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Indian directors who continue to inspire: An ode to immortality

entertainment Updated: Sep 23, 2009 16:31 IST
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An ode to immortality

PhalkeWho: Dhundiraj Govind Phalke (popularly known as Dadasaheb Phalke)

When: April 30, 1870 - February 16, 1944

What: Known as father of Indian cinema, he wore several hats - Director, Scriptwriter, Producer, and Cinematographer.

Works: He made approximately 95 feature films and 26 short films in his career of 19 years. Raja Harishchandra (1913), his debut film is also considered India's first full-length feature film. His repertoire includes - Mohini Bhasmasur (1913), Satyavan Savitri (1914), Lanka Dahan (1917), Shri Krishna Janma (1918), Kaliya Mardan (1919), Setu Bandhan (1923) and Gangavataran (1937)

The Dadasaheb Phalke Award was instituted in his honour in 1969. And is today one of the highest accolades to be conferred upon for lifetime contribution to Cinema.

ShantaramWho: Rajaram Vankudre Shantaram (popularly known as V Shantaram)

When: 18 November, 1901 - October 30, 1990

What: Producer, Filmmaker, Actor Director and Screenwriter

Works: He directed over 50 feature films. He is known for path-breaking films like Dr. Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani (1946), Amar Bhoopali (1951), Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje (1955), Do Aankhen Barah Haath (1957) and Navrang (1959) and Duniya Na Mane (1937) and Pinjara (1973). He directed his first film, Netaji Palkar in 1927 and in 1929 founded the Prabhat Film Company along with V.G. Damle, K.R. Dhaiber, S. Fatelal and S.B. Kulkarni. He left in 1942 to form Rajkamal Kala Mandir in Mumbai. In some time Rajkamal became one of most sophisticated studios of the country.

He was awarded the Indian film industry's highest award, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, in 1985 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1992.

Bimal RoyWho: Bimal Roy

When: July 12, 1909 - January 7, 1966

What: Photographer, Director

Works: He is immortal if his legacy is consideres- Do Bigha Zamin (1953), Parineeta (1953), Devdas (1955), Madhumati (1958), Sujata (1959) and Bandini (1963). His repertoire also includes great films like - Udayer Pathey (1944), Hamrahi (1945), Anjangarh (1948), Anjangarh (1948), Mantramugdha (1949), Pahela Admi (1950), Maa (1952), Naukari (1954), Biraj Bahu (1954), Baap Beti (1954) Yahudi (1958), Parakh (1960) and Prempatra (1962). Two important projects : Amrit Kumbh and The Mahabharata remain incomplete.

He won seven Filmfare Best Director Awards.

Satyajit RayWho: Satyajit Ray

When: 2 May 1921 - 23 April 1992

What: Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Composer, Writer, Graphic Designer

Works: His first film, Pather Panchali (1955) established his reputation as a major film director, winning numerous awards including Best Human Document, Cannes, 1956 and Best Film, Vancouver, 1958. It is the first film of a trilogy - The Apu Trilogy - a three-part tale of a boy's life from birth through manhood. The other two films of this trilogy are Aparajito (1956) and Apur Sansar (1959).

His later films include Jalsaghar (1958), Devi (1960), Teen Kanya (1961), Charulata (1964), Nayak (1966), Asani Sanket (1973), Shatranj Ke Khilari (1977), Ghare Baire (1984), Ganashatru (1989) and Shakha Prashakha (1991). Agantuk (1991) was his last film.

Guru DuttWho: Vasanth Kumar Shivashankar Padukone (popularly known as Guru Dutt)

When: July 9, 1925 - October 10, 1964

What: Actor, Producer, Director, Choreographer

Works: He made quintessential 1950s and 1960s classics such as Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam and Chaudhvin Ka Chand. His repertoire as a director includes - Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959), Pyaasa (1957), Sailaab (1956), Mr. & Mrs. '55 (1955), Aar Paar (1954), Baaz (1953), Jaal (1952) and Baazi(1951). Considered to be a man ahead of his time, Guru Dutt was one of the greatest icons of commercial Indian cinema. Although he made less than 50 films during his lifetime, they are believed to be the best to come from Bollywood's Golden Age, known both for their ability to reach out to the common man and for their artistic and lyrical content, and they went on to become trendsetters that have influenced Bollywood ever since.

He won Filmfare for Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962).