Puttanna Kanagal was known as Chitra Brahma (God of Films). He was born as Shubraveshti Ramaswamiah Seetharama Sharma. He is the most famous filmmaker of Kannada film industry. He has received three National Awards and three Filmfare Awards. Every year an award is held in his memory by the name of Puttanna Kanagal Award in the Karnataka Award Functions. Puttanna was born in a small village of Kanagal in Karnataka in a poor Brahmin family to Subbamma and Ramaswamaiah. Being born in a low income family had its hardships and he struggled a lot to get a decent job and did many odd jobs for money. But the job of publicity boy brought him the opportunity to be closer to the film industry.
He started his career as an assistant director to B. R. Punthulu and later got into filmmaking as a full-fledged director. The central idea of the films used to be off beat like women-centric and based on Taboos. Puttanna’s first film in Kannada cinema was ‘Gejje Pooje’. It was a landmark film in his career. Puttanna married Nagalakshmi but he shared a special relationship with actress Kalpana and they made a great team together as an artist and director. But after Sharapanjara, the pair never worked together. Puttanna died on 5 June 1985 in Bengaluru, when he was preparing for his film ‘Masanada Hoovu’.
His first movie as an assistant director was Ratnagiri Rahasya in 1957 and as director was Bellimoda. The cast of the film include Kalpana and
. It was a big hit and did commercially well on screen. His another movie as a director in Malayalam was Poocha Kanni. It was based on the Kannada film Triveni by Bekkina Kannu. Puttanna’s movies always had some vibrant and colourful songs in them. He used to have 4-5 songs and had a blast of imagery and vivid serenities in them and the costumes and sets for the songs were chosen very intricately. The homework for songs was done by him to pursue the mood of the film in it.
Puttanna has given a chance to many young artists and strugglers in the industry like Leelavathi, Kalpana, Aarathi, Jayanthi, Vajramuni, Jagadish, Rajinikanth,
, Vishnu Vardhan, Ambarish, Gangadhar, Sridhar, Ramakrishna and Aparna. The first director of Kannada Film Directors Association was Puttanna in 1984 after it started. The Poonam Theatre in Jayanagar, Bangalore was named after him.