(Last Updated on : 17/08/2011)
Gujarati films, the regional film industry of Gujarat
, started its journey in 1922. Since then the Gujarati films immensely contributed to the Indian cinema. Gujarati cinema has gained popularity among the regional film industry in India. Gujarati cinema is always based on scripts from mythology to history and social to political. Since its origin Gujarati cinema has experimented with various stories and issues from the Indian society. Furthermore, Gujarat has immense contribution to the Bollywood as several Gujarati actors have brought glamour to the Indian film industry.
History of Gujarati Films
The scripts and stories dealt in the Gujarati films are intrinsically humane. They include relationship and family oriented subjects with human aspirations and deal with the Indian family culture. Thus, there can be no turning away from the essential humanity of these Gujarati cinema. The first Gujarati movie, Narasinh Mehta, was released in the year 1932, which was directed by Nanubhai Vakil. The film starred Mohanlala, Marutirao, Master Manhar, and Miss Mehtab. It was of the Saint Film genre and was on the life of the saint Narasinh Mehta who observed a creed that was followed centuries later by Mahatma Gandhi
. The film was matchless as it avoided any depiction of miracles. In 1935, another social movie, Ghar Jamai, was released, directed by Homi Master. The film starred Heera, Jamna, Baby Nurjehan, Amoo, Alimiya, Jamshedji, and Gulam Rasool. The film featured a Resident Son-In-Law or Ghar Jamai, and his escapades as well as his problematic attitude towards the freedom of women. It was a comedy oriented movie and was a major success in the industry.
Development of Gujarati Films
Gujarati films thus proceeded with several other important social, political as well as religious issues. The years 1948, 1950, 1968, 1971 moved with a wide variety of dimension. The Gujarati movies such as Kariyavar, directed by Chaturbhuj Doshi, Vadilona Vanke directed by Ramchandra Thakur, Gadano Bel, directed by Ratibhai Punatar and Leeludi Dharti, directed by Vallabh Choksi, brought immense success to the industry. The problems of modernisation are the underlying concern of several films. The movies like Gadano Bel had a strong realism and reformism.
The film industry in Gujarat experimented with various issues. Gujarati films such as Leeludi Dharti reflect the rural world with its fertility rituals. In 1975 Tanariri, directed by Chandrakant Sangani presents highlights the little known side of Akbar
who is usually presented as a consistently benign ruler. The first cinemascope film of Gujarati cinema was Sonbaini Chundadi, directed by Girish Manukant released in the year 1976. Besides these, Bhavni Bhavai, released in the year 1980, was directed by Ketan Mehta
. It boasted of superlative performances, fine camerawork and won two awards, National Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration, and another award at the Nantes festival in France. In 1992, Hun Hunshi Hunshilal, directed by Sanjiv Shah was sought to be post-modern.
Actors of Gujarati Films
Gujarati films were further enriched by the brilliant performances of the film personalities. Anupama, Upendra Trivedi, Arvind Trivedi, Ramesh Mehta and Veljibhai Gajjar, Dilip Patel, Ranjitraj, Sohil Virani, Narayan Rajgor, Premshankar Bhatt, Jay Patel, Ashvin Patel, Girija Mitra, Anjana, Manmohan Desai, Sanjay Gadhvi, Kalyanji Anandji, Deepika Chikhalia, Bindu Desai, Renuka Shahane
and Priti Parekh are the celebrated actors who have contributed a lot to the Gujarati film industry.
The period from 1965 to 1990 was considered as the Golden Era in Gujarati Cinema.