Google on Saturday marked the 116th birth anniversary of Indian filmmaker and producer V Shantaram with a doodle depicting three of his most popular films.
The doodle shows protagonists from Shantaram’s Amar Bhoopali (1951), a true story of a cow herder with a gift for poetry, set in the days of the Maratha Confederacy; Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (1955), a film about love and classical Indian dance, which was among the first in India to use technicolor; and Do Aankhen Baara Haath (1957), which is the story of a jail warden who tries to reform dangerous prisoners.
But Shantaram’s legacy began much before the 1950s. He began with odd jobs in the Maharashtra Film Co owned by Baburao Painter at Kolhapur, before making his debut as an actor in the silent film Surekha Haran in 1921.
In 1929, he founded the Prabhat Film Company along with Vishnupant Damle, KR Dhaiber, S Fatelal and SB Kulkarni. The production house made the first Marathi language film, Ayodhyache Raja (1932), which he directed.
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He left the company in 1942 to form the Rajkamal Kalamandir in Mumbai. Rajkamal would go on to become the country’s most sophisticated studios.
Shantaram won the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1985.
He died on 30 October 1990 in Mumbai. The V Shantaram Award was constituted by the central government and Maharashtra state government in his honour.