Sunday 25 March 2012

Manthan Feb. 01 '10 - Buddism in Saurashtra

Dalai Lama Visit on International Buddism conference at Vadodara.  This video explains buddism in Saurashtra and its spreadings.

Friday 2 March 2012

Neetu Chandra acted as Saurashtra women in Garam masala

She is bollywood actress from patna acted as Saurashtra Girl in Film Garam Masala

Asha Parekh from Mahuva Saurashtra - Interview

Veteran actor Asha Parekh was awarded at the ongoing IFFI, for her contribution of 50 years to Bollywood Cinema.. my collegue Priya Randhawa caught with the actor seemed quite jubilant about the honor.. heres more to that conversation

Thursday 1 March 2012

Suresh Productions ‘Motabha’ release on Feb 5th

Motabha‘ is Gujarathi language movie,which was produced by  movie moghul Dr.D.Ramanaidu under Suresh Productions banner and this movie is similar to the Suresh Production’s ‘Naidugari Kuthumbham‘ in telugu language.



The story revolves around the family of Dharamraj Gohil who has successfully kept his huge family under one shelter for years together.Dharamraj is lovingly called as MOTABHA by not only his family but also by villagers. Motabha is highly respeceted in the village and he is staying with his mother Dharmistha and three brothers – Ramanuj,
Bhagyaraj, Siddharaj and a sister Giribala. Ramanuj is married with Dhanlaxmi, Bhagyaraj with Padma, Giribala with Dhaneshkumar. Ramanuj and Dhanlaxmi has two little kids and everyone is staying in a big house of the Dharampur village of Gujarat state. Siddharaj is unmarried and has just got his studies complete. Abhita is sister of Dhaneshkumar and is also staying happily with Motabha’s family and she is in love with Siddhraj.

Dharmistha is proud of her son Dharamraj (Motabha) who has almost sacrificed his life for the unity of his family. This unusal family story is bound to keep its viewers spell bound that is for sure.

The team planning to release the audio on Jan 28th and movie release on Feb 5th.
Check out Motabha Trailer:

Saturday 25 February 2012

Saurashtra Cinematograph's Bali Yagna & Prithviraj Chauhan


History of cinema from 1896-2000

It was a rainy day in Bombay, Tuesday the seventh of July, in the year 1896. It was the busy area Kala Ghoda that evening that the motion picture took its birth in India. Though the debut was not that very sensational, this new scientific invention was to become one of the most important media of entertainment and communication in the 20th century. The cinema arrived in India like any one of those magic shows that were so popular with the audiences of that time and era. The coming of the 'Cinematographe' was heralded in 'The Times of India' that Tuesday morning, along with the usual advertisements of theatre programmes, variety shows, brandy and whiskey, in the entertainment column. It was brought to Bombay by the touring agents of the Lumiere Brothers of France. These pioneer film makers had perfected their process of 'living photographic pictures' and had held the first public exhibition only a year back in Paris. The Lumieres, with their adequate stock of equipments and short film programmes, were also the first to explore new markets and make the cinema an international medium right from the beginning.

That is how a country like India, then under colonial rule, could have her first look at the motion picture, barely within a year of its becoming popular abroad and within three months of the first projected exhibition held for an audience in America !

The images which flickered in Bombay's Watson's Hotel on that evening became India's first film show and the hotel's clientele, which saw it, formed the first audience. The day's programme started with an item 'Entry of Cinematographe' introducing the new medium, followed by other items called 'Arrival of a train', 'The Sea Bath', 'A Demolition', 'Workers leaving the factory' and 'Ladies and Soldiers on Wheels'. There were four shows per day and the admission rate was one rupee.

From July 14, 1896, the Lumiere programme began to have a simultaneous run in a regular drama theatre, with the ticket prices varying for different classes, like two rupees for the Orchestra, Stall and Dress-circle, one rupee for the Second Seats and eight annas for the Back Seats. After two weeks, the theatre even kept a Gallery rate for four annas and there were special Boxes reserved for purdah ladies and their families.

In Calcutta, Prof. Stevenson has made quite a big impact, by bringing the first ever 'Bioscope' show to the city in October 1898 at the Star Theatre where the screenings came at the tail end of the popular plays. After a month's successful run of the programme, which included such items as 'Death of Nelson' and 'Mr Gladstone's Funeral, the professor decided to go one step further by photographing some material of local interest. The time was thus ripe for an Indian to venture into the field of shooting short items and the first step was taken by Harishchandra S Bhatvadekar or Save Dada, as he was better known.

Save Dada had already entered the exhibition field, having his shop-cum-residence near Bombay's Kennedy Bridge. He had already entered the exhibition field, having taken a hand-operated projector with which he showed imported short films in bungalows, schools, colleges and also in some Bombay halls. Thus, within four years of its birth at the Watson's Hotel, the cinema had indeed made spectacular progress and won over the audience's regular patronage.

With the dawn of the new century, came a wind of change in the lives and ways of human beings and there came a drastic change in cinema too. The cinema was in fact one of the main instruments to record, reflect and provoke many reforms and revolutions. The New Year's Day was heralded in Bombay with the Tivoli having a programme of twenty-five pics on Edison's Projecting Kinetoscope, including 'Fatima, an Indian Dance'.

In the middle of 1900, another Indian turned from exhibition to production of a few short items. He was F B Thanawalla, a Muslim electrical engineer who has his shop at Kalbadevi where he sold projectors, phonographs and the like. On the other hand, Save Dada, after a gap, entailed either by lack of resources or facilities, resumed his activities in 1901, with a small film on the reception given to Dr R P Paranjpye on his return from England as the first Indian Wrangler of Cambridge.

India also frequently saw the narrative films coming from abroad. But in India, the production remained restricted to short, actuality films for some years more. Production of shorts in 1906 was almost completely dominated by the Elphinstone Company. From 1907 to 1909, the making of short films in India was meagre. The Elphinstone Company prepared a topical one on 'Air of Kabul's Procession' in 1907. The floods of Hyderabad were covered by a cameraman for the Excelsior Cinematograph of Bombay in 1908, and a new 'View of Bombay' was also prepared for it in 1909. The earlier pioneers seem to have remained inactive for some reason. It was left to other bold men to bear the yoke of bringing feature films to the Indian Cinema.

The second decade of the new century started without any hopeful signs about the arrival of an Indian story film with the length of a feature. But before the decade came to an end, the feature film had taken its birth in all the three centres - Bombay, Calcutta and Madras - in that order.

In the first two years, the short films continued to hold sway as the only products of cinema made within the country. In 1910, apart from a coverage of the annual Muslim festival of the Mohurrum in Delhi, done for Bombay's Excelsior Cinematograph, another item which draws special attention is 'Fugitive Dalai Lama'. In 1911-12, another pageant of British royalty held in India dominated the attention of photographers and the screening programmes of exhibitors.

Following the death of King Edward VII, the eldest son of Queen Victoria and with George V coming to the throne, an identical Coronation ceremony and a visit round India became necessary as a show of pomp and grandeur of the British empire. So the coming of George and his queen at the fag end of 1911 became a big affair and the bioscope companies vied with one another to get the coverage and release it in the shortest possible time. So this feeling of outplaying the others was very much evident at that time also!

Surprisingly, the fierce battle of showmanship was not carried over to Calcutta, which the royal visitors reached in the beginning of the year 1912. The Sen brothers - Hiralal and Motilal - made a grand comeback. In all the rumpus caused by the Royal Visit films, some other Indian made shorts paled into the background. Happenings abroad, which were of interest to Indians, were also picturised by the foreign companies and sent to India like Ratan Tata's reception to Indian princes at York House in London in 1911.

New cinemas had also sprung up by now, along with old theatres being converted for cinema shows. Among them were Novelty, America-India, Royal Opera, Edward, Laxmi and Coronation in Bombay. The theatres tried many tricks to lure the spectators. The earliest on record is the Tivoli offering a lucky prize to 'a child sitting in the upper classes who correctly voted for the best picture in the programme'. In later days, costly things like sarees, bicycles and watches were also given away as lucky prizes. By 1912, the new medium had tried all possible tricks like adding music, synchronise

But the real tough competition was still to start with the coming of India's own feature films. The ground had been more or less prepared by the many films from different countries, based on a variety of story material which had been widely shown and liked in India. In February 1907, came Edwin Porter's 'The Great Train Robbery' (considered to be America's first narrative film made in 1903) coupled with his own second film 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'. Each was a one-reeler with the running time not exceeding twelve minutes and the programme was supported by short items. The longest film reached upto 3,000 feet, though a mixed, monster programme held by the Royal Opera had touched 8,000 feet in 1911.

Thus, the audience in India was already accustomed to enjoying narrative films of about an hour's length and was all ready to receive a drama with Indian characters and background. And this great moment arrived at last when R G Torney's 'Pundalik' was released on May 18, 1912 at the Coronation Cinematograph, situated at Sandhrust Road in Bombay. This film, based on the legend of a famous saint of Maharashtra and shown in a double programme coupled with a foreign film 'A Dead Man's Child', became India's first story film, presented as one of the two main features. It was described as 'a fascinating religious subject, a popular Hindi drama'.

The actors, clumsily clad and made up, rendered their roles by gestures and pantomime, inspired from the French actor Foolshead's style. The picture was completed quickly and released without any formalities of censorship, as none existed at that time!

It is obvious that 'Pundalik' being based on a story, specially enacted for the camera by actors made up for their roles and taking half of the bill of fare was a feature film in every sense and has, therefore, to be acknowledged as India's first picture, preceding by D G Phalke's 'Raja Harishchandra' exactly by a year. It also means that Indians saw their own first feature earlier than the Americans, who, according to the noted film historian Arthur Knight, saw the France-made 'Queen Elizabeth' as their first feature film only on July 12, 1912.

It was finally with D G Phalke's 'Raja Harishchandra', released on May 3, 1913 at the Coronation, that the Indian feature film came into being in the fullest sense and the foundation was laid for a film industry that was to become the biggest in the world. 'Raja Harishchandra' was 3,700 feet long, in four reels and took up about fifty minutes of the programme. The film successfully continued beyond one week and from June 28, Harishchandra had a second run at the Alexandra (near Crawford Market).

Phalke's saga of struggle and achievement would go to form a glorious chapter by itself in Indian film industry. Born on April 30, 1870 at Nashik in a traditional Hindu family. He was interested in many arts and crafts from an early age. His early training at the J J School of Art and later at the Kala Bhavan of Baroda developed the multiple facets of his talent in various fields like drawing, painting, printing, engraving, photography, moulding, architecture, music, magic and even amateur stage acting. He engaged himself in many of these professions and won renown.

The success of 'Raja Harishchandra' firmly and surely laid the foundation of the Indian cinema industry, making the film a commercially profitable proposition. Moreover, Phalke, unlike others, kept up the effort by making more films one after another. For about four years, he was the only producer in the entire country, except for a couple of ventures tried by some others.

Within three months of shifting his office from Bombay to Nashik, Phalke come out with his second film 'Mohini Bhasmasur', which was released at Bombay's Olympia in late December, 1913. For 'Mohini', Phalke could get two women to play the roles. They were a mother and her daughter, Durgabai and Kamla, who hesitantly claimed the distinction of being the first Indian women on the screen. And for his third film, 'Satyavan Savitri', Phalke could get as many as four women.

When the first decade of the new century ended, India had made some twenty-five features and established the silent film as a popularly accepted mode of story telling. In all this, the contribution of Phalke was by all means immense and in some ways comparable to what D W Griffith did for American cinema. Between 1908 and 1916, Griffith made films which turned the cinema into a new medium and a vibrant art form, with its own language. Much the same was done by Phalke with Indian ethos and idiom.

The fact that he had made about sixteen short films by 1919, shows the importance he attached to the film's role as documentary. Among them were such varied subjects as, trick films on match-sticks and coins performing acrobatics, a magic show by himself appearing as Prof. Kelpha (the reverse of his name), a film preaching against smoking, a look at the Glass Works in Talegoan (near Poona), wrestling and athletic tournaments, a coverage of the Sinhastha Parvani pilgrimage and some comical, satirical items on typical Indian characters.

After stepping into 1920, the Indian cinema gradually assumed the shape of a regular industry. This was most noticeable in the quantum of production, which rose from a mere eight per cent to eighteen (1920), forty (1921), eighty (1925) and a hundred and seventy-two at the turn of the decade.

The new decade saw the arrival of many new companies and film-makers. Many of them were to go ahead and shape a big, prosperous industry, in which the Indian silent film flowered to its full bloom. One of the most significant among these was Baburao Painter, who formed the Maharashtra Film Company at Kolhapur. He brought a new artistic and scenic appeal which had been quite lacking in Indian films till then. This the reason his contribution is often considered next to Phalke's.

Another ambitious film-maker, then stepping into the field was Suchet Singh, who had his training abroad, (said to be partly under Chaplin) and tagged a proud B C S, C PA to his name. He entered the local filmdom by forming the Oriental Film Manufacturing Company and created a record by presenting an American actress, Dorothy Kingdom, in his first film 'Shakuntala'.

Dwarkadas Sampat and Maneklal Patel, who earlier had financing interests in a couple of companies, now joined hands and formed Kohinoor Film Company, which was to dominate the silent era with its huge output and bring up many directorial, technical and acting talents. Even in its earliest films, 'Krishna Sudama' and 'Sati Parvati', it introduced actors like Khalil, Tara, Raja Sandow, who became the first to contend for the elusive status of stars, and directors like K Rathod who were to make dozens of films.

To Bombay's sizable production of narrative features, Bengal and Madras now began to add their own quota in small doses. In Calcutta, Madan Theatres, now firmly established with Indian and foreign talents, turned out a number of films every year. The first to come in 1921 was 'Nala Damayanti' in ten reels, produced and directed by Signor E de Liguoro, an Italian on the company's staff, who was also an actor.

But someone to chisel out a place for himself in that situation was a young expressionist, calling himself D G; standing for Dhiren Ganguli. His 'Bilat Ferut' (England Returned) was proudly heralded as "a purely Bengali film, at a Bengali theatre, presented by a Bengali company, with Bengali actors and photographer". But its real merit was that it was the first film in the entire country to have a contemporary social story.

Another talent of great promise being nurtured in Painter's Maharashtra Company was V Shantaram. After several hard knocks and odd jobs, the young boy had managed to get a break as a lad-of-all-work in Painter's studio. But his cute looks soon encouraged the film-maker to give him the role of Lord Krishna in 'Surekha Haran' made in 1921. Shantaram rose from these humble beginnings to become one of India's leading film talents and the only one to complete an uninterrupted record of fifty years of active work in 1971.

Mythical subjects were at times given a contemporary twist for greater appeal, like Phalke's 'Mahananda' being called a social photoplay. Bombay at last came out with a 'modern' story when director-actor Homi Master made 'Kala Naag' for Kohinoor, in 1924. It was based on the exploits of a real criminal, who had become notorious in Bombay under the assumed name used for the film's title. It was made in the style of a thriller, showing "the types of crimes in modern civilisation, like rapes, robberies and murders". The lovely actresses Sultana and Zubeida played opposite Homi Master, who did the title role.

Grand historical subjects were also in equal demand and were often chosen by new companies for their maiden ventures. Film production also began to spread to other areas. Rajkot had its first movie company called Saurashtra Cinematograph, which made 'Balee Yagna' (Self-Surrender at the feet of the master) and other films. Baroda, in Gujarat, had the Eastern Film Company, which made 'Prithviraj Chauhan' taken from Rajput history. Another new company, Ashok Pictures, shot its historical spectacle 'Prithvi Vallabh' (Lord of Love & Power) completely in Baroda, with the active help of the State.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Surya Mandir & Ranak Devi Ki Vav

Surya Mandir (Sun Temple) and stepwell at Modhera. Mehsna, Saurashtra. Also Ranak Devi Ki Vav at Patan.

Tuesday 17 January 2012

' Veer Hamirji - Somnath ni Sakhate ' TV9 Coverage

This is the first TV coverage to our movie ' Veer Hamirji - Somnath ni Sakhate ' . We appreciate and thankful to TV9 Gujarati.  Veer Hamirji who sacrifice his life for Somnath Temple.