Remembering Dadasaheb Phalke, the father of Indian cinema

Published on 16 Feb 2016 1:26 PM GMT
Remembering Dadasaheb Phalke, the father of Indian cinema
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70c40752-2685-49ed-b20f-ec6091878109 Tauseef Ahmad

Lucknow: Had it not been a minor misunderstanding with his partner, Dada Phalke would not have left printing press business and India might not have the first film maker of India and the Film Industry we have today.

Dhundiraj Govind Phalke,popularly known as Dadasaheb Phalke, the father of Indian cinema, may have left us on this date 72 years-ago but his imprints in the Bollywood would remain intact for the times to come.

It happened only after when he left his business of a printing press owing to misunderstanding with his partner and entered into an entirely different domain of film making, the Dada Sahab Phalke not only managed to earn a historical credit of making India’s first full length feature film -- Raja Harishchandra in 1913 but more importantly, he paved the way for what became an outstanding entertainment industry of the World.

Born in a Marathi family from Nashik, Maharashtra, India, he passed out from J. J. School of Art, Mumbai in 1890, Phalke went to the Kala Bhavan, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in Vadodara, where he studied sculpture, engineering, drawing, painting and photography.

Raja Harishchandra:

  • The first India movie was made for 40 minutes with Marathi sub-titles.
  • The film starts with a scene of a tableaux patterned on the painting by
  • Raja Ravi Varma, of Raja Harishchandra and his wife with their son.
  • The film revolves around the noble and righteous king, Harishchandra.

His career

  • Phalke, the first film maker believes that India needs to experience movie-making so that the Indian people could make use of this source of entertainment.
  • After making ‘Raja Harischandra,’ Phalke formed a film company, Hindustan Films in partnership with five businessmen from Mumbai, but due to some insuperable problems he resigned from the industry in 1920. Rangbhoomi was the next play after his retirement.

Movies made by Phalke:

  • Raja Harishchandra (1913)
  • Mohini Bhasmasur (1913)
  • Satyavan Savitri (1914)
  • Lanka Dahan (1917)
  • Shri Krishna Janma (1918)
  • Kaliya Mardan (1919)
  • Buddhadev (1923)
  • Setu Bandhan (1932)

He came up with a sound movie Gangavataran (1937) which was also the last movie of his career.

Achievements:

  • The Marathi film Harishchandrachi Factory, which was directed by theatre veteran Paresh Mokashi in 2009 and depicts Dadasaheb Phalke's struggle in making Raja Harishchandra in 1913, was selected as India's official entry to the Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category.
  • Dadasaheb Phalke Award is India's highest award in cinema; it is presented in National Film Awards ceremony annually by the Directorate of Film Festivals. The award comprises a Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus) medallion, a shawl, and a cash prize of Rs 1,000,000.

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