This talented powerhouse's first film, Raja Harishchandra, is also considered as the first full-length Indian movie.
Released in 1913, the film has gone down in cinematic history as India's first full-length feature film.
He is Dadasaheb Phalke, the Father of Indian Cinema.
On 19 September 2023, film director SS Rajamouli (of RRR fame) announced a biopic ‘Made in India’ on the legendary director.
While other details about this film are awaited, here are ten facts about the legend.
Phalke was born in the Trimbak city of Maharashtra in 1870 to a Marathi Brahmin family.
His father, a Sanskrit scholar and mother, a homemaker, christened him as Dhundiraj Govind Phalke.
Phalke was only 15 when he enrolled in Mumbai’s JJ School of Arts where he completed a year of drawing along with training in photography, dramatics and architecture.
This is also where he met his first wife.
Though Phalke’s film career did not start until 1912, the seeds of it were sown in the mid-1890s when he got himself a camera and began clicking portraits.
When the ‘business’ failed, Phalke lived in Godhra. He then moved to Baroda to establish a photo studio.
It was here that he met a German illusionist, Carl Hertz, who taught him tricks of photography that all of Phalke’s films carry.
While at Baroda, Phalke lost his wife and child to the Surat plague of 1899 which affected 19 of the town’s villages.
Devastated by personal loss, Phalke soon moved out of the city. He would later go on to marry a woman called Girija, who lent her support during the making of his first film.
The real inspiration to make movies kicked in around 1911 when Phalke came across films like ‘Amazing Animals’ and ‘The Life of Christ’.
In 1913, he released ‘Raja Harishchandra’ which he wrote, directed and produced.
The legend passed away in 1944 giving Indian cinema over 90 feature-length films.