November 18 marks the birth anniversary of a veteran actor-director Shantaram Rajaram Vankudre. Shantaram, fondly known as Annasaheb, had an illustrious career as a filmmaker for almost seven decades.
He was widely popular to introduce sound and colour to the Indian Cinema. Today is the 120th Birth Anniversary of the amazing late actor-director V Shantaram who ruled the Indian cinema with his talent.
Take a look at 5 of the lesser-known facts about the legendary actor-director V Shantaram:
- V Shantaram’s journey from an odd-job man at a local cinema
Rajaram Vakudre Shantaram aka V Shantaram was born in Kolhapur. He worked in the railways as a teenager and then apprenticed in Bal Gandharva’s Gandharva Natak Mandali (1914- 15) where he was trained by people he later employed (e.g. Govindrao Tembe, the tabla master Tirakhwan). Later joined Painter’s Maharashtra Film (1920) learning all production skills.
- The man who changed the face of Indian cinema
V. Shantaram made his acting debut in a silent film titled ‘Surekha Haran’. And in 1927, he directed his first film, ‘Netaji Palkar’. He was well-known for his famous and brilliant films Dharamatma (1935), Amar Bhoopali (1951), Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (1955), Do Aankhen Barah Haath (1957) and many more.
- First to make a bilingual film in the history of Indian Cinema
V Shantaram was the first one to make a bilingual film in the history of Indian Cinema called the ‘Ayodhyecha Raja’. It was the first Marathi talkie, released in 1932. Munshi Ismail Farooque penned the Hindi dialogue, while screenwriter N.V. Kulkarni did Marathi dialogue.
- V Shantaram’s love for music
V. Shantaram had a very keen interest in music. According to reports, it is said that he “ghost wrote” music for many of his music directors, and also took a very effective part in the creation of music.
- When Charlie Chaplin praised V Shantaram
V Shantaram one of the pioneering filmmakers of Indian cinema known for his major contribution towards Marathi Industry. He was also praised by Charlie Chaplin for his Marathi film ‘Manoos’.
V Shantaram’s directorial ‘Manoos’ was a Marathi social melodrama film based on a short story called ‘The Police Constable’. The movie was simultaneously made in Hindi as Aadmi.
V. Shantaram started his film career doing odd jobs in Maharashtra Film Co. owned by Baburao Painter at Kolhapur. He went on to debut as an actor in the silent film, Surekha Haran in 1921.
The Dadasaheb Phalke Award was conferred on him in 1985. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1992.
His autobiography Shantarama was published in Hindi and Marathi.
Shantaram died on 30 October 1990 in Mumbai. The V. Shantaram Award was constituted by the Central Government and Maharashtra State Government. The V. Shantaram Motion Picture Scientific Research and Cultural Foundation, established in 1993, offers various awards to film makers. The award is presented annually on 18 November. A postage stamp, bearing his face, was released by India Post to honour him on 17 November 2001.