100 years of Indian cinema, India’s 1st full length feature film “Raja Harishchandra” completes 100 years on Friday (May 3, 2013). Directed by Dadasaheb Phalke, Raja Harishchandra was released on May 3, 1913 after it premiered on 21 April 1913 at the Olympia Theater. It is often Considered the First Full-Length Indian Feature Film.
Some film historians consider Dadasaheb Torne’s silent film Shree Pundalik, released on 18 May 1912, the maiden Indian film. The Government of India, however, recognizes Raja Harishchandra as the first Indian feature film. Phalke decided to make a feature film after watching The Life of Christ (1906) at a theater in Bombay in April 1911.
In February 1912, he went to London for two weeks to learn filmmaking techniques and upon returning founded Phalke Films Company. Phalke was in charge of scriptment, direction, production design, make-up, film editing, along with film processing. Trymbak B. Telang handled the camera. Phalke completed filming in six months and 27 days producing a film of 3,700 feet (1,100 m), about four reels.
This film had its theatrical release on 3 May 1913 at the Coronation Cinematograph and Variety Hall. The show’s duration was one-and-a-half hours with four shows scheduled a day. It screened continuously for twenty-three days until 25 May. News of the film’s success in Bombay spread across India and there were demands to screen the film in various locations. So, In this way, today is the birthday of Indian cinema.
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