Dadasaheb Phalke, the founding father of Indian Cinema, was born on April 30, 1870 at Trimbakeshwar near Nasik in the Maharashtra state of India. Named as Dhundiraj Govind Phalke by his Sanskrit scholar parents, Phalke developed a passion for creative arts from a young age and enrolled at the Sir J.J. School of Arts, Bombay in 1885. He also studied photography and printing in the famous Kala Bhavan in Baroda.
After initial attempts to start a career in photography, Dadasaheb
Phalke set up a printing business which proved to be a successful
venture. However soon differences with his partners cropped up and an
incident in 1910 changed the life of Dadasaheb Phalke forever. During
this time the films of Lumiere Brothers were being shown in Indian
theaters and after watching the 'The Life of Christ' in 1910 Phalke
decided to take the plunge in film-making.
Being the pioneer Dada Saheb Phalke had to face roadblocks in every
step but he still went ahead and made his first film Raja Harishchandra
in 1912 under the banner of Phalke Film Co. The film was shown to the
public on May 3, 1913 at Bombay's Coronation Cinema. Soon this new art
form caught the fancy of local businessmen and Phalke joined hands with
some of them to form the Hindustan Film Co. in 1917.
True to his creative genius, Dadasaheb Phalke excelled in the art of
film-making and in a career spanning 19 years, he made 95 movies and 26
short films. Phalke's forte was silent movies and the arrival of
'talkies' or movies with sound in the early 1930s brought an end to his
film-making career. Dadasahab Phalke's last silent movie Setubandhan was
released in 1932 and the same movie was again released by dubbing voice.
During 1936-1938 Phalke made his only talkie Gangavataran but it did not
meet financial success. Dadasaheb Phalke passed away on February 16,