(Last Updated on : 22/07/2009)
Anandrao Mistry Painter and Baburao Mistry Painter was Marathi theatre and cinema artist. Anandrao Mistry was Baburao Painter's elder cousin. They were born in a family of craftsmen in Kolhapur. They taught themselves to paint and sculpt. They began their career during 1909-10 in theatre companies like Lalitkaladarsha Natak Mandali where they experimented with realistic stage setting and perspective-style painting on innovative backdrops that proved trendsetting. Anandrao was the brain behind their creative efforts. His design for Kirloskar's Saubhadra won immense critical and popular acclaim for the effect of a moonlit night created out of combinations of various shades. They were invited to do sets by the prestigious Kirloskar Natak Mandali, Bal Gandharva, and Govindrao Tembe, as well as Gujarati and Parsi theatre companies, and became the leading scene designers of the region.
Both became cineastes after seeing Raja Harishchandra in 1913 and set up their own movie hall, Shivaji Theatre, in Kolhapur. They tried to assemble a camera but Anandrao died in 1916. Baburao, with the help of his follower Vishnu Damle, succeeded in putting together their own camera, on which they shot a 10-foot film, Goodnight. Baburao established the Maharashtra Film Company in 1917, known as the laboratory of the Indian movie industry, introducing directors like V. Shantaram and innovating cinematic technology. His classic films include Sairandhri in 1919, Savkari posh in 1925, Usha in 1935 and Pratibha in 1937 for Shalini Cinetone. His previous work in theatre setting and experimentation with shades proved useful in his shooting technique to achieve the right tones and effects on film.
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