Creative men finally find recognition in the art form for which they are best suitedToday, the 30 April 2018 is the 148th birthday of the legend Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, popularly known to the modern generation as Dadasaheb Phalke, but many of us do not know about his struggle in life before he was recognised as the 'Father of the Indian Cinema.
Dadasaheb is the alumnus of J.J. School of Art, Mumbai where he studied for 5 years from 1885 to 1890. He also studied sculpture, engineering, drawing, painting and photography at Maharaja Sayaji Rao University of Baroda.
Dadasaheb Phalke began his career as a small town photographer at Godhra but had to leave the business after his first wife and child died of plague. He worked as draftsman with the Archaeological Survey of India for some time. He later started his business in printing specialising in lithography and oleograph. He also worked for famous Indian painter Raja Ravi Varma. He had to leave the printing business because of a dispute with his business partners.
Inspired by watching a silent film 'The Life of Christ', he thought of depicting Indian gods on the screen and took to film making. His first film 'Raja Harishchandra' was publicly acclaimed when it was shown at Mumbai's Coronation Cinema on 3 May 1913, and thus began the story of the Indian Cinema. Later he made 95 movies and 27 short films establishing himself as a famous film director, producer and scriptwriter.
Dadasaheb could not cope up the the advent of talkie in 1933. His last silent movie was Setubandhan (1932) and his last film was Gangavtaran (1937) after which he retired to his hometown of Nashik where he breathed his last on 16 February 1944.
The Government of India instituted Dadasaheb Phalke Award in his honour in 1969 for Lifetime Contribution to Cinema. So, friends, let's also remember him today by contributing our thoughts in the memory of this great Indian artist who has left an indelible mark on the Indian Cinema.