Rohit wrote on 11 Aug 2008
V. Shantaram, real name: Rajaram Vankudre Shantaram was born on 18th November 1901, at Kolhapur (Maharashtra) India. He was one of the founding fathers of Indian cinema. V. Shantram was not just a pioneering actor, director and producer of the Bollywood, but a genius who infused talent, creativity and life into the fledgling industry. He hardly had any education. V. Shantaram worked in the railways as a teenager and started his career in the theatre as a curtain puller with the Gandharva Natak Mandali.
One of the greatest showmen of Bollywood was to begin his career as a curtain puller in a theatre. V. Shantaram kept on doing such lowly jobs, while picking up nuances of acting and filmmaking in whatever interaction he had with professionals of those times.He joined Baburao Painter`s Maharashtra Film Company and learnt the intricacies of film-making from Painter including acting (he played the young farmer who finally revolts in Painter`s Savkari Pash (1925)) eventually directing his first film in 1927, Netaji Palkar. Slowly, he graduated to acting and performed a role in Savkari Pash (1925) directed by Babu Ram Painter. In the process he became one of the ardent disciples of Painter, A stroke of fate brought Shantram in contact with V.G. Damle, K.R. Dhaiber, Syed Fatelal, and S.B. Kulkarni – all professionals in different aspects of filmmaking. In 1929 they set up the Prabhat Film Company. Prabhat came out with a brilliant movie Gopal Krishna (1931). V.Shantaram passed away in 1990 at the ripe old age of 89. V Shantaram: The Legacy Of The Royal Lotus, Author: Kiran Shantaram, Sanjit Narwekar is a good book on him.
He won international awards like Berlin International Film Festival OCIC Award for: Do Ankhen Barah Haath (1957), Silver Berlin Bear Special Prize for: Do Ankhen Barah Haath (1957), Nominated Golden Berlin Bear for: Do Ankhen Barah Haath (1957), Cannes Film Festival Nominated Grand Prize of the Festival for: Amar Bhoopali (1951) Filmfare Awards Won Filmfare Award Best Director for: Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (1955) Best Film for: Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (1955)