Sandalwood in 2020: Ranking Top 10 Kannada Films Of 2020

Like almost every other matter, the film industry was also massively hit by Coronavirus. Nevertheless, the pandemic did allow some reforms to trickle into the movie biz. Also, since the first three months of 2020 were normal, there were quite a few films that were released.

Kannada Film Industry had around 75 offerings this year. While a majority of them happened in months 1,2 &3, there were a couple of direct OTT releases and a few which arrived in cinemas in the post-lockdown era.


In this article, we array the top ten Kannada films of this year. Conceding very few flicks made it in 2020, the returns can be deemed as pretty adequate.

10. French Biriyani

You can call this cinema KFI’s best direct-OTT offering of the season. Although not perfect, when you put it on the same spread as the other OTT-releases, this film starring Danish Sait ranks rather delicious. Also, the moment at which it befell, French Biriyani was indeed necessary for the public.

9. Gentleman

Unfortunately, this film failed to get its due to the prevailing circumstances. Gentleman had a few nice moments, and had the makers proceeded with an attacking selling approach, the reactions may have been different.


8. Malgudi Days

Malgudi Days is one film that went slightly under the radar in 2020. This film’s OTT-premier coincided with that of Love Mocktail and Dia, and hence, the film found it difficult to garner the deserving views. Nevertheless, for those yet to watch the film, it’s available for streaming on Amazon Prime.

7. Popcorn Monkey Tiger

A lot of you might not agree with this option. Nonetheless, for the quality and the novelty which was undertaken, PMT warrants a naming in this list. PMT also had good music and some amazing performances to uphold the view.

6. Arishadvarga

A theatrical release after lockdown, this film by Arvind Kamath did receive good praise from the audience and the critics. For those who could not get themselves to the theaters, keenly watch out for the OTT-release of this film.


5. Act 1978

At No.5, we have probably the film by one of the most daring filmmakers in Sandalwood. Daring because of the content he likes to explore, and also daring because he chose to release his film at the theater in the covid-marred situation. Mansore’s Act 1978 was a brilliant hostage thriller and was a welcome release for the industry.

4. Mayabazaar 2016

Boasting a stellar star-cast, Mayabazaar 2016 traversed a set of events that transpired during the demonetization time. There was comedy, drama, and pure emotions, which enabled the film to do well amongst the audience and the review-writers. If you haven’t watched this film yet, we urge you to do so at the quickest.

3. Love Mocktail

Love Mocktail transcended boundaries and clicked big-time on OTT as well as in the theaters. The film has now got a remake, and there is also a sequel that has started. Love Mocktail did have a few weak moments, but they were overshadowed by many relatable and comic sequences.


2. Shivaji Surathkal

We give you Shivaji Surathkal at No.2 on the list. The movie had elements of comedy, thriller, and massive suspense to keep the audience engaged. There was horror as well. Plus, headlining the events, we had a remarkable Ramesh Aravind as the entertaining protagonist.

1. Dia

Not many movies garnered as much praise as this film directed by KS Ashoka. A simple story that was elevated by extra-ordinary performances, and great direction, Dia is our pick as Sandalwood’s best film of 2020.