1912 – The first Indian film, Shree Pundalik by Dadasaheb Torne, is released in Mumbai.
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Shree Pundalik, which was released on 18 May 1912 at the Coronation Cinematograph, Girgaum, Mumbai, is sometimes considered the first feature-length Indian film by a minority. It was a silent film without dialogue.
The government of India and most scholarly sources consider Raja Harishchandra (released on 03 May 1913) to be the first Indian feature film, and detractors argue Pundalik was only a photographic recording of a popular play. It was produced and directed by Dadasaheb Torne.
Ramchandra Gopal Torne (Marathi: रामचंद्र गोपाळ तोरणे) (13 April 1890 to 19 January 1960), also known as Dadasaheb Torne was an Indian director and producer, best known for making the first feature film in India, Shree Pundalik.
This historic record is well established by an advertisement in The Times of India published on 25 May 1912. Several leading reference books on cinema including The Guinness Book of Movie Facts & Feats, A Pictorial History of Indian Cinema and Marathi Cinema : In Restrospect amply substantiate this milestone achievement of the pioneer Indian feature-filmmaker.
He is considered the “Father of Indian cinema.”
Although Torne made his first film, Shree pundalik (पुंडलिक, 1912) just under a year before Dhundiraj Govind “Dadasaheb” Phalke made his, it is the latter who is regarded as the father of Indian cinema. The distinction may lie with the fact that, unlike Phalke, Torne sent his film overseas for processing. Moreover, Torne’s Pundalik was 1,500′ (c. 22 minutes) long, about 1,200′ shorter than Phalke’s Raja Harischandra, which ran for about 40 minutes.