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Dadasaheb Phalke: The Detailed Biography About Him



Dadasaheb Phalke

The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is one of the biggest awards of india; it is an annual award given by the Government of India to an individual for his lifetime contribution to Indian cinema. This award started from the birth centenary year 1969 of Dadasaheb Phalke. The ‘Dada Saheb Phalke Award’, given as the ‘Life Time Achievement Award’, is the most prestigious in the film sector of India. The award is provided on the recommendations of a committee of eminent persons.

The Complete Life of Dadasaheb Phalke

Dadasaheb Phalke: The Detailed Biography About Him Dadasaheb Phalke 1

Dadasaheb Phalke was born on April 30 1870, at a pilgrimage place called Trimbakeshwar near Nasik. Dadasaheb belonged to a Brahmin Marathi family named Dhundiraj Govind Phalke. Dhundiraj Govind Phalke’s father was a well-known scholar from Nashik, due to which Dhundiraj Govind Phalke was interested in art since childhood.

In 1885, when he turned fifteen years old, he enrolled at Bombay’s J. J. School of Art, which was a major education centre for art at that time. After learning painting from J. J. School of Art in 1890, Phalke enrolled in Kala Bhawan of the famous Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, from where he studied photography and architecture along with painting.

Now, after completing the studies of art and photography, he started the photographer’s work so that his life could go on. At first, he started from a small town Godhra, but he had to leave this work midway because his wife and child had died in the plague. He could not bear this shock and quit his job in Godhra.

When he recovered from this shock, he met Carl Hertz, a German magician who used to work with the great Lumiere Brothers of that time. In 1903, Phalke wanted to become a cartographer in the Archaeological Survey of India, but he became a state service due to the Swadeshi movement of 1905. 

He started his film career with the 1913 film Raja Harishchandra, and till 1937 he made 95 films and 26 short films in 19 years of his career. The Government of India announced the Dadasaheb Phalke Award (for lifetime contribution) in his honour in 1969.

The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is considered one of the most important awards of Indian cinema. A postal stamp of his face was also introduced by India Post in 1971. Dadasaheb Phalke Academy, Mumbai, also announced several awards in his honour in the year 2001.

When he was 40 years old, due to the loss in business, his nature had become irritable. While watching the film named ‘Christ’, Phalke decided that his life aimed to become a filmmaker. He felt that mythological epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata would make good stories for movies. He had all kinds of skills. He used to try new things.

So by taking advantage of the training and his idiosyncratic nature, he became the first person to do the impossible task of making the first Indian motion picture. Dadasaheb went to England in February 1912 to take a crash course in film production and spent a week working under Cecil Hepworth. Cabourn helped Dadasaheb Phalke ji to select raw materials and equipment such as a Williamson camera, a film perforator, processing and printing machines. He made ‘Raja Harishchandra’.

Phalke made his first film ‘Raja Harishchandra’ in 1912, which was a silent film and the country’s first feature film. About 15 thousand rupees were spent on the production of the film. This was a huge amount in those days. Phalke somehow completed the film, and its performance became a big problem. In those days, plays were in vogue. People used to enjoy six hours of drama in two annas. In such a situation, who spends three annas and watches an hour’s film.

Perhaps this was the reason why Phalke advertised it in a completely in new way to attract the audience. See 57 thousand pictures in a two-mile-long film in just three aane’. The advertisement of India’s first film, ‘Raja Harishchandra’, was of this type. It was streamed to an audience on May 03, 1913, at the Coronation Theater in Mumbai. The spectators were in awe of a mythological saga on the go. India’s first film was in front of the audience.

Being a silent film, character introductions and dialogues were spoken from behind the scenes. At that time, only men used to play women’s characters, so the role of Rani Taramati in the film was played by a young man named Salunke.  Setubandhan, released in 1932, was Phalke’s last silent film. After this, he started living out of the film world. Sankalp-rich Phalke once again tried to return to the cinema world with the talkative film ‘Gangaavataran’ (1937). But his magic could not work. ‘Gangavataran’ was his first and last speech film.

First Movies of Dadasaheb Phalke 

The first film of Dadasaheb Phalke was Raja Harishchandra.

The film was screened for an audience on 3 May 1913 at the Coronation Theater in Mumbai.

Some famous movies of Dadasaheb Phalke

Raja Harishchandra in 1913.

Mohini Bhasmasur in 1913.

Satyavan Savitri in 1914. 

Lanka Dahan in 1917.

Shri Krishna Birth in 1918.

Kalia Mardan in 1919.

Main films made by Dadasaheb Phalke

Rajarishi Ambarish – 1922

Ram Maruti War – 1923

Guru Dronacharya – 1923

In Ashwatha – 1923

Shivajichi Agryahun Sutaka – 1924

Satyabhama – 1925

Ram Rajya Vijay – 1926

Bahkar Prahlad – 1926

Hanuman was born.  – 1927

Draupadi undressing – 1927

Parashuram – 1928

Saint Mirabai – 1929

Kabir Kamal – 1930

Memorable movies of Dadasaheb Phalke

In the film journey of 25 years, Dadasaheb Phalke produced many films from 1913 to 1923. Some of these memorable films are as follows.

 Raja Harishchandra (1913)

 Mohini Bhasmasur (1913)

 Savitri Satyavan (1914)

 Lanka Dahan (1917)

 Shri Krishna Birth (1918)

 Kalia Mardan (1919)

 Kansa Vadh (1920)

 Shakuntala (1920)

 Sant Tukaram (1921)

 Bhakt Gora (1923)

 Setu Bandhan (1932)

 Gangavataran (1937) The first and only with sound

Some Interesting Facts about Dadasaheb Phalke

Dadasaheb Phalke had a total of 9 children.

Dadasaheb Phalke founded the Phalke Film Company in Dadar (Mumbai) in 1912.

His first film was “Raja Harishchandra”, which was made in the year 1913. This film was directed by himself. 

Dadasaheb Phalke produced a total of 95 films and 26 short films in just 20 years.

Dadasaheb Phalke made his films in Nashik instead of Mumbai.

Dadasaheb Phalke’s last silent film was ‘Setubandhan’ which came out in 1932 and was later dubbed and voiced.

‘Hindustan Cinema Company’ was established in partnership with Dadasaheb Phalke.

The name of the only film which has a sound that Dadasaheb Phalke made was ‘Gangaavataran’.

In 1930, Dadasaheb Phalke left the film production.

Read More -: MBA Chaiwala Detailed Biography

The Final Words

So, this was the blog on Dadasaheb Phalke. Dadasaheb Phalke died on 16 February 1944. Even today, no one has been able to forget this thing inside the entire film world. The contribution made by Dadasaheb Phalke inside the film world can never be forgotten. 


When was the Dadasaheb Phalke Award Started?

The Dadasaheb Phalke Award was instituted in 1969 on the occasion of the birth centenary year of Dadasaheb Phalke, the father of Indian cinema.

What is the amount of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award?

 At present, this award gives 10 lakh rupees and Swarna Kamal.

Who can get the Dadasaheb Phalke Award? 

The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is given as an honour to the person who has made an invaluable contribution to Indian cinema.

Who was the first woman to receive the Dadasaheb Phalke Award?

The first Dadasaheb Phalke honour was given to Devika Rani.

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