Marathi cinema

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Marathi Cinema
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No. of screens Approx 500 in Maharashtra state of India. [1]
Produced feature films (2016) [2]
Gross box office (2016) [3]
National films India: 2,000 crore (US$280 million)

Marathi cinema refers to Indian films produced in Marathi, the language of the state of Maharashtra, India. Based in old Mumbai, it is the oldest and pioneer film industry of Indian cinema. [4] The first Marathi film to be released in India was Shree Pundalik by Dadasaheb Torne on 18 May 1912 at Coronation Cinematograph, Mumbai. [5] [6] and a Marathi crew who were performing Marathi and Sanskrit Sangeet natikas (musicals) and plays in Marathi at that period.

The first Marathi talkie film, Ayodhyecha Raja , [7] was released in 1932, just one year after Alam Ara the first Hindi talkie. Although the industry is much smaller than the large market driven Hindi cinema based in Mumbai, Marathi cinema is tax free, and is experiencing growth in recent years. Raja Harishchandra , directed by Dadasaheb Phalke, was a Marathi film, now known as India's first full-length feature, released in 1913. The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is India's highest award in cinema given annually by the Government of Maharashtra for lifetime contribution to Indian cinema. It is also known by the sobriquet Mollywood in various print and online media (a portmanteau of Marathi and Hollywood).


Silent movies period

Advertisement in the Times of India of 25 May 1912 announcing the screening of the first feature film of India, Pundalik, by Dadasaheb Torne PundalikAd.jpg
Advertisement in the Times of India of 25 May 1912 announcing the screening of the first feature film of India, Pundalik, by Dadasaheb Torne
Raja Harishchandra Raja Harishchandra.jpg
Raja Harishchandra

Marathi cinema is the oldest form of Indian cinema. [4] [8] The first Marathi movie released in India was Shree Pundalik by Dadasaheb Torne on 18 May 1912 at Coronation Cinematograph, Mumbai. [5]

Dadasaheb Phalke is known as the first pioneer and founder of cinema in pre-Independence India. He brought the revolution of moving images to India with his first indigenously made film Raja Harishchandra in 1913, which is considered by IFFI and NIFD as part of Marathi cinema as it used Marathi dialogues while shooting and had a fully Marathi crew. [9] Kolhapur in Western Maharashtra was another centre of active film production in the twenties. In 1919 Baburao Mistry  — popularly known as Baburao Painter — formed the Maharashtra Film Company with the blessings of the Maharaja of Kolhapur and released the first significant historical Sairandhari (1920) with Balasheb Pawar, Kamala Devi and Zunzarrao Pawar in stellar roles. Because of his special interest in sets, costumes, design and painting, he chose episodes from Maratha history for interpreting in the new medium and specialized in the historical genre. [10] Baburao Painter made many silent movies till 1930. However, after a few more silent films, the Maharashtra Film Company pulled down its shutters with the advent of sound. Baburao was not particularly keen on the talkies for he believed that they would destroy the visual culture so painfully evolved over the years. [11]

After advent of sound

As cinema grew in Union of India, major production houses rose and one of them was again a company owned wholly by Maharashtrians, the Prabhat Film Company. Prabhat's Sant Tukaram was the first Indian work to win the Best Film Award at the Venice film festival in 1937. [12] In 1954 at the very first edition of the National Awards, Shyamchi Aai another Marathi film, won the first President's gold medal for Cinema. It was directed by Acharya P K Atre, and it was an adaptation of the eponymous novel by Sane Guruji. [13]

The Golden era

Marathi cinema was in its full bloom by this time with the advent of greats like V. Shantaram, Master Vinayak, Bhalji Pendharkar, Acharya Atre, followed by Raja Paranjpe, Jyotiram, sonal and mumtaz, Dinkar D Patil, G. D. Madgulkar, Sudhir Phadke, Raja Thakur . The 1960s saw the emergence of directors like Anant Mane who made Marathi films based on the folk art form Tamasha. Then came directors like Datta Dharmadhikari and Raj Dutt who made traditional family dramas. The early 70s saw the advent of Dada Kondke who captured the audiences with his sense of humour that included sexual innuendo. He went on to create satirical, pun-ridden films often including social and political commentary, many of which became cult classics. By this time Marathi cinema was caught in either the Tamasha genre or tragedies revolving around traditional family dramas on one side and the comedies of Dada Kondke. [14]


In 1980s directors Mahesh Kothare(left) and Sachin Pilgaonkar(right) emerged as successful directors by directing mainly comedy genre films.

