Dada Saheb Phalke’s real name was Dhundi Raj Govind Phalke. Famous for his contribution in bollywood industry Dada Saheb was born on 30 April, 1870 in a Marathi Brahamin Family at Tryambakeshwar, 30 km from Nashik, Maharashtra.
Great Artist: After completing his J.J. School of Arts in 1890 he further went to Baroda to learn Sculpture, Photography, Engineering, Drawing and Painting at Sayajirao University, Baroda.
Local Photographer, Magician and Businessman: He started his career as a photographer from Godhra. Apart from that he also learned Magic after being inspired by a German Magician. But after the sudden death of his first wife and children he quit his career as an artist and started working as a Draftsman with Archeological Survey of India.
Mile stone in Indian Cinema: He wrote about his first experience with moving pictures “While ‘Life of the Christ’ was rolling fast before my eyes I was mentally visualizing the Gods Shri Krishna, Shri Ramchandra, their Gokul and Ayodhya. “Raja Hairshchandra” was the first film of Indian Cinema premiered in May, 1913, budget of this film was INR 15000.
First Short Film: Many people do not know that Dada Saheb’s first film was released in 1910, it was a time lapsed short film called ‘Growth of a Pea Land’.
First Sound Film: He directed the first Indian Sound Film ‘Gangavartaran’. Gangavartaran was also his last film before his retirement.
The great soul DadaSaheb Phalke died on 16 feburary, 1944 at Nashik.
Contributions: In the 19 years journey of Indian Cinema he made 95 films and 26 short films His last silent film ‘Setubandhan’ was released in 1932 and later released with dubbing.
The Dadasaheb Phalke Award, for lifetime contribution to cinema, was instituted in his honour by the Government of India in 1969. The award is one of the most prestigious awards in Indian cinema and is the highest official recognition for film personalities in the country.
A postage stamp bearing his likeness was released by India Post to honour him in 1971. An honorary award from the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Mumbai was introduced in the year 2001, for lifetime achievement in Indian cinema.
Apart from Indian Cinema and lovers of Indian Cinema, Google also honours the Indian producer for his 148th year of his birth. The Google Doodle was featured in Canada, India, Australia and New Zealand.
Compiled by Rajat Vohra, MA Student, Department of MCNM, Central University of Jammu