V. Shantaram: A Cinematic Legacy Carved in Time

OV Digital Desk

V. Shantaram was an Indian director, writer, and actor. He was known for his work in Hindi and Marathi films.

Life and Career

He was born on 18 November 1901, in Kolhapur, Maharashtra.  At the age of 16, he joined work at a local tin-shed cinema. He started his film career as a lab assistant in Maharashtra Film Co. owned by Baburao Painter at Kolhapur. In 1921, he debuted as an actor in the silent film Surekha Haran.  In 1925, he played the role of a farmer on ‘Savkari Pash’. And in 1927, directed his first film ‘Netaji Palkar’.

In 1929, along with Vishnupant Damle, K.R. Dhaiber, S. Fatelal, and S.B. Kulkarni, he founded the Prabhat Film Company, first film of the company was a Marathi film Ayodhyecha Raja, directed by Shantaram. In 1931, the first talkie Indian movie ‘Alam Ara’ was released directed by Ardeshir Irani, and produced by the Imperial Film Company in Bombay. After that, Prabhat Film Company made three sound films in Marathi including Ayodhyecha Raja,

In 1933, he moved to Pune and would go on to produce more than 40 films in Marathi and Hindi in less than three decades, and today is regarded as a vital part of India’s cinematic history. The first film produced by Prabhat Film Company in its Pune studio was ‘Amrit Manthan’, made in both Hindi and Marathi.

In 1941, he left Prabhat Film Company and made his own production firm, Rajkamal Kalamandir. In 1943, the hit film ‘Shakuntala’, directed by him, and the first film of the company. In 1946, he directed and played a lead role in ‘Dr. Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani’, It is based on a true story.

He died on 30 October 1990 in Mumbai.


In 1985, He received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for his great work in the Indian film industry. In 1992, He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, after his death.