Friday, November 20, 2015

Dada Saheb Phalke-Father Of Indian Cinema

Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, better known as Dadasaheb Phalke is famous as the Father of Indian Cinema.He was the producer/director of 95 feature films.
Dadasaheb Phalke was born on 30 April 1870 at Tryambakeshwar, near Nasik,Maharashtra.After schooling he joined 'Kala Bhavan' Baroda, from where he got training in Photography,Painting,Sculpture,Engineering,drawing etc.
When Phalke watched a film 'Life of Christ' in 1910 he felt very much impressed about the new media   and started to think seriously about making movies.He gathered data about the techniques and instruments required for film production.He traveled to England and made arrangements for the shipment of the movie camera and other instruments to India.
He gave adequate training of loading the film in the movie camera and film  processing etc to his wife also.
Dadasaheb Phalke wanted to make stories from Hindu mythology since it would be familiar to most of the audience and  the elaborate sets,costumes,
and fantasy scenes would be appealing to the audience.
As the first movie he planned to produce 'Raja Harishchandra', the story of a King  who stood firmly for the sake of truth.
To convince financiers about the new medium, as well as his capability to make movies, he made a short film 'The birth of a pea plant' and exhibited it  to them.They felt confident about Phalke's abilities and  readily agreed to finance the project.
At that period it took more than six months to finish the film.Dadasaheb Phalke had instructed his cast and  crew members to keep about the film making a secret and so more than 500 people who worked on the project said to others that they work  in a  Harishchandra's factory.
During the initial period getting female artists to act in films   was also a big  problem and in his first film the role of 'Maharani Taramati' was portrayed by a male actor 'Anna Salunke'.
'Raja Harishchandra' was released in 1913 and it was a big success.It got recognition as the first full length feature film of India.
Dadasaheb Phalke approached the film field with full dedication.Many of his movies were virtually a feast for the audience.He did not hesitate to initiate his  daughter Mandakini to  act as 'Krishna' in 'Kalia Mardan' of 1919.
Altogether he made 95 feature films and 26 short films in his career.
He formed a film company 'Hindustan Films' in partnership with five business men of Mumbai  but after a few years  later withdrew from it.
His last film was 'Gangavataran' in 1937.
Dadasaheb Phalke passed away  on 15 Feb. 1944.
The Dadasaheb Phalke Award, which is the highest Cinema award in India is instituted in his honor by the Government of India.

Scene from 'Raja Harishchandra'

A scene from 'Lanka Dahan'

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