Indian cinema enters 100th year
The Indian film industry celebrates the 100th year of its existence as the first ever full-length film Raja Harishchandra made by Dadasaheb Phalke was released on May 3, 1913. It was a silent movie based on the legend of King Harishchandra, recounted in the Ramayana and Mahabharata.
To commemorate this historic occasion, here are a few interesting facts about Raja Harishchandra:
The film had an all-male cast because no woman was available to play any of the female leads.
The reel was 3,700 feet long and had a runtime of 40 minutes
Phalke was greatly influenced by the style of painter Raja Ravi Varma in the making of this film.
It was first shown on May 3, 1913 at Mumbai’s Coronation Cinema, Narayan Choyal, Girgaon.
Dadasaheb’s wife, Saraswati Phalke, single-handedly managed food for the cast and crew, which comprised over 500 people. She washed clothes and costumes, helped make posters and had a hand in production.
Since working in cinema was looked down upon, Dada Saheb advised his artists to tell others that they were working in the factory of a man named Harishchandra.
Because of the film’s massive success, Phalke was established as a producer and later came to be known as The Father of Indian Cinema. The highest film award given by the Government of India is the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.