Ram gabale was born in 1924. He directed around 26 Marathi and Hindi films and more than 60 documentaries and many short films and ad films. He was also one of the assistant directors in Richard Attenborough's Oscar winning Gandhi (1982).
Making his initial start by assisting film-maker, Master Vinayak, from 1944-45, Gabale took to direction after graduating from Raj Ram College in Kolhapur. ‘‘I was extremely fortunate to have got a break so early in my career." he said later. After this, Gabale moved to Mumbai and worked with the Rajkamal Studios. Soon, Gabale got a break as a director at the Prabhat Studios in Pune. Here he directed his first movie Vande Mataram , starring late Pu La Deshpande and his wife Sunita in 1947, when he was just 23-years-old. Prior to that Gabal had assisted well-known directors, like Master Vinayak and V Shantaram. He also worked with the likes of Bhalji Pendharkar, P L Deshpande, G D Madgulkar and Sudheer Phadke. Some of his works include films like Mothi Manse, Dev Pavla, Dev Bappa, Chota Jawan and Dharti-Akash . He also assisted the late P L Deshpande as a director on the popular serial Batatyachi Chaal .
He wrote the scripts for many films, Vande Mataram (1948) being the first. He went on to make films like Dev Pavla (1950), Johar Maibaap (1950), Dudh Bhat (1952), Devbappa (1953), Postatil Mulgi (1954), Chhota Jawan (1963) and Jiwhala (1968). Chhota Jawan won him the State's Best Film Award as did a documentary on Maharshi Karve.
Gabale made films on topics that were still unexplored during his time, including one on working women called Postatil Mulgi and also a number of documentaries. Many of them went on to win awards at the national and the international level. His last film was He Geet Jeevanache.
Gabale won the V Shantaram award given by the State Government and also an award for his film Kale Ghode at an international film festival. He made films like Phool Aur Kaliyan, which earned Gabale the Prime Minister's gold medal and Kutch Khatta - Kutch Meetha for children. His film Kale-Gore was awarded at the Leipzig International Film Festival and Jaldeep bagged an award at the Venice Film Festival. Gabale also received a special ward from Indira Gandhi for his film Shatayu Kesari. In 1999, he was honoured with Solapur-based Shreeram Pujari Foundation's Pu La Deshpande Bahurupee award. As a mark of appreciation for his contributions, Gabale was also bestowed with the V Shantaram award, G D Madgulkar award, Alpha Gaurav Puraskar, Nanasaheb Sarpotdar award and Maharashtra Jeevan Gaurav Puraskar.
He was also associated with the Film and Television Institute of India as Vice Principal and Jt. Managing Director at Film City, Director at Films Division and Rajkamal studios in Mumbai.
Having travelled the world over, Gabale once said that,‘‘The Indian audience still craves for emotional stories, unlike its Western counterpart.’’ He also pointed out, ‘‘Today’s Indian cinema does not reflect the masses. Perhaps, it is a sign of changing times.’’ Yet he is optimistic and suggests, ‘‘Observation is the key to film-making and a director should be all eyes and ears at work. I have a lot of expectations from this new crop of film-makers and I am sure that they’ll be a force to reckon with’’
Ram Gabale passed away on Jan 9 after a brief illness at the age of 84. Gabale had been suffering from a kidney ailment. Gabale is survived by wife Meera, son Devendra and daughter Rekha.