27 July 1937
|Died||22 August 2003 (aged 66)|
|Residence||Jalahalli, Bangalore, India|
|Other names||V. Somasekharan|
|Occupation||Film director, producer, screenwriter|
|Awards||Puttanna Kanagal Award (2001)|
Venkatappa Somashekhar (27 July 1937 – 22 August 2003) was an Indian film director, producer and screenwriter in Kannada and Malayalam cinema. In 40 years of his career as a director, he directed 49 films, including commercial successes such as Premada Kanike (1976), Shankar Guru (1978), Seetharamu (1979) and Chakravyuha (1983). Widely known for action-oriented movies, he was much sought as a hit-machine.
Following his directorial career, he worked as the President of Kannada Film Directors Association. Recognizing his contribution to Kannada cinema, he was awarded the Puttanna Kanagal Award in 2001.
In 1955, in Madras (now Chennai), at the age of 18, Somashekhar entered cinema hoping to become an actor and started as a clapperboard operator. He then appeared in uncredited film roles before working as a dubbing artist. Following this, he worked as an assistant director to popular film directors at the time, R. Nagendra Rao, N. G. Rajan, Y. R. Swamy, Ramamurthy and Babu Rao.
Somashekhar started out as an independent director with the 1974 film Bangaarada Panjara starring Rajkumar in the lead role. The film was a commercial success. Collaborating with Rajkumar, he followed this up with other hit films such as Premada Kanike (1976), Shankar Guru (1978), Thayige Thakka Maga (1978) and Parashuram (1989).
He directed Ambarish in the 1983 film Chakravyuha for Eshwari Productions, after their previous venture Ajith ran well. Chakravyuha, a commercial success, was remade in Hindi as Inquilaab, and revived the latter's career following a series of failures. Ambarish went on to do a string of movies with Somashekhar, namely Gajendra, Chaduranga, Deverelliddaane, Mrugaalaya, Bete, Mr Raja and Bedi, each having a tone of a rebel hero fighting against the corrupt, earning the sobriquet "Rebel Star."
With Vishnuvardhan, he worked in the film Kalinga (1980) and Chanakya (1984). Other popular films directed by him include Point Parimala (1980), Ranaranga (1988) and S. P. Bhargavi (1981). In the late 80s, he collaborated with director Vijay and writer CV Shivashankr and made a string of successful movies.
Final years and death
Following his film career as a director after retiring in 1992, Somashekhar associated himself with the Kannada Film Directors Association, serving as its President and as a working committee member of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce.
|1976||Premada Kanike||Kannada||Yes||Won, Karnataka State Film Award for Third Best Film|
|1978||Thayige Thakka Maga||Kannada||Yes|
|1985||Njangal Jayikkum Njangal Bharikum||Malayalam||Yes|
|1985||Devarelliddane||Kannada||Yes||Yes||also wrote story|
|1986||Ee Jeeva Ninagagi||Kannada||Yes|
|1990||Prathap||Kannada||Yes||Yes||Yes||also wrote story|
|1991||Varagala Bete||Kannada||Yes||also wrote story|
|1991||S. P. Bhargavi||Kannada||Yes||Yes||Yes||also wrote story|
|1992||Chitralekha||Kannada||Yes||Yes||Yes||also wrote story|
|1993||Kempaiah IPS||Kannada||Yes||Yes||also wrote story|
- "V Somashekar Dead". chitraloka.com. 23 August 2003. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
- "Shivaraj, Tara, Anu bag State film awards". The Hindu. 17 December 2001. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
- "Somashekar passes away". The Hindu. 23 August 2003. Retrieved 18 November 2014.