Dadasaheb Phalke – “The father of Indian cinema” and his full name is Dhundiraj Govind Phalke was born on April 30, 1870 in Nasik, Maharashtra. He studied at the Sir J.J. School of Arts, Bombay. After completing his studies at the J.J.School, he went to the Kala Bhavan in Baroda to learn photography, printing and magic. Beginning his career as a photographer in Godhra, he left his business after the death of his first wife and child in a plague outbreak.
He then began to work with the Archeological Survey of India. He then tried his hand at painting and started his own printing press. He went to Germany to about the latest developments in printing technology and machinery.
It was after watching a silent film, The Life of Christ that he got interested in filmmaking. The first film he made was Raja Harishchandra in 1912, which was shown publicly for the first time on May 3, 1913 at Bombay’s Coronation Cinema. He went on to make several silent films like Shri Krishna Janma, Kaliya Mardan , Setu Bandhan besides many documentaries. He started a film company, Hindustan Films in collaboration with a few other businessmen and set up a model studio. Before long, he broke off from his partners. Then he wrote a play ‘Rangbhoomi’, which received widespread applause.
He made his last movie Gangavataran before the age of talkies took over. The Government of India instituted the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in his honour. This legend of Indian cinema passed away on February 16, 1944.