Celebrating 148th Birth Anniversary of Father of Indian Cinema

Google with a doodle of iconic director Dhundiraj Govind Phalke (30 April 1870 – 16 February 1944), popularly known as Dadasaheb Phalke is celebrating his 148th birth anniversary today. Artist Aleesha Nandhra designed the doodle, which shows a young Phalke going about directing the first few classics of Indian cinema. He was born in Trimbak in present-day Maharashtra and was the son of a scholar. He worked as a painter, draftsman, theatrical set designer and lithographer at different points of his career. Being an Indian producer-director-screenwriter, his debut film Raja Harishchandra (India's first full-length feature) the first Marathi cinema which was also the first Indian cinema in 1913 proved a milestone for his career and earned Phalke the title of “Father of Indian cinema’’.

The Government of India in 1969 instituted in his honor Dadasaheb Phalke Award, for lifetime contribution to cinema. The award is one of the most prestigious awards in Indian cinema and is the highest official recognition for film personalities in the country. Phalke was also deeply influenced by the works of painter Raja Ravi Varma and brought stories from Indian culture to the silver screen. He made 95 movies and 27 short films in his career spanning 19 years, till 1937. An honorary award from the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Mumbai was introduced in the year 2001, for lifetime achievement in Indian cinema.

The first recipient of Dadasaheb Phalke award was actress Devika Rani, who was honoured at the 17th National Film Awards. As of 2017, there have been 49 awardees. Among those, actor Prithviraj Kapoor and actor Vinod Khanna are the only posthumous recipients. The actor Vinod Khanna was honored with Dadasaheb Phalke award at the 65th National Film Awards ceremony in 2017 posthumously.


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