Indian cinema has a legacy of more than 107 years. The first Indian film, Raja Harischandra, got made in 1913. The director of that film, Dadasaheb Phalke, is often termed as the Father of Indian Cinema. Today is the 150th birth anniversary of Phalke. On this occasion, let us look back into the career of this legendary technician.
Phalke was on 30th April 1870 in the Triambak area of Bombay presidency. He is the alma-meter of popular JJ School of Art in Bombay. Phalke pursued a one-year course of drawing at the institute. Slowly, he attained proficiency in oil painting, watercolor painting, architecture and modeling. Soon, he bought a camera and started experimenting with it. Eventually, Phalke got a knack of photography, processing and printing. Then, Phalke started developing an interest in filmmaking. He left for London and learnt more about the techniques of making a film. After coming back to India, Phalke imported film equipment from Britain. At first, he demonstrated filmmaking to the financiers by shooting a short film. He planted a few peas in a pot and started filming it for one minute every day. After one month, he made a short film of the seed growing into a climber.
Then, he started working on Raja Harishchandra. In a career spanning over 19 years, Phalke made 95 feature films and 27 short films. His most popular works include Kaliya Mardan, Lanka Dahan, Satyavan Savitri and Bhasmasur. Phalke died in 1944 when he was 73. For his incredible contribution to cinema, the Indian government has instituted Dadasaheb Phalke Award. This is the highest honor for any film personality in India.