Sunil Kumar Desai (Kannada: ಸುನೀಲ್ ಕುಮಾರ್ ದೇಸಾಯಿ) is a Kannada film director. In most of his movies, Desai blends art and commercial cinema. He has written and directed suspense/thrillers and love stories. He has won the Karnataka state awards (4 times) in the Best Screenplay & Best Dialogs categories. He has also won the Filmfare awards 4 times. Desai worked with South Indian musicians like Illayaraja, Hamsalekha & Gunasingh.
Sunil Kumar Desai was born in 1955 in Bijapur, North Karnataka. He had his primary education in Bijapur and higher education in Pune. He started his film-career as an assistant to Kashinath, a renowned writer, actor, director and producer of many Kannada films. Desai continued to work as an assistant to Suresh Heblikar, an actor, director and environmentalist. He was also involved in a couple of controversies with actor Vishnuvadhan as the latter did not like the way Desai explained the scenes and the pace with which the movies were going.
Sunil Kumar Desai is a very close friend of two famous personalties hailing from Gokarna - Mr. Jayant Kaikini and Professor Dr. Narayan Hosmane of Illinois, USA, who came to rescue Desai financially when his 2006 movie Ramya Chaitra Kala came to halt because of lack of money. Indirectly, Dr. Hosmane became one of the salient producers of Desai's movie and ever since both of them became very close friends. According to rumors in Karnataka, this was the entry into Kannada Film Industry for Dr. Hosmane.