The 1980s saw two comedy heroes catapult to stardom, Ashok Saraf and Laxmikant Berde. Around the mid-80s two young actors donned the director's mantle: Mahesh Kothare and Sachin Pilgaonkar. Pilgaonkar directed Navri Mile Navryala and around the same time Mahesh Kothare directed Dhumdhadaka. Pilgaonkar's film was a box-office hit while Mahesh Kothare's became a mega hit at the box-office, became a trend-setter, and brought young audiences to Marathi cinema. Mahesh Kothare went on to make comedy films that became major hits. He made the first Marathi film shot on the anamorphic format (Cinemascope) Dhadakebaaz.

Reasons for the decline of Marathi cinema

While the theatre of Maharashtra earned recognition at the national level, the cinema failed to make a mark. A major reason was the proximity to the production centre of Hindi cinema (Bollywood), which encroached on the identity of Marathi cinema. Other reasons include the shortage of cinema halls for distribution due to poor marketing, lack of money magnets, a vibrant theatre scene and the emergence of private television. It also lacked the powerful lobby at the national level unlike South Indian cinema because the state encouraged Hindi cinema for profit mainly; the regional film industrial advantage being soaked up by Bollywood. [13]

Revival: Marathi New Wave

In past few years, the Marathi cinema industry has produced many films that are not only critically acclaimed but commercially successful as well.

Acclaimed director Dr Jabbar Patel explains the reasons behind the change, "The kind of Marathi cinema that is being made today is very fresh and different. This is thanks to directors and writers getting exposed to world cinema via television, film festivals etc. They are coming up with new storylines and innovative concepts."

With outstanding contribution and efforts from different producers and directors of the Mumbai film industry, Marathi cinema relatively outshined other Indian film industries such as Bollywood in the first quarter of 2010 in box office collections and critical appreciation. [15]

Actor-director Mahesh Kothare brought a number of innovations in the technical quality of Marathi films and was the first to bring Dolby Digital sound to Marathi cinema with Chimni Pakhara in 2003. He made the first Marathi film with Digital Special Effects, Pachadlela , in 2004. He also made first Marathi movie in 3D Zapatlela 2 , in 2013.


Marathi cinema received critical acclaim in 2004 with the film Shwaas winning the Golden Lotus National Award. It was India's official entry to the 77th Academy Awards. It won the President's medal for best film, beating Bollywood's prolific output with quality. [16] Shwaas was the second Marathi film to win the President's Medal after Shyamchi Aai (1950).

The Maharashtra state government has begun to issue grants to Marathi film (between 1.5 million and 3.0 million rupees). After the success of Shwaas, Indian media players like Shringar Films and Zee Telefilms are exhibiting a re-emerging interest in Marathi cinema. The growing popularity of Marathi television (notably Zee Marathi, ETV Marathi, Mi Marathi, Star Pravah, Saam TV) has helped to popularize older Marathi cinema and promote the genre. Zee Talkies, a 24-hour channel dedicated to Marathi movies, has been introduced.

In 2009, Marathi film Harishchandrachi Factory (with a budget of Rs. 6 crore), depicting the struggle of Dadasaheb Phalke in making Raja Harishchandra in 1913, India's first feature film, directed by theatre-veteran Paresh Mokashi was selected as India's official entry to Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film category, making it the second Marathi film, after Shwaas , to receive this honour. [17] [18] [19]

2009 saw the blockbuster musical movie Natarang , which both commercial and critical applause and has served as a path-breaking movie for Marathi cinema.

Since the new decade beginning in 2010, several contemporary Marathi artistic films released including Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni's Vihir and Deool , and Nagraj Manjule's Fandry . They have given a new direction to Marathi films.

Deool became the third movie after Shyaamchi Aai and Shwaas to win the National Film Award for Best Feature Film

Sairat (2016) musical romantic drama starring Rinku Rajguru and Akash Thosar, directed by Nagraj Manjule and produced by Nagraj Manjule, Nitin Keni, and Nikhil Sane emerged as the biggest weekend opener for a Marathi film breaking record previously held by Natsamrat. Sairat was the first Marathi film to cross ₹50 crore (US$7.8 million) mark. The film has become the first Marathi film to gross over ₹100 crore (US$16 million) worldwide. Also it ran for more than 100 days in many centres of Maharashtra.


