Maharashtra cinemas to show tribute to Dadasaheb Phalke

All cinemas and multiplexes in Maharashtra will exhibit a short film on the life and works of the Father of Indian cinema, Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, revered as Dadasaheb Phalke, Cultural Affairs Minister Vinod Tawde said here.

The short film will be 55 seconds long and directed by Rajesh Mapuskar, who helmed the much-acclaimed film “Ventilator”, which bagged three National Awards, Tawde said.

The minister made the announcement late on Sunday, on the occasion of the 147th birth anniversary of Dadasaheb Phalke which was celebrated on April 30.

“The film will be shown immediately after the National Anthem in all cinema halls. Necessary orders are being issued to implement this as soon as possible,” said a ministry official.

The short film will highlight the life and times of Dadasaheb Phalke who introduced the art and business of filmmaking in India with his legendary full-length film, “Raja Harishchandra”, in 1913.

Incidentally, last month on April 21, it was the 104th anniversary of the premiere of the film at Olympia Cinematograph cinema hall in south Mumbai.

This year also marks the centenary of India’s first blockbuster film, Dadasaheb Phalke’s “Lanka Dahan” released in 1917, and the 100 years of India’s first ‘double-role’ character played by the legendary actor Anna Hari Salunkhe in the same film (“Lanka Dahan”).

Marking these important milestones, Dadasaheb Phalke’s grandson, Chandrashekhar Pusalkar inaugurated the first ever official website called Dadasaheb Phalke International Awareness Mission on April 21.

Pusalkar said the Phalke family descendents and other prominent personalities have been demanding the conferment of India’s highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna on Dadasaheb Phalke and his wife Saraswati, acknowledged as India’s first film technician.

During his lifetime, the multi-faceted Dadasaheb Phalke made around 30 short films and 45 full-length feature films, all silent and mostly on religious or mythological themes which proved to be immensely popular.

Faced with tough competition from talkies which started in 1931 with “Alam Ara”, he voluntarily withdrew himself from filmmaking in 1937 and spent the last few years of his life in Nashik, his birth-place where he passed away on February 16, 1944.


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