Google has released a doodle today in honor of Indian filmmaker Dadasaheb Phalke on the occasion of his 148th birth anniversary. Phalke was born on April 30, 1870 near Nashik, India, and went on to be regarded as the father of Indian cinema because of his early work in establishing the Indian movie industry. Today, the Indian film industry is believed to be worth over Rs 15,000 crore annually. Clicking on the Doodle directs you to the search page for Dadasaheb Phalke.
Born Dhundiraj Govind Phalke in 1870, he went on to join the prestigious JJ school of art in Bombay in 1885. After a career as a photographer, draftsman and owner of a printing press, Phalke eventually turned to filmmaking after watching the silent film titled The Life of Christ. In 1912 at the age of 42, Phalke made the Marathi film Raja Harishchandra, India’s first full-length feature film.
In a career spanning 19 years, Dadasaheb Phalke made 95 movies and 27 short films, pioneering the silent film medium. The coming of sound recording in films rendered his style obsolete, after which he retired and returned to his home in Nashik. He died on February 16, 1944 at the age of 73, having established Indian cinema in its earliest days. In 2009, a Marathi film called Harishchandrachi Factory was made which depicted his struggles in making Raja Harishchandra.
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The Government of India instituted the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1969, and is awarded for lifetime contribution to Indian cinema. It is considered one of the most prestigious awards in India, and is highest official recognition for notable contributions to cinema in India. The most recent recipient of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award is late actor Vinod Khanna, a popular actor in Hindi cinema in the 1970s.