wiki:P Y Altekar

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Parshwanath Yeshwant Altekar (1897-1957)

Mainly Marathi director born in Kharepatan, Ratnagiri. Also worked in Hindi, Tamil and Kannada. Educated in Kolhapur and obtained arts degree from Wellington College in Sangli. Studied law in Bombay but turned to the theatre, acting in the first play he directed, Rajsanyas, in 1922. Marathi writer Mama Warerkar influenced Altekar’s theatrical work as well as his shift to films, later providing songs and dialogues for the director’s Geeta?. Film début in Joshi?’s Prithvi Vallabh?. The following year (1925) he joined the United Pics. Syndicate where he played a series of major roles in Maratha historicals: Hansaji in Sarpotdar’s Chandrarao More and the title role in Chhatrapati Sambhaji (Altekar later remade the film in Marathi with Master Vithal?). Acted in and was associated with the making of Sarpotdar’s seminal realist experiment Maharachi Por (1925), conjoining film, journalism and the avant garde theatre movement, a mix that later culminated in the work of the Natyamanwantar group. Also played the role of Prithviraj in Deccan’s Prabhavati. Joined the Pendharkar brothers’ Vande Mataram Films, acting in and, according to some sources, helping to direct their controversial Vande Mataram Ashram. Turned director at United Pics with the mythological Jugari Dharma, also playing the role of Bhim. In 1928, he went to Imperial Films, making four films, e.g. Jagadguru Shrimad Shankaracharya, which featured his future theatre associate K. Narayan Kale? as actor, and Gori Bala, scripted by Warerkar. Worked for Torney?’s Saraswati Cinetone (1933) while continuing his work in the theatre with Radio Stars and the Natyamