For decades we have watched Indian Cinema, completely spellbound in the theatres, or sitting in front of the TV or laptop with utmost concentration. Ever wondered who makes these stunning movies that captivate our attention every time? Dadasaheb Phalke was one such movie maker. Extremely talented and a creator of more than 90 movies and 20 short films, we are proud to celebrate his 148th birthday today.
30 Kilometers from Nasik, Dadasaheb Phalke was born in the land of Maharashtra on 30th April 1870. Even Todays’ Google Doodle celebrates his birthday. He died on 16th February 1944, but not without leaving a great mark in the Indian Film Industry.
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Here are some of the achievements of Dadasaheb Phalke that he acquired throughout his career of 19 years in Indian Cinema :
- He became a renowned filmmaker and screenwriter, popularly known as the Father of Cinema after his debut film ‘Raja Harishchandra’ released in 1912.
- He was a well-educated man. In 1885 he went on to study in JJ School of Art in Mumbai but had to leave after the demise of his wife and child. After that, he worked with the Archeological Department at the Archeological Survey of India before he went into the business of printing. Earlier he studied Sculpture, drawing, photography, painting and engineering from Kala Bhavan in Baroda in the Maharaja Sayajirao University. He started his career as a photographer later in Godhra.
- After releasing his first film he went on to make several other successful films like ‘Mohini Bhasmasur’ (1913), ‘Lanka Dahan’ (1917), ‘Savitri Satyavan’ (1914), Kaliya Mardan’ (1919), ‘Shri Krishna Janma’ (1918) etc.
- Silent films became a trend soon after Dadasaheb Phalke introduced himself into the industry. Therefore, he opened a company with five businessmen in Mumbai called ‘Hindustan Films’.
- The most important accolade that he received was when the Government, in honour of his contribution to Indian Cinema, introduced the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1969 which is one of the most prestigious awards that are given to only the most noted individuals in the film industry.
In his personal life, He lost his first wife and child in a very tragic episode of the bubonic plague, but later married Saraswatabai who was very supportive of his profession and raised a family with her.
Indian Cinema has indeed been lucky in having Dadasaheb Phalke in its midst since he laid the foundation of film making so early in the industry’s workings. We honour him for giving us so many brilliant films to watch and so much to learn and get inspired from.