Filmfare Awards

Production YearFilmDirectorActorActressMusic
1943Chhattrapati ShivajiSuryakant  
1947Ganimi KawaSuryakant  
1951Swarajyacha ShiledarSuryakant  
1956Pavan KhindSuryakant  
1959Sangte AikaSuryakant  
1965Sadhi MansaSuryakant  
1966Malhari MartandSuryakant  
1963Maza Hoshil KaL.B.Thakur  
1964Sant Nivrutti dnyandevVinayak Sarasvate & Bal Chavan   
1965Lakshmi Aali GharaMadhav Shinde   
1966GurukilliRaja Paranjpe   
1967Pawnakanthcha DhondiVinayak Thakur   
1968EktiG. Chaugule   
1970ApradhSharad Pilgaonkar  Ramesh Deo   
1971Shantata! Court Chaloo Ahe Satyadev Dubey & Govind Nihalani    
1972Kunku Mazhe BhagyachePradeep eknath nehete   
1973Andhala Marto Dola Dada Kondke    
1974Sugandhi KattaNot Awarded Shreeram Lagoo (Sugandhi Katta)Sarla Yevlekar (Sugandhi Katta) 
1975 Samna Jabbar Patel (Samna) Shreeram Lagoo (Samna)Sandhya (Chandanachi Choli Ang Ang Jali) 
1976 Aaram Haram Aahe Vasant Joglekar (Ha Khel Saavlyancha) Ravindra Mahajani (Zunj) Asha Kale (Ha Khel Saavlyancha) 
1977Naon Mothan Lakshan KhotanMurlidhar Kapdi (Naon Mothan Lakshan Khotan) Shreeram Lagoo (Bhingree) Usha Chavan (Naon Mothan Lakshan Khotan) 
1978Devki Nandan Gopala Jabbar Patel (Jait Re Jait)Yashwant Dutt (Bhairu Pahilwan Ki Jai) Smita Patil (Jait Re Jait) 
1979 Sinhasan Jabbar Patel (Sinhasan) Sachin (Ashtavinayak) Ranjana (Sushila) 
198022 June 1897Jayu & Nachiket Patwardhan (22 June 1897) Nilu Phule (Sahkar Samrat) Usha Chavan (Ran Pakhre) 
1981 Umbartha Jabbar Patel (Umbartha) Girish Karnad (Akriet) Smita Patil (Umbartha) 
1982ShapitRaj Dutt & Arvind Deshpande (Shapit) Ashok Saraf (Gondhalat Gondhal) Madhu Kambikar (Shapit) 
1983Gupchup GupchupV. K. Naik (Gupchup Gupchup) Ashok Saraf (Goshta Dhamal Namyachi) Ranjana (Savitri) 
1984Lek Chalali SaasarlaN. S. Vaidya (Lek Chalali Saasarla) Laxmikant Berde Supriya Sabnis (Navri Mile Navryala) 
1985 op Dhoom Dhadaka Mahesh Kothare (Dhoom Dhadaka) Laxmikant Berde  ?? 
1994VazirSanjay Rawal (Vazir) Vikram Gokhale (Vazir)Sukanya Kulkarni (Varsa Laxmicha) Shridhar Phadke (Varsa Laxmicha)
1995Aai Mahesh Manjrekar (Aai) Sayaji Shinde (Aboli) Renuka Shahane (Aboli) Anand Modak (Mukta)
1996PutravatiNichiket & Jayoo Patwardhan (Limited Manuski) Ashok Saraf (Soona Yeti Ghara) Sonali Kulkarni (Doghi) Shridhar Phadke (Putravati)
1997Bangarwadi Amol Palekar (Bangarwadi) Mohan Joshi (Rao Saheb)Sukanya Kulkarni (Sarkarnama) Anand Modak (Sarkarnama)
1998 Tu Tithe Mee Sanjay Surkar (Tu Tithe Mee) Mohan Joshi (Tu Tithe Mee) Suhas Joshi (Tu Tithe Mee) Anand Modak (Tu Tithe Mee)
1999 Bindhaast Chandrakant Kulkarni (Bindhaast) Dilip Prabhavalkar (Ratra Aarambh)Sharvari Jamenis (Bindhast) Shridhar Phadke (Lekru)

Maharashtra State Awards

Production YearBest Film 1Best Film 2Best Film 3
1962Prapanch (Madhukar Pathak)Suvaasini (Raja Paranjpe)Shaahir Parshuraam (Anant Mane)
1963Ranglyaa Raatri Ashyaa (Raja Thakur)Ha Maazaa Marg Ekla (Raja Paranjpe)Phakir (Chandrashekhar)
1964Chhotaa Jawaan, Paathlaag (Ram Gabale, Raja Paranjpye)Pahu Re Kiti Vaat (Raja Thakur)Thoraataanchi Kamalaa (Madhu Shinde)
1965Vaawtal (Shantaram Aathavale) Sawaal Majha Aika! (Anant Mane)Third award not given
1966Saadhi Maanse (Bhalji Pendharkar)Kelaa Ishara Jaataa Jaataa (Anant Mane)Shewatchaa Maalusaraa (Vasant Joglekar)
1967Santh Vaahate Krushnaamaai (Madhukar Pathak)Kaakaa Malaa Waachwaa (Raja Paranjpe)Swapna Tech Lochani (Chandrawadan)
1968Gharchi Raani (Rajdatt)Aamhi Jaato Aamuchyaa Gaawaa (Kamalakar Torne)Ekti (Raja Thakur)
1969Apraadh (Rajdatt)Mukkaam Post Dhebewaadi (Madhukar Paathak)Dharmkanyaa (Maadhav Shinde)
1970Mumbaicha Jawai (Raja Thakur)Warnecha Wagh (Vasant Painter)Laxmanresha (Manshav Shinde)
1971Gharkul (Raja Thakur)Shantata Court Chalu Aahe (Satyadev Dubey)Dohni Gharcha Pahuna, Songadya (Garjanan Jagirdar, Govind Kulkarni)
1972Jawai Vikat Ghene Aahe (Raja Thakur)Bholibhabdi (Rajdutt)Aandla Marto Dola (Dinesh)
1973Sugandhi Katha (Vasant Painter)Kartiki (Datta Mane)Ashi Hi Sataryadi (Murlidhar Kapadi)
1974Pandu Hawaldar (Dada Kondke)Saamna (Dr. Jabbar Patel)Bayanno Naure Sambhala (Dattatry Kulkarni)
1975Charicha Mamla (Babsaheb Phattelal)Tumch Aamch Jamle (Dada Kondke)Pahuni (Anant Mane)
1976Phrari (V. Ravindra)Bala Gau Kashi Aangai (Kamlakar Torne)Naav Motha Lakshan Khota (Murlidhar Kapadi)
1977Devkinandan Gopala (Rajdutt)Bhairu Phehelwan Ki Jai (Kamlakar Torne)Jait Re Jait (Dr. Jabbar Patel)
1978Janki (Vasant Joglekar)Ashtavinayak (Rajdutt)Bot Lavin Tithe Gudgulaya (Dada Kondke)
197922 June 1897 (Nechiket and Jayu Patwardhan)Sinhasan (Dr. Jabbar Patel)Paij (Babasaheb Phattelal)
1980 Umbartha (Dr. Jabbar Patel)Gondhlat Gondhal (V.K. Naik)Aakrit (Amol Palekar)
1981Shapit (Rajdutt and Arvind Deshpande)Ek Dav Bhootacha (Ravi Namade)Aali Angawar (Dada Kondke)
1982Raghu-Maina (Rajdutt)Goopchoop Goopchoop (V.K. Naik)Thorli Jau (Kamlakar Torne)
1983Hech Mazhe Maher (Rajdutt)Thkas Mahathak (Raja Bargir), Mumbaicha Phoujdar (Rajdutt) (Divided)Bahurupi (Satish Randive)
1984Ardhangi (Rajadutt)Deva Shapath Kharan Sangen (Bhaskar Jadhav)Stridhan (Babasaheb Phattelal)
1985Pudhcha Paul (Rajdutt)Tuzhyavdachun Karmena (Damu Kenkare)Aaj Zale Mukt Me (Rajdutt)
1986Prem Karuyaa Khullam Khullaa (Girish Ghanekar)Gammat Jammat (Sachin)Khatyaal Saasoo Naathaal Soon (N.S. Vaidya)
1987Ashi Hi Banwaa Banwi (Sachin)Nashibwaan (N.S. Vaidya)Rangat Sangat (Girish Ghanekar)
1988Kalat Nakalat (Kanchan Nayak)Aatmavishwaas (Sachin)Hamaal De Dhamaal (Purushottam Berde)
1989Aaghat (Ramakant Kavthekar)Ekaapekshaa Ek (Sachin)Kooldeepak (N.S. Vaidya)
1990 Chaukat Raja (Sanjay Surkar)Vedh (Pradip Berlekar)Anapekshit (Sanjiv Naik)
1991Ek Hotaa Vidushak (Dr. Jabbar Patel)Aapli Maanasa (Sanjay Surkar)Wajwaa Re Wajwaa (Girish Ghanekar)
1992Vajir (Sanjay Rawal)Sawat Maazi Laadki (Smita Talwalkar)Lapandaaw (Shravani Devdhar)
1993Muktaa (Dr. Jabbar Patel)Waarsaa Lakshmichaa (Madhukar Pathak)Maazaa Chhakulaa (Mahesh Kothare)
1994Doghi (Sumitra Bhave)Baangarwaadi (Amol Palekar)Abolee (Amol Shedge)
1995Raosaaheb (Sanjay Surkar)Putrawati (Bhaskar Jadhav)Sunaa Yeti Gharaa (A. Radhaswani)
1999Gaabhaaraa (N.F.D)Gharaabaaher (Suyog Chitra)Bindhaast (Devyani Movies--)

Nowadays, Marathi movies have been listed at many international film festivals, which provides a platform for such movies and the filmmakers to know big in the world film industry. All Lights Film Services [20] provided platform for Marathi films such as Pinky – Ek Sathyakatha, Kapus Kondyachi Goshta, Hou De Jarasa Ushir, Sopanchi Aye Bahina Bhai, Touring Talkies, Langar to almost all leading international festivals across the world.

Highest Grossing Marathi Films

MovieYearStudio(s)Worldwide Grossref(s)
Sairat 2016 Aatpat Production, Essel Vision Productions 110 crore (US$15 million) [21]
Natsamrat 201650 crore (US$7.0 million)[ citation needed ]
Lai Bhaari 2014 Mumbai Film Company 41 crore (US$5.7 million)[ citation needed ]
Timepass 2 l/ll2015 Essel Vision Productions 28 crore (US$3.9 million) [22]
Timepass 2014 Zee Talkies 33 crore (US$4.6 million) [23]
Duniyadari 2013Dreaming 24/7 Productions28 crore (US$3.9 million)[ citation needed ]
Katyar Kaljat Ghusali 201540 crore (US$5.6 million)
Naal 2018 Zee Studios 31.3 crore (US$4.4 million)
Me Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy 2009 Everest Entertainment 25.5 crore (US$3.6 million) [24]
Mumbai Pune Mumbai 2 201518 crore (US$2.5 million) [25]
Deool Band 201520 crore (US$2.8 million)
Faster Fene 201727 crore (US$3.8 million)
Daagdi Chaawl 201520 crore (US$2.8 million)
Kaksparsh 2012 Zee Talkies 14 crore (US$2.0 million) [26]
Dr. Prakash Baba Amte - The Real Hero 2014 Essel Vision Productions 12 crore (US$1.7 million) [27]
Natarang 2010 Zee Talkies 12 crore (US$1.7 million) [28]
Balak-Palak 2013 Mumbai Film Company 12 crore (US$1.7 million) [29]

National Film Awards

Further reading

See also

Related Research Articles

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Dhundiraj Govind Phalke, popularly known as Dadasaheb Phalke, was an Indian producer-director-screenwriter, known as the Father of Indian cinema. His debut film, Raja Harishchandra, was the first Indian movie released in 1913, and is now known as India's first full-length feature film. He made 95 feature-length films and 27 short films in his career, spanning 19 years, until 1937, including his most noted works: Mohini Bhasmasur (1913), Satyavan Savitri (1914), Lanka Dahan (1917), Shri Krishna Janma (1918) and Kaliya Mardan (1919).

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<i>Raja Harishchandra</i> 1913 film by Dadasaheb Phalke

Raja Harishchandra is a 1913 Indian silent film directed and produced by Dadasaheb Phalke. It is often considered the first full-length Indian feature film. Raja Harishchandra features Dattatraya Damodar Dabke, Anna Salunke, Bhalchandra Phalke, and Gajanan Vasudev Sane and is based on the legend of Harishchandra, with Dabke portraying the title character. The film, being silent, had English, Marathi, and Hindi-language intertitles.

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Ramchandra Gopal Torne, 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.

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