Remembering V. Shantaram, one of India’s most respected and eminent filmmakers, on his birth anniversary (18/11).
Remembering V. Shantaram, one of India’s most respected and eminent filmmakers, on his birth anniversary (18/11). V. Shantaram began working in the film industry by doing small jobs at the Maharashtra Film Company, which was owned by Baburao Painter in Kolhapur. He first acted in the 1921 silent movie “Surekha Haran.” Known affectionately as Annasaheb, Shantaram had a long and successful career in filmmaking, spanning nearly 70 years. He was among the first filmmakers who used movies to bring about social change, promoting kindness and highlighting unfairness and prejudice. He also had a great passion for music and was actively involved in creating music for his films. His songs often needed many rehearsals before he approved them. The famous actor Charlie Chaplin praised his Marathi film “Manoos.” In 1927, Shantaram directed his first film, “Netaji Palkar.” He co-founded the Prabhat Film Company in 1929, which produced the first Marathi language film, “Ayodhyecha Raja,” under his direction in 1932. He left Prabhat in 1942 and started “Rajkamal Kalamandir” in Mumbai, which became a well-known studio. Shantaram introduced his daughter Rajshree and actor Jeetendra in the 1964 movie “Geet Gaya Patharon Ne.” He also helped introduce his wife’s niece, Ranjana Deshmukh, to the Marathi film industry in 1975 through a film directed by his son. Shantaram received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1985 and was honored with the Padma Vibhushan posthumously in 1992. His autobiography was published in Hindi and Marathi. The Indian government and Maharashtra state government established the V. Shantaram Award to honor filmmakers. The V. Shantaram Motion Picture Scientific Research and Cultural Foundation, set up in 1993, gives out these awards each year on November 18. India Post released a postage stamp in his honor on November 17, 2001.