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History of Marathi Cinema is as old as Indian cinema. The Marathi man gave birth to Indian cinema and since then the Marathi film industry has continuously contributed to the mainstream cinema simultaneously enriching the Marathi movies as well.
Frankly, Marathi cinema even goes back even further than Dadasaheb Phalke.
Marathi cinema took off in 19thcentury with some unusual but pathbreaking experimentation. Around 1885, Mahadev Gopal Patwardhan -a Chitpawan Kokanastha Brhamin performed a unique experiment called "Shambarika Kharolika' ( The Magic Lantern) . This much talked about experiment was akin to today’s animation. Patwardhan had hand drawn a series of small human figures with expressions smaller than 5 cm, on a 10 cm-slide. He had drawn more than 1,000 slides and he would display these slides in quick succession, there by producing animation. He performed these slide shows all over India and had also received recognition from the British government for his efforts. We can dare to call it the first animate film in India -by a Marathi film maker!
The article traces the journey of Marathi cinema , its transformation from mythological stories to realistic themes. The social issues now being handled by the young , dynamic and emerging youths are being depicted on the silver screen very effectively and impressively. Unfortunately , it is not able to compete with Hindi cinema so fondly called as Bollywood, produced almost next door in Mumbai-also a capital of Marathi speaking region. However that has not deterred Marathi film makers from handling bold subjects.
The regret is : Marathi audience has not yet been bold to appreciate these efforts in large numbers.