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V Shantaram: The Man Who Shaped Indian Cinema

V Shantaram was a multi-talented man. His interest also lied in music.

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V Shantaram was the man who changed the Indian cinema with his work. Wikimedia Commons
V Shantaram was the man who changed the Indian cinema with his work. Wikimedia Commons
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By Ruchika Verma

  • V Shantaram was a veteran filmmaker
  • He was also an actor and recipient of many awards and achievements
  • He was one of the most prolific personalities in the history of Indian cinema

Shantaram Rajaram Vankudre, or popularly known as, V Shantaram or Shantaram Bapu, is hailed as a pioneer of Indian cinema. He was a successful Marathi film director, producer and actor whose career spanned over nearly 66 illustrious years.

A google doodle in the memory of V Shantaram in the honour of his 116th birthday. Google
A Google doodle in the memory of V Shantaram in the honour of his 116th birthday. Google

He is mostly known for introducing sound and colour to Indian cinema. V Shantaram before venturing into mainstream cinema used to work at Maharashtra Film Co., doing odd jobs. He debuted as an actor in 1921 in the silent movie, Surekha Haran.

This veteran filmmaker has achieved a lot during his long career. Here is all you need to know about the great man who changed the Indian Cinema, V Shantaram :

  • V Shantaram has shaped the history of Indian cinema by introducing sound and colour to the movies. He was born on 18th November 1901 in Kolhapur, Maharashtra and died at the age of 88 on 30th October 1990  in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
  • He started directing films at the age of 18, which included the famous Gopalkrishna in 1929.

Also Read: Indian art gaining worldwide recognition

Indian cinema wouldn't have been the same without V Shantaram and his contributions towards it. Pixabay
Indian cinema wouldn’t have been the same without V Shantaram and his contributions towards it. Pixabay
  • V Shantaram, who was also famously known as Annasaheb, used cinema as an instrument to bring in social changes, advocate humanism and raise a voice against injustice.
  • He was also a supporter of strong female characters and women empowerment. One of his earlier films, ‘Kunku’ was about a young girl who is forced into a marriage with an older man and how she bravely protests against it. His film, ‘Manoos’ is the love story of a police officer and a prostitute.
  • When sound was introduced to the cinema in the 1930s, V Shantaram made the first bilingual film in the history of Indian cinema called ‘Ayodhyecha Raja’ or ‘Ayodhya Ka Raja’ in Hindi.
He introduced colour and music to indian Cinema. Wikimedia Commons
He introduced colour and music to Indian Cinema. Wikimedia Commons
  • V Shantaram was a multi-talented man. His interest also lied in music and he actively participated in the creation of music in his films. It is said that he also ‘ghost-wrote’ music for many of his music directors.
  • V Shantaram also had a long list of admirers, from veteran actor Rajesh Khanna to international star Charlie Chaplin who was a great fan of his film, ‘Manoos’.

Also Read: Indian Diaspora: Dissecting the incredible 

  • V Shantaram was recipient of many awards and honors, he was bestowed with the Dadasaheb Phalke Lifetime Achievement Award in 1985 and received the prestigious Padma Vibhushan in 1992. He won the National Film Awards and also the President’s Gold Medal. His movies were also screenedin many international film festivals. He also received nominations in the Golden Globe Awards.
A still from his famous movie, 'Shakuntala.' Wikimedia Commons
A still from his famous movie, ‘Shakuntala.’ Wikimedia Commons
  • His 1942 movie, ‘Shakuntala’ ran for 104 weeks in Mumbai.
  • His personal life is also very interesting, he had three wives. He was one of the first men who took divorce after it became legal in 1956.
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Fiction Can’t Beat Facts: Rajkumar Hirani

"People make fictional stories to entertain the audience but a documentary filmmaker makes documentary which is closer to his or her heart."

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Rajkumar Hirani is one of the most talented indian filmmakers. facebook
Rajkumar Hirani is one of the most talented indian filmmakers. Facebook
  • Rajkumar Hirani is famous Indian film director
  • He is currently shotting Sanjay Dutt’s biopic
  • The biopic will star Ranbir Kapoor and is said to based on true facts

Filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani, who is busy shooting for a biopic on actor Sanjay Dutt, says fiction can’t beat facts.

Hirani attended a special screening of the documentary titled “Raising The Bar”, hosted by filmmaker Onir and producer Mitu Bhowmick Lange in association with Australian Consulate General Mumbai on Thursday.

Rajkumar Hirani is working on Sanjay dutt's biopic.
Rajkumar Hirani is working on Sanjay dutt’s biopic.

Asked about the importance of making documentaries, Hirani said: “I feel why should we see only fiction? We should watch documentaries because they can be very interesting as well.”

“Earlier, they never used to get platforms but I think they should get a platform so that more and more people can come forward to make documentaries. I think documentaries are really engaging as they are real, and fiction can’t beat facts.”

The “3 Idiots” director said documentary filmmakers make films that are close to their heart.

“Documentary filmmakers choose subjects which they feel about, which they are affected by or which they have seen around them. So, I feel it’s nice that people come to know about these things,” he said.

Rajkumar Hirani has made brilliant movies like '3 idiots' in the past. Wikimedia Commons
Rajkumar Hirani has made brilliant movies like ‘3 idiots’ in the past. Wikimedia Commons

Also Read: Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots: 10 Interesting Fact You Should Know

“People make fictional stories to entertain the audience but a documentary filmmaker makes documentary which is closer to his or her heart.”

Will he ever make a documentary?

Hirani said: “I am really fond of it. I want to make it and I will definitely make it. I have many subjects to tell and when the time will be right, I will speak more about it.”

“Raising The Bar” is a poignant tale which follows awe-inspiring stories of six young individuals with Down syndrome from two different continents who all meet at the World Down Syndrome Congress in Chennai.

Rajkumar Hirani is famous for films which are out of ordinary. Wikimedia Commons
Rajkumar Hirani is famous for films which are out of ordinary. Wikimedia Commons

Also Read: Filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani Tweets about Bollywood Star Sanjay Dutt’s Biopic Shoot

The documentary aims to create awareness and emotionally engage the audience with the universal message of inclusion and diversity, celebrating the differences that make us all unique.

Helmed by National Award-winning director Onir, “Raising The Bar” is a 70-minute documentary which has won several awards internationally. IANS