On the 116th birth anniversary of renowned filmmaker Shantaram Rajaram Vankudre fondly known as V. Shantaram, Google paid its tribute to the visionary director through a doodle. The doodle depicts three films Amar Bhoopali (1951), Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (1955) and Do Aankhen Barah Haath (1957) that won him numerous national and international awards.
Amar Bhoopali told the true story of an ordinary cow herder with a natural gift for poetry, set in the days of the Maratha Confederacy. Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje, a love story set against the background of classical Indian dance, was among the first films in India to use Technicolor. Do Aankhen Barah Haath portrayed the tale of a young jail warden who would reform dangerous prisoners into persons of virtue through hard work. Shantaram’s powerful approach to advocating humanism while still exposing injustice made this film a classic.
Born on November 18, 1901, in Kolhapur, Shantaram, the man who had a passion for cinema is best known for movies like Shakuntala, Apna Desh, Dahej, Dr Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani, Do Aankhen Barah Haath, Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje, Navrang and Pinjra. He also won accolades for the first Marathi talkie Ayodhyecha Raja and films inspired by saint scholars Sant Eknath, Sant Tukaram and Sant Dhyaneshwar. He won the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1985 and was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1992.
V Shantaram started his film career doing odd jobs in Maharashtra Film Co. owned by Baburao Painter at Kolhapur and went on to debut as an actor in the silent film Surekha Haran in 1921. The legendary filmmaker married thrice. His first wife was Vimal, and then he got married to actors Jayashree and Sandhya.
Shantaram, fondly known as Annasaheb, had an illustrious career as a filmmaker for almost six decades. He was one of the early filmmakers to realize the efficacy of the film medium as an instrument of social change and used it successfully to advocate humanism on one hand and expose bigotry and injustice on the other.
In 1929, Shantaram founded the Prabhat Film Company along with Vishnupant Damle, KR Dhaiber, S Fatelal and SB Kulkarni, and left it in 1942 to form the Rajkamal Kalamandir in Mumbai. Rajkamal became the most sophisticated studio in India. His contribution to the Indian cinema also included the techniques like the single shot sequence in Dr Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani and the use of ‘jump cuts’ in Dahej, the 1950 release starring Prithviraj Kapoor, Jayashree and Lalita Pawar.
He died on October 30, 1990 in Mumbai. The V. Shantaram Award was constituted by Central Government and Maharashtra State Government in his honour.
With inputs from ANI.