First Indian film Raja Harishchandra available on DVD

Pune: Movie buffs fond of old classics can now watch the first silent film ‘Raja Harishchandra’ in the form of a DVD, providing a glimpse of the nascent industry a century ago. Produced by legendary Dadasaheb Phalke, the first indigenous film ‘Raja Harishchandra’, exhibited on May 3, 1913 at the Coronation Cinema in Mumbai, is now being distributed in DVD form by the city-based National Film Archives of India (NFAI), its director Prashant Pathrabe told PTI.

“The decision to make DVDs of the silent movies was taken in view of a long felt need to reach the general masses who are interested in having an access to the historically significant work of pioneers of Indian cinema,” Pathrabe said.

Alongwith it, five other silent movies that marked the beginning of the Indian film industry would also be now available in DVD format, he said.

Embarking on the centenary celebrations of Indian cinema, the NFAI will also make available an assortment of photographs and film posters from its collection which will be sold to general public, he said.

Elaborating on the significance of the first film, produced by the father of Indian cinema which can now be watched by millions at home, Pathrabe said, ‘Raja Harishchandra’ was made by Phalke overcoming all odds and financial difficulties and also social stigma attached to films a century back.

“He was almost ex-communicated (in Maharashtra). He was unable to seek a heroine for his film and the female characters were enacted by men. One Salunke played the female role of Taramati in this mythological film,” the NFAI director said.