Dhundiraj Govind Phalke. A legend in Indian cinema; we know him as Dadasaheb Phalke. He was an Indian producer, director, and screenwriter. Born 1870, on the 30th of April in Trimbak. Died 16 February 1944 in Nashik. A man driven by a dream to innovate, a dream he achieved within his life time.
He was responsible for a film called ‘Raja Harishchandra’ the first Marathi film which was also the first Indian cinema produced in 1913, now known as India’s first full-length feature. There exists 95 movies and 27 short films in his name. He graced us with a 19-year long service with his art up until 1937. Though a great man who lead a great life, it wasn’t always so motivational or inspiring. He started out as a small-time photographer in Godhra but left that path when his wife and child died of the bubonic plague. Truly, he has known tragedy, but as most true artists do, he built something good out of the misery that struck, something that we could all look up to, something that paved the way for us to follow our dreams in the world of cinema.
Soon enough the world of modern technology caught up with him as it does with us all. Sound films – they became part of the reason he retired, or the main reason depending on your perspective. As the technology advanced beyond his artistry, his art form of silent movies slowly became obsolete. He produced his last silent movie ‘Setubandhan’ which was released in (1932) and later released with dubbing. During 1936–38, he produced his last film ‘Gangavataran’ (1937), before retiring to Nashik
He is the man and the legacy that transcended his lifetime, his generation and the many, many generations to follow; it would be safe to assume that this legacy will continue to live on as long as cinema has a place in our society.