In every film industry, there are certain production houses which are known for making high budget entertainers. Whether it is Dharma Productions in Bollywood, Geeta Arts in Tollywood or AVM Productions in Kollywood, they are known for making large than life films. Likewise in Sandalwood, from many years, there was no production house, which was known for producing high budget films. Even though there were some production house like Ramu Films and Rockline Productions, they started to concentrate more on remakes. This left a vacuum in Sandalwood, which was filled by Hombale Films.
Hombale Films is owned by Vijay Kiragandur, who is a well known builder in Bengaluru. After succeeding in field of real estate, he entered Sandalwood with “Ninnindale”. The film had Puneeth Rajkumar in lead and was a high budget family entertainer that was released in 2014.
However upon release, it met with mixed response. The film, which was shot fully abroad did not create any curiosity among Kannadigas after first weekend. It ended as an average venture at the box office.
Even though their debut venture did not meet their expectation, they continued to do films . They started working on Yash’s “Masterpiece”. The high budget film released in 2015 was a box office hit. The film did record breaking business in first weekend, proving that even Kannada films can compete with other language films.”Masterpeice” just missed the mark of becoming an industry hit by few crores.
However, their third venture “Raajakumara” did the unthinkable and became an industry hit. It reportedly grossed more than Rs 50 crores in Karnataka box office and was an all time blockbuster. Puneeth Rajkumar, who needed a blockbuster hit, finally got it with this film.
Hombale Film’s next project is the mush-hyped “KGF”. Estimated to be made at a cost of Rs 50 cr, the film is expected to hit the screen during Christmas.
This will be the highest budget film made in Sandalwood. Starring Yash and Srinidhi Shetty, the makers have spent more than a year only on pre production. The film is expected to shatter all records at the box office. It is also expected to do roaring business in other parts of India.
Rajesh, a journalist, who follows films closely says, “Hombale Films have changed the way Kannada films are made. They are working with top stars of Sandalwood. They are passionate about films. Budget does not matter to them. They intend to give good quality films, which can be compared to other language films. For instance, “Annange Love Agide” song from “Masterpiece” had 1000’s of dancers. A thing like this was never done in South Indian films. They may have money due to their real estate business. But investing in good content films is a very good thing. Hombale Films are also concentrating on making only original films, which is a very good sign.”
Karthik Gowda, creative producer of Hombale Films has now started KRG Studios, a sister concern of Hombale Films. KRG Films will concentrate on producing and distributing small budget and content based films. Their first venture is “Operation Alemelamma”, which they are distributing worldwide. KRG Studios will also co-produce a film with Puneeth Rajkumar, which will star Manish Rishi in lead and will be directed by Hemanth Rao.
“KGF” will be an acid test for Hombale Films. If the film has to recover money, it has to become an industry hit. They have not yet announced their next production. They have worked with stars like Yash and Puneeth Rajkumar. It is the right time for them to work with other big stars like Darshan and Kiccha Sudeepa.