just like my serial career" says Malaika, who is happy to have bagged yet another interesting project. This time, she will be seen alongside Nagabhushan in a film titled Vidyapati. It will be directed by the director duo Esham and Haseen Khan. The two are known for their work in Ikkat which also starred Nagabhusan. However, this will be the first collaboration for Malaika with the directors. "This is once again a comedy venture, and I chose the project mainly for the storyline created by the directors. Moreover, I am getting an opportunity to work with Daali Pictures, who have given films like Badava Rascal and Tagaru Palya. Promoting Upadhyaksha, made me understand that content is important, but at the same time, entertainment is the key value for a film to be successful."

Malaika is happy to get a transition from the role she played in Upadhyaksha. "I played a minor in Upadhyaksha, and everybody who has seen me in the film and my serials will see me in a different light in Vidyapati. The director has designed my character well. The team plans to begin shooting by the end of March or April," he says. Murali and Doss Mode will be handling the cinematography and music respectively. The action sequences for the film will be choreographed by Arjun Master.


Krishnam Pranaya Sakhi enters its final schedule in Vietnam

Ganesh’s latest film Krishnam Pranaya Sakhi, directed by Srinivas Raju, is nearing completion, and the team is preparing to shoot the final schedule in Vietnam. The director mentioned that they have planned for two songs and some additional scenes. He added that he is currently in Vietnam and the lead actors – Ganesh, Malavika Nair, and Sharanya Shetty – will be joining him in the first week of March. “I will finish the film in this schedule, and if needed, I’ll shoot any remaining scenes in Mysuru,” said Srinivas Raju, expressing satisfaction with the film’s progress.

This marks the first collaboration between the actor and director in a romantic drama, with Sudharani, Sadhu Kokila, and Giri Shivanna playing pivotal roles. Produced by Trishul Entertainments, the movie has Arjun Janya composing the music.

Ganesh, who was last seen in Banadaariyalli, is currently busy with Krishnam Pranaya Sakhi and has not yet announced his next project.

Krishna's historical project, Halagali, officially launched

Actor Krishna, teaming up with Sukesh DK, is prepared for another challenging role where he will portray a courageous warrior. Titled Halagali, the film story penned by the director and it revolves around a significant event from the pre-Independence era of 1857, featuring the local villagers of the state engaging in guerrilla warfare against the British. “It’s an intriguing tale deeply entrenched in Karnataka’s history, showcasing the valour and hardships of our forefathers,” explains DK Sukesh, who has meticulously prepared for the project.

Produced by Kalyan Chakravarthy under the Duhara Movies banner, the film recently commenced shooting with a muhurath pooja. The inaugural shot occurred at Lalith Mahal Palace in Mysuru. More than 200 American and Russian artists, alongside local talents totalling over 500, participated in scenes directed by Sukesh and choreographed by Dhanu Master, respectively on day one. The production house is coming up with four major village sets, particularly the Halagali village set in Tiptur, and it is taken care of by art director Nandhi. The makers are planning to produce it in Kannada and Telugu and later dub and release it in multiple languages.

Team Halagali are bringing strong technicians on board including names like cinematographer Dasaradhi Shivendra, who has worked on the recent blockbusters Hanuman, Kalki, and Na Samiranga. The film marks his Kannada debut. The makers, who are planning to make this film with a huge budget which might extend to Rs 80 crores, and the film is shot with five cameras and three units. Halagali has music by Vasuki Vaibhav and stunt choreography by National Award winner, Vikram More as part of the technical team. Currently in the filming stage, Krishna is set to join the sets of Halagali in mid-March, commencing with the action sequences.

Guru Deshpande, BM Giriraj to team up for a film 

Guru Deshpande, the producer of Gentleman and Pentagon, has now joined hands with the national award-winning director, B M Giriraj, for a new film. Tentatively titled Production No 4, the film kickstarted with song recording at Loop Studio, with music composed by BJ Bharat. According to reports, the soundtrack for the film will have four songs.

The yet-to-be-titled film marks the fourth venture from G Cinemas, known for nurturing budding talents through G Academy. Over 15 children from G Academy will feature alongside established Kannada actors in this film.

"Kannada cinema is known for its diverse genres, including commercial and award-winning films. Today it becomes important to deliver content-driven movies that appeal to audiences across these categories, and we both are heading that way," says Guru Deshpande adding, "Further details about the star cast and other details will be revealed soon."

