149th Birth Anniversary of the Father of Indian Cinema: Dadasaheb Phalke
Today, it is the 149th birth anniversary of Dadasaheb Phalke, who is also known as the Father of Indian cinema. He is credited to take Indian cinema to new heights. He was an Indian producer, director, and screenwriter. The full name of Dadasaheb Phalke was Dhundiraj Govind Phalke. He was born 30 April 1870, at Triambakeshwar, near Nashik in Maharashtra, India. He had started his career in the film industry in 1913 with Raja Harishchandra and gave Indian cinema its first film. Phalke’s magic touch with unique effects and technique made the film a huge hit. Thereafter, Dadasaheb Phalke made a total of 95 movies and 26 short films during his career spanning 19 years. Some of the films produced by Phalke include Lanka Dahan (1917), Shri Krishna janma (1918), Sairandari (1920), and Shakuntala (1920).
Phalke was a very talented film technician, and he experimented with different variety of effects. In the year 1917, he established the Hindustan Film Company. His mythological themes and trick photography always delighted his audience. But with the introduction of sound in cinema, and the expansion of the film industry, Phalke’s work lost popularity. It was the time phase when the audience wanted to enjoy speaking film and hear the dialogues spoken by the on-screen characters.
In 1932, the Phalka released his last silent film, Setubandhan. This film was later released again with the dubbing of sound. Years after the popularity of the talking films, he made his last and only talkie, Gangavataran in 1937. After this film, Dadasaheb Phalke retired and settled in Nashik. There he dies on 16 February 1944, and India lost the magician of the Indian film industry.
In 1969, The Government of India established Dadasaheb Phalke Award to recognize his lifetime contributions to India cinema. This award is known as one of the most prestigious awards in Indian cinema. The first Phalke Award was given to actress Devika Rani.
“I have to keep making films in my country so that it gets established as an industry at home.”- Dadasaheb Phalke