Essay On Dadasaheb Phalke – ‘Father of Indian Cinema’
Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, popularly known as Dadasaheb Phalke was an Indian film producer, director and a writer. He is also known as, Father of Indian Cinema’.
Dadasaheb Phalke was born on 30 April 1870 in a Brahmin family in Nashik, Maharashtra. His father was a brilliant scholar. Dadasaheb joined Sir J.J. School of Arts in Mumbai. After passing from it, he went to Baroda where he studied sculpture, drawing, painting and photography.
He began his career as a photographer. Soon he turned his attention to the business of printing. He started his own printing press. He made his first trip to Germany, to learn about the latest art, technology and machinery.
After watching a silent film, ‘The Life of Christ’, he gave up printing and turned his attention to moving pictures. In 1913, he made his first film called ‘Raja Harishchandra’. It was the first fulllength feature film in India. This marked the beginning of the Indian film industry. The first women artist who worked in films was Kamalabai Gokhale. She acted in ‘Mohini Bhasmasur, which was directed by Dadasaheb. He continued to make several silent films and documentaries. They also included educational as well as comedy films. Slowly the financial capability of making film was known. This attracted the attention of businesspersons who decided to give financial support to produce films.
In partnership with five businesspersons from Mumbai, Dadasaheb formed a film company called Hindustan Films’ He also set up a studio and trained technicians and actors. He made 95 movies and 26 short films in his career of 19 years. Some of his most important works are ‘Mohini Bhasmasur’, ‘Satyavan Savitri’, ‘Lanka Dahan’, ‘Shri Krishna Janma’and ‘Kaliya Mardan’.
The times changed and Dadasaheb was unable to cope. The man who had fathered the Indian cinema industry became out-dated. His last movie was ‘Gangavataran’. After this movie he retired to Nashik where he died on 16 February 1944.
In his honour, the Government of India started Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1969. This award is presented to those personalities for their lifetime contribution to Indian cinema. It is one of the most prestigious awards in Indian cinema. This award is the highest official respect for film personalities in India. In 1971, a postage stamp, bearing Dadasaheb’s face, was also released by Indian Post in his honour.
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