Suraag Sagar to debut with dark comedy Nidradevi Next Door

Suraag Sagar, who honed his expertise in direction and screenwriting at Prague Film School in Europe, garnered attention with his award-winning short film, Entropy, a sci-fi drama. Previously serving as a creative director at Sadhu Kokila’s Loop Entertainment, specialising in advertisements, corporate projects, and films, Suraag is now all set to make his feature film debut with Nidradevi Next Door. This dark comedy-drama, with its intriguing title, delves into subjects such as sleeplessness, trauma bonding, and the power of forgiveness.

Suraag has assembled a captivating principal cast for Nidradevi Next Door, featuring Praveer Shetty, who is simultaneously working on a bilingual film titled Engagement, currently in production. Joining the cast are Bigg Boss Kannada winner Shine Shetty and Rishika Naik, acclaimed for her role in Juni.  The additional cast includes Sudharani, Srivatsa, Karthik Pattar, and Anurag Patil, among others. Produced by Jayaram Devasamudra under the banner of Suram Movies in collaboration with Raju Bonagaani’s Rhodium Entertainment, the film boasts cinematography by Ajay Kulkarni and music by Nakul Abhyankar.

With the cast and technicians in place, the project officially goes on floors with muhurath pooja held on Monday.

Gowrishankar-starrer Kerebete gets release date

Gowrishankar starrer Kerebete directed by Raj Guru has a release date. The commercial entertainer with cultural content is set to release on March 15. Along with the release date announcement the film's trailer was also launched by Gowrishankar's one-year-old daughter, Eshwari Mana. Kerebete is all set to be presented by Dinakar Thoogudeepa who has helmed films like Jothe Jotheyalli and Sarathi.

Set against the backdrop of the Malenadu region in Karnataka, the trailer of Kerebete delves into the world of a popular fishing event, capturing the rustic charm of rural life. Along with the picturesque frames we also hear the soulful musical score by Gagan Baderia. Alongside Gowri Shankar, the film also features Bindu Shivram as the female lead, and Gopalkrishna Deshpande and Sampath Maitreya in pivotal roles.

Backed by Jaishankar Patel under the banner of Janamana Cinemas, Kerebete marks the debut of director Raj Guru, who has previously worked with director Pawan Wadeyar in films like Googly, Ranavikrama, and Natasarvabhauma. Raj Guru, who was born and raised in Malnad, has drawn inspiration from his upbringing in the mountains and his deep-rooted connection to the game of Kerebete. The film has cinematography by Keerthan Poojary.


Abhishek Shetty returns with a sequel to Nam Gani B’Com Pass

Abhishek Shetty, the actor and director of Nam Gani B’Com Pass, returns with a sequel. This time too, Abhishek takes on the role of an actor and director, and an official announcement was made on his birthday, along with the first look.

Abhishek, who is gearing up for his directorial Aaram Aravind Swamy, starring Aniissh, is now in working on the sequel titled Nam Gani B’Com Pass 2. The film is produced by Prashanth Shetty of Advi Creations and the makers are yet to finalise the cast. Sumanth Achar is taking care of the cinematography, Umesh R is handling the editing, and Anand Raj Vikram is its music director. The story is in the final stages of development.

Tanya Hope makes a Kannada comeback with Indrajith Lankesh’s Gowri

Tanya Hope, the actor who shot to fame in the Kannada film industry with her role in the Darshan-starrer Yajamana, particularly for her song sequences ‘Bassanni‘, later worked in films like Amar, Khaki, and Home Minister. However, Tanya, who has been expanding her horizons in various languages, is making a return to Kannada cinema once again, this time for a promotional song in director Indrajith Lankesh’s upcoming film, Gowri, where she will be seen dancing alongside debutant Samajit Lankesh. “Sir asked me to join, and I readily agreed. I didn’t overthink it,” says Tanya, “Even though my primary focus is on acting and portraying diverse characters when it comes to dance, I’m naturally drawn to it. I’m excited to be part of another exciting song.”

When asked about her absence from Kannada cinema, Tanya remarks, “I haven’t been getting the right kind of roles, and perhaps my absence contributed to that. So, I saw this as an opportunity to reestablish myself in the industry and contribute to a good film.”

Interestingly, Tanya is also involved in another special project, a song paying tribute to the late Puneeth Rajkumar, which will be released on the actor’s birth anniversary (March 17). “It’s going to be a heartfelt tribute, and we’ve already begun rehearsals,” she shares.

On the film front, Tanya was recently seen in the Tamil film Ranam Aram Thavarel, and her multilingual film Weapon is set to hit screens in March. “Every industry I’ve worked in has been welcoming and has provided me with opportunities,” Tanya reflects, “Each experience has been invaluable in shaping my craft. I’m grateful for the chance to work across languages—it’s helped me grow as an artist and understand different audiences. I just want to keep learning and evolving with each project.”