Google doodle honours 'father of Indian cinema' Dadasaheb Phalke
30 April 2018
Google’s doodle today commemorates the 148th birth anniversary of Dadasaheb Phalke, dubbed 'father of Indian cinema' for his pioneering movie-making.
Dadasaheb Phalke at work (above) and Google's tribute created by London-based artist Aleesha Nandhra below
The doodle of a young Phalke holding film negatives, directing and giving scene directions, is the creation of London-based artist Aleesha Nandhra.
Phalke gave Indian cinema its first full-length feature film, 'Raja Harishchandra', in 1913, a silent movie made before the advent of ‘talkies’. He made 95 movies and 27 short films in a career spanning 19 years.
Phalke was born on 30 April 1870 as Dadasaheb Govind Phalke Trimbak, in Trymbakeshwar in present-day Maharashtra, and his father was a noted scholar. The young Phalke developed a keen interest in the arts and went on to study, at various points, an array of disciplines, including photography, lithography, architecture, engineering, and even magic, says Google's write-up on the filmmaker.
He started his career as a photographer and also worked with painter Raja Ravi Varma.
While Phalke was working as a painter and theatre set designer he saw Alice Guy's film, The Life of Christ (1910), and this inspired him to bring Indian culture to the silver screen. He travelled to London to learn filmmaking from Cecil Hepworth, a director, producer and screenwriter who is considered one of the founders of the British film industry.
His notable films include Mohini Bhasmasur (1913), Satyavan Savitri (1914), Lanka Dahan (1917), Shri Krishna Janma (1918) and Kaliya Mardan (1919).
In 1969, the government established the Dadasaheb Phalke awards, recognizing lifetime contributions to Indian cinema.
"I had the amazinggg opportunity to create a @google doodle for google India! It's to celebrate the 148th Birthday of Dadsaheb Phalke, who created India's first silent film in 1913. You can check it out if you head over to Google India, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. Or by going to the Google doodle archive," Nandhra posted on Instagram today.
When asked about the illustration, Nandhra told International Business Times India, "I wanted to create a doodle in which Dadasaheb was instantly recognizable ... he didn't only direct, he had his hand in all parts of the creative process of filmmaking."
Talking about Google selecting her doodle, she said, "In the process of creating the doodle, I sent over several rough ideas and Sophie, (who was my Art Director for the doodle) selected the rough that she thought was the strongest. I then continued to work on it and refine it."
Nandhra was approached by Google for an illustration for the first time. She graduated from the Cambridge School of Art in 2014 and has been working as a freelance illustrator and printmaker since then.
“After leaving school, I went on to study BA Illustration at The Cambridge School of Art, and have been working as a freelance Illustrator and printmaker," she told IBT India.