Some of the most indelible images of Indian cinema came from his sensitive imagination. From the days of the black and white silent films to the advent of sound and colour, the films of V. Shantaram stood out their originality and a passionate commitment to human values.
From the award winning Do Aankhen Barah Haath and Dr. Kotnis ki Amar Kahani to the path breaking Duniya Na Mane and Pinjra, Shantara dominated the film industry in Mumbai. What made his films unique were his choice of socially relevant subjects, an innovative use of technology and a powerful style of presentation.
Read the fascinating story of this legendary filmmaker and also discover many forgotten tales of the history of moving images in India.
Kiran Shantaram (b. 1943) is not only the son of V. Shantaram, but a successful producer and studio owner in his own right. He made his debut as a director in Zunj, and later, as producer of Ashi Hi Banwa Banwi, Balache Baap Brahmachari and several others. He is presently the Sheriff of Mumbai.
Sanjit Narwekar (b. 1952) is a National Award-winning writer and filmmaker. A member of the Film Advisory Board of the Government of India, he is a passionate writer on India cinema. He also works as a media strategist handling surrogate publishing, digitized presentation and filmmaking.
Charitavali is a series of biographies dedicated to the legendary figures of India. The series presents the lives of great kings, freedom fighters, political thinkers, social reformers, pioneers of industry, eminent scientists, philosophers, artists, musicians, dancers and film stars, writers and sports people. These biographies have been written for the reader who is curious about the life, achievements and character o these legends. Full of fascinating stories and facts, written in an easy, story telling style, these biographies will make these great Indians and their times come alive for the reader.
Cinema has rarely seen a filmmaker as complete as V. Shantaram. He was a consummate actor, an innovative editor, an insightful director and a producer dedicated to the milieu in which he was born and worked.
Born at the turn of the century, five years after the new medium of moving pictures had made its debut, he went on to become one of its many legends. He lived for eighty-nine years, of which he devoted seventy-nine to the entertainment industry.
V. Shantaram went on the become a father figure for the entire Indian film industry. He was an institution in his own right - much larger than the institutions he built and nurtured.
He did not act in films other than his own - except in the first few years when he was honing his craft at the Maharashtra Film Company under the tutelage of his guru Baburao Painter. But the few roles he enacted are milestones on Indian histrionics: like the real-life doctor from Sholapur,
Dr. Dwarkanath Kotnis (Dr. Kotnis ki Amar Kahani). And the jailor Adinath (Do Aankhen Barah Haath). As an editor, he gave shape to some of the early classics and was among the first to understand that the juxtaposition of shots created the very dynamics of cinema. As a producer, every film of his dealt with the social, economic and political problems of a society first struggling under colonial rule and then transforming into a fledgling country trying to establish its place in the comity of nations.
In his films he often played more than one role but the role he loved the most was that of a director. As a director, he was known for what was dubbed as 'the Shantaram touch' that stamped the film with his identity. Right from the film's title till the end, each of his films had something special to offer. Both the audience and the film critics were thrilled by his unique film titles, which set the mood for the story to follow. Though he made films for the masses within the mainstream cinema, they were experimental and bold.
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