This episode of the series delves into the history of 18th May by discussing “Shree Pundalik,” the first-ever Indian feature-length film in India. Discover how this silent film directed by Dadasaheb Torne and produced by the Maharashtra Film Company paved the way for the growth and development of the Indian film industry.
While watching ‘The bicycle thief,’ a classic by Vittorio De Sica, I experienced a deep sense of concern about our social values. It also made me realize the powerful influence that movies, as a visual storytelling medium, can have on our minds. However, as I began to delve into the history of May 18th, I discovered a remarkable coincidence. It turns out that May 18th marks the day when the first-ever feature-length film was released in India. It’s a fascinating coincidence. Now, let me share with you the history of 18th May.
The first Indian feature-length film Shree Pundalik
On 18th May 1912, a groundbreaking moment in the history of Indian cinema took place with the release of the first Indian feature-length film, “Shree Pundalik.” This landmark event marked the birth of the Indian film industry, which has since grown into one of the largest and most prolific in the world.
“Shree Pundalik” was a silent film directed by Dadasaheb Torne, an Indian filmmaker and cinematographer. The film was produced by the Maharashtra Film Company, which was founded by Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, popularly known as Dadasaheb Phalke, often considered the father of Indian cinema. However, it was Torne who directed and released the film.
The plot of “Shree Pundalik” revolved around a legendary character from the Hindu epic Ramayana, named Pundalik. The film portrayed the story of Pundalik, who brings his parents back to life through his devotion to Lord Vithoba, a deity worshipped in the state of Maharashtra. The film was shot entirely in black and white and had a runtime of about 40 minutes.
“Shree Pundalik” was a significant cinematic achievement for its time. It paved the way for the development of the Indian film industry and set the stage for future advancements in storytelling and filmmaking techniques. The film was not only a commercial success but also received critical acclaim, establishing a strong foundation for the growth of Indian cinema.
This milestone in Indian cinema marked the beginning of a new era, inspiring many filmmakers to explore the art of storytelling through the medium of film. It provided a platform for indigenous storytelling and showcased the rich cultural heritage of India on the silver screen. The success of “Shree Pundalik” encouraged the production of more films, leading to the emergence of a vibrant film industry in India.
Since the release of “Shree Pundalik,” the Indian film industry, often referred to as Bollywood, has come a long way. Indian cinema has produced numerous iconic films, talented actors, and acclaimed directors who have gained international recognition. The industry has diversified its genres, encompassing various regional cinemas and experimenting with different narrative styles.
In conclusion, the release of “Shree Pundalik” on 18 May 1912 marked a significant moment in Indian cinema history. This pioneering feature-length film laid the foundation for the growth and development of the Indian film industry, inspiring countless filmmakers and artists to contribute their creativity to the world of cinema. The legacy of “Shree Pundalik” continues to influence Indian cinema to this day, reminding us of the rich cultural heritage and artistic prowess of the Indian film industry.
That’s all for the day. See you all tomorrow.
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A devoted foodie with keen interest in wild life, music, cinema and travel Somashis has evolved over time . Being an enthusiastic reader he has recently started making occasional contribution to write-ups.