April 30, 2015 :: In History Today : Birth of Dadasaheb Phalke [ father of Indian cinema ]
Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, popularly known as Dadasaheb Phalke (30 April 1870 – 16 February 1944) was an Indian producer-director-screenwriter, known as the father of Indian cinema. Starting with his debut film, Raja Harishchandra in 1913, now known as India’s first full-length feature, he made 95 movies and 26 short films in his career spanning 19 years, till 1937, including his most noted works: Mohini Bhasmasur (1913), Satyavan Savitri (1914), Lanka Dahan (1917), Shri Krishna Janma (1918) and Kaliya Mardan (1919).
The Dadasaheb Phalke Award, for lifetime contribution to cinema, was instituted in his honour by the Government of India in 1969. The award is one of the most prestigious awards in Indian cinema and is the highest official recognition for film personalities in the country. A postage stamp, bearing his face, was released by India Post to honour him in 1971. A variant, honorary Award from The Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Mumbai was Introduced in the year 2001, for lifetime achievement in Indian cinema.
Dhundiraj Govind Phalke was born in a deshastha Brahmin Marathi family on 30 April 1870 at Tryambakeshwar, 30 km from Nashik, Maharashtra, India, where his father was an accomplished scholar.
He joined Sir J. J. School of Art, Mumbai in 1885. After passing from J.J. School in 1890, Phalke went to the Kala Bhavan in Baroda, where he studied sculpture, engineering, drawing, painting and photography.