About Dadasaheb Phalke Academy :
DADASAHEB PHALKE ACADEMY, an All India Body of 38 Cine Associations, is engaged in the service of Father of Indian Cinema, organizing PHALKE JAYANTI while honouring about 55 Seniors, Labour to Legend and others, since the year 2000. For further information about the Academy, please visit : http://www.dadasahebphalkeacademy.org/
Birth of Cinema in India :
Cinema, in India, arrived in 1896, when the elite of Mumbai had the mind-boggling experience of watching pictures that actually moved ! It was thus on 7th July 1896, at the Watsons Hotel in South Mumbai, now known as Esplanade Mansion, that Maurice Sestier screened what the media called "the marvel of the century". How sad that the centenary was not celebrated in 1996! The small district town of Nasik , where Phalke produced "Raja Harishchandra" he was eager to show his work to the rural audiences. He took his film in bullock carts into the interior of Maharashtra, and screened it with his own projector ! The four-reeler was 3700 ft. in length and the total cost of production was Rs. 15,000. Dadasaheb Phalke continued to make film till his death in 1944. Like Charlie Chaplin, he was the unhappy with the talkie film format. Though the talkie film had come into being in America in 1927/28 it had reached Bombay by 1931, Silent film makers struggled with their products till 1934, the last year when silent films were produced.
Though Dadasaheb Phalke has been recognised as the Father of the Indian Film Industry, the fact remains that Indian technicians had been shooting films at least 15 years earlier, but recognition didn't come to Save Dada in Mumbai and Pune, or Hiralal Sen at Kolkata as their films did not present regular stories. Their creations consisted of stray shots edited together, except for Hiralal Sen who had shot scenes from a stage play at Kolkata. Phalke, on the other hand, produced Raja Harishchandara with a definite story line, to become the first man to have made a feature film in India.
Silent movies reigned supreme, in India, till 1931. Experiments had been undertaken in other parts of the world to have the moving picture also talk. Though Warner Bros. THE JAZZ SINGER was the world's first talkie, it was preceded by MELODY OF LOVE in India, which was screened by J.F. Madan at his Elphinenstone Picture Palace at Kolkata. Not to be left behind , Indian film makers took to the talkie film with great enthusiasm, and Ardeshir Irani released the country's first talkie, ALAM ARA, in 1931, a mere four years after the first talkie film was produced in America.
PRO : Pannu Singh
Photos : Bhanwer Mali (Designage Works)