It is a sort of irony that Nagathihalli Chandrasekhar, the current top Kannada film director is an intellectual giant. Chandru as he is popularly known is today the showman of Kannada cinema. A former Kannada lecturer in PES College, Bangalore he has also written 15 novels and travelogues. When he was a student in Mysore University he bagged eight gold medals in his post graduation in Kannada. Chandru’s journey in the tinsel town began from the National award winning Kannada film Kaadina Benki. He assisted director, actor and environmentalist Suresh Heblikar in the screenplay department and also wrote a song for that film. The early spark in him was seen in films like Sankranthi, Prathama, Usha Kirana, Urvashi, Udhbava and Undu Hoda Kondu Hoda which he assisted in various capacities.
The literary work on the one side and studying the pulse of the audience Nagathihalli tried out for independent direction and succeeded with flying colours. The first film Nagathihalli directed ‘Baa Nalle Madhuchandrake’ (ran for 100 days) starring the IAS officer K.Shivaramu, made him a name to reckon with. But it was America America that made him commercially the most viable director in Kannada cinema. The film was entirely shot in US and it ran for a year in a Bangalore theatre. Later the film was commercially released even in US where there is a large Kannada software NRI population. Thanks to Chandru there is a huge market for Kannada films in US. Chandru has bagged three consecutive National awards for best regional film for Kotreshi Kanasu, America America and Hoomale, 5 state awards, 3 Tarangini Berkley award, Madras Film Fans Association award and 20 other awards which he finds it difficult to put in his showcase.
Chandru is married to a computer professional. He is today considered in the media as the modern days Girish Kasaravalli. His latest film Nanna Preethiya Hudugi and its B.Jayashri number ‘Car, Car…’ is the latest crace among youth in Karanataka. Now moving one step ahead Chandru has dubbed Nanna Preethiya Hudugi into English titled My Favourite Girl. He is all set to premier it in New York in first week of August. Chandru feels that if he has to reach across to the NRI youth it should be in English. All the best Chandru, you are the pioneer of Kannada cinema.