Today, marks the 77th death anniversary of Dadasaheb Phalke.
Filmmaker Dadasaheb Phalke’s grandson, Chandrashekhar Pusalkar recently spoke about his late grandfather’s contribution to Indian cinema at a session during the 51st International Film Festival of India (IFFI). According to Pusalkar, Phalke, regarded as father of Indian cinema, should be conferred the title of Bharat Ratna for his contribution to the film industry. Raja Harishchandra was Dhundiraj Govind Phalke’s first debut film considered as the first full-length Indian feature film.
During 1936–1938, he produced his last film Gangavataran (1937) which was the only talking movie directed by Phalke, before retiring to Nashik, where he died on 16 February 1944.
Today, marks the 77th death anniversary of the cinematic maverick. The Dadasaheb Phalke Award was instituted by the Indian Government for honouring Phalke’s exemplary work in Indian cinema. The Indian Post released a postage stamp bearing his likeness in 1971 to honour him.
In 2009, a Marathi film Harishchndrachi Factory, directed by theatre veteran Paresh Mokashi depicted Phalke’s struggle while making Raja Harishchandra in 1913. It was also selected as India’s official entry to the Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category.
Phalke was also featured in celebrated painter Raja Ravi Verma’s biopic Rang Rasiya directed by Ketan Mehta. The film showcased how a young Phalke worked as an intern under Ravi Verma in the former’s initial struggling days.
The most prominent recipients of Dadasaheb Phalke Award have been Devika Rani, Prithviraj Kapoor, Naushad, Satyajit Ray, V Shantaram, Dev Anand and Vinod Khanna. The 66th Dadasaheb Phalke Award was conferred to Amitabh Bachchan in 2018.