Cinema is a matter of what's in the frame and what's out.
The Lumiere brothers sent their short films to Marius Sestier for screening at Watson hotel Mumbai (Bombay). Local photographer Harishchandra Sakharam Bhatavdekar (Save Dada) was at one of those first Mumbai shows. He promptly ordered a camera from the UK.
One Professor Stevenson featured a stage show at Calcutta's Star Theatre. With Stevenson's encouragement and camera Hiralal Sen, a photographer, made a film of a Dancing Scene from that show “The Flower of Persia”.
A wrestling match in Mumbai's Hanging Gardens was shot by Harishchandra Sakharam Bhatavdekar. The reel had to be shipped back to the UK for processing. He had bought a projector and was screening foreign-made films with the films he made himself. He bought the Gaiety Theatre in Mumbai.
When maths scholar R P Paranjpe returned to India from Cambridge, He captured the moment. This may well be the First Indian News Footage.
Film shot on Swadeshi Movement by Hiralal Sen and Advertised as a "genuine swadesi film of our own make" ended with Vande Mataram (This may be Considered as First Political Film). Made two First Advertising Film Jabakusum Hair Oil Edwards Tonic. First Indian to use film for advertising prupose. In 1917 he became bankrupt and sick and just a few days away from death his Films were on fire. Much of the proof of India's early Cinema destroyed.
The First Indian chain of Cinema Theatres were owned by the parsi entrepreneur Jamshedji Framji Madan, who oversaw production of 10 films annually and distributed them throughout the Indian subcontinent starting from 1902
Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu was the first to build and own cinema halls in Madras and pioneered in the producton of silent and talkie movies in South India. He shot 12 short films and exhibited them in Victoria public Hall. He exhibited the films in Bangalore and Vijayawada. He also toured Srilanka, Rangoon and Peg to exhibit his films. In 1929, Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu, Father of Telugu Cinema was forced to sell his properties to pay off his debts and died on 15th March 1941 with abject poverty.
Shree Pundalik (Marathi) made by Ramchandra Gopal "Dadasaheb" Torne. Claimed First Feature Film of India . Pundalik is disputed to be called First Indian Film because it was a photographic recording of a popular Marathi play, photographed by British named Johnson and the Film was processed in London as well.
Directed and Produced by Dadasaheb Phalke. First full length (40 minutes) Feature Film . Inspired from an imported film - Life of Christ. The female roles in the film were played by male actors. Only one print of the film was made and shown at the Coronation Cinematograph. The film marked Historic benchmark in Indian Cinema and was commercial success. Dhundiraj Govind Phalke is regarded as Father of Indian Cinema.
Directed & Produced by Dadasaheb Phalke, Starring: Kamlabai Gokhale , Durgabai Kamat. Mohini Bhasmasur is the First Indian film to have an Actress . She performed the first dance number in the role of a heroine as Mohini. Phalke was the choreographer of the dance item and he had been inspired by Hindu temple sculptures.
Directed by Rustomji Dhotiwala, Produced by Elphinstone Bioscope. It was the longest (120 minutes) Indian feature film made till 1931. The film was inspired by a Urdu language drama, "Harishchandra" written by Narain Prasad Betab. May be considered as First Remake of Indian Cinema, Remake of Raja Harishchandra (Marathi).
This Tamil silent film (Budget INR 35000) produced and directed by R. Nataraja Mudaliar. It was the First silent film made in South India. The film's intertitles were written in English, Tamil and Hindi. Film netted INR50000 after being screened all over India and in Burma, Ceylon and the Federated Malay States and Singapore.
Baburao Painter formed the Maharashtra Film Co. in 1919 and released the first film Sairandhari (1920). Because of his special interest in sets, costumes, design and painting, he chose episodes from Maratha history for interpreting in the new medium and specialised in the historical genre.
Bilat Ferat (Foreign/England Returned) Directed by N.C. Lahiri and produced by Dhirendra Nath Ganguly. It is the First Indian feature film having intimate kissing-smooching scenes. It was a silent love-story and The First 'social satire'. The contemporary social film slowly emerged.
Directed by Baburao Painter. Realist melodrama about the trials and tribulations of colonial India's underclass.The Indian Shylock: an attempt at realistic treatment of the Indian peasant exploited by the greedy moneylender. The film did not do well. Baburao returned to costume dramas but it was the Painter's artistic masterpiece.
In 1926, Daniel established the first film studio in Kerala named The Travancore National Pictures. Directed and Produced Vigathakumaran. First ever Malayalam film with a social theme. The economic failure of Vigathakumaran discouraged him from producing further films. He is considered as the "father of Malayalam cinema". The Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala instituted the J. C. Daniel Award (lifetime achievements) in 1992.
Directed by P.V. Rao based on 1891 Malayalam novel by C. V. Raman Pillai. This was the first film based on a Malayalam literature and next film of Malayalam film industry after Vigathakumaran. Got into a legal issues and withdrawn from screenings after its opening day following a court order marking the First Copyright Case . This film also contain the first lip kiss of Indian Cinema.
Directed by Ardeshir Irani and Produced by Imperial Movietone. It was the first Indian sound film. It was not only a talkie film but marked the beginning of filmi music in the Cinema of India. Ardeshir Irani handled the sound recording department, using the Tanar Sound System. It was shot with the Tanar single-system camera, which recorded sound directly onto the film.
Bengali film directed by Amar Choudhury, produced by Madan Theatre Limited. It is a milestone of Bengali cinema as it was the First Bengali Talkie.
Most notable for being the First Sound Film made in Tamil. It was produced by Ardeshir Irani, and directed by Irani's former assistant H. M. Reddy. Although primarily a Tamil film, due to additional dialogue in Telugu and Hindi, some film critics and scholars see it as India's first multilingual film.
Bhakta Prahlada is the First Telugu Talkie Film Directed by H. M. Reddy and C. S. R. Produced by H. M. Reddy. H.M. Reddy took the actors to Bombay and shot the entire film at Imperial Studios in 20 shooting days on the sets of Alam Ara. He worked as assistant to Ardeshir Irani, creator of the first Indian talkie Alam Ara.
Hindi film Directed by J.J. Madan, Produced by Madan Theatres. Big-budget movie featured over 70 songs and was 211 minutes long. Indrasabha holds the world record for the most number of songs in any musical ever made.
Telugu film Directed by C. Pullaiah and Produced by East India Film Company. The movie is shot in Calcutta in a budget of Rs. 75000 based on a noted stage play by Mylavaram Bala Bharathi Samajam. The blockbuster film has received an Honorary Diploma at Venice Film Festival.
Bengali film Directed by Debaki Bose, contained Background Music for the First Time in Indian Cinema. Music Director was Raichand Boral, also known as R.C. Boral.
Directed by Yaragudipati Varada Rao and Produced by Shah Chamanlal Doongaji under South India Movietone. Shooting was entirely done in natural sunlight and the total amount spent for production was INR 40,000. The film involved shooting a war scene and this was done using Two Cameras . Being the first Kannada talkie film, it ran house-full at Bangalore for six weeks.
Hindi film made under the banner of East India Film Company and Directed by Debaki Bose, was the first Indian talkie shown in any international film festival. It was shown in Venice Film Festival , where it won an Honorary Diploma. He was the First Indian Director to receive any international award .
First Telugu talkie produced in the South India directed by Chitrapu Narasimha Rao, Rajaram Vankudre Shantaram and produced by P. V. Das and partners of Vel Pictures. Till 1934, films were being made in Bombay, Culcutta and Kolhapur. None constructed a studio of their own in Madras. A genius considered the father of cinematography in the South, Ramnoth designed the studio while Prabhat Studios helped Das with the equipment.
Barua's breakthrough with New Theatres came with Devdas in 1935. The film was first made in Bengali, with Barua himself in the title role. This was Barua's first of three language versions of the story, the second being in Hindi and the third in Assamese. The Hindi version became a craze all throughout India. Devdas Influenced a generation of viewers and filmmakers.
Marathi film Directed by Vishnupant Govind Damle and Sheikh Fattelal, Produced by Prabhat Film Company. Screened at the 1937 edition of Venice Film Festival and thus became the First Indian film to be screened at an international film festival and adjudged as one of the three best films of the year in the World.
First Oriya Film directed by Mohan Sundar Deb Goswami, Produced by Mohan Sundar Deb Goswami and sponsored by the Calcutta-based Kali Film Studio and cost Rs. Thirty thousand(30,000). The picture was subjected to Bengal Board of Film Certificate and it was a commercial success.
Hindi film Director: Rajaram Vankudre Shantaram, Produced by Prabhat Cinetone. An adventurous classic film in which injustice towards women comes a theme, which focused in different and dramatic ways on gender justice and women’s place in society. Social and contemporary themes echoed in his films. May be considered as First women's liberation film in India.
Hindi film Directed by Franz Osten and Produced by Himanshu Rai (Bombay Talkies). The film deals with the social position of Dalit girls and is considered a reformist period-piece . It was big commercial hit and it is among the early super-hits in the Bombay film industry.
Telugu social problem film directed by Gudavalli Ramabrahmam. It is a social reformist film during the period of British India, at the time of battle against Zamindari system. The film was banned by the British Administration in the region. Ironically it was produced by one of the Zamindars of the time Challapalli Maharaja. The film had a public re-release in 1948.
First Malayalam Talkie Directed by S. Nottani, Produced by T. R. Sundaram of Modern Theatres, Salem. Its economic success created a base to the Malayalam film industry. All the technicians who worked for Balan, except for its editor, Varghese, who hailed from Chengannur, were non-Malayalis.
Telugu film Directed by Y.V. Rao can be called trendsetters. The well-made box office hit deals with a social issue, widow remarriage, a taboo in those days. Rao, who wrote the story and scenario besides producing the film under Sri Jagadish Films banner, also exposed fake godmen, cautioning people not to fall prey to them.
Telugu, romance film directed by Y. V. Rao Produced by Jagdish Films. It was First Indian film, depicting the Indian movie world itself.
Hindi film directed by Chetan Anand and Produced by A. Halim, India Pictures. Neecha Nagar became the first Indian film to gain international recognition, after it shared the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film (Best Film) award at the first Cannes Film Festival in 1946.
Tamil and Hindi film Directed and Produced by S. S. Vasan. It became the First Madras Production, as well as the First Indian film to become a hit all over India. The film cost INR 3 million. Despite the original Tamil version's popularity, Chandralekha was not profitable due to its expense, and Vasan decided to remake it in Hindi. He reshot scenes, added songs, and replaced comedy scenes with Hindi artistes. The Hindi version was released the same year with over 600 prints and set box-office records, opening the market to South Indian producers. "The two versions-Tamil and Hindi-grossed millions".
Over 100 years we have made Great Films and our attempt has been to choose the Greatest Films of Indian Cinema irrespective of language. We have our Greatest Movies in two section.
First 100 - 400 Greatest Films which includes most critically acclaimed and significant films. Films in the list range from silent era to classical age of technology. Many of them overlooked when they first released but positioned themselves at significant place and refuged to fade away with time.
Second list is of 100 Films of All Time which you must see before you die. These Greatest Films have the power to entertain and move their viewer emotionally. These Movies are critically acclaimed as well have the mass appeal.
Selection criteria includes many consideration as Global Presence, National Presence, State Level Presence, National and International Cinema Associations Ranking, Reputed Magazine Ranking, Film Makers View, Cinema Critics View etc. Enjoy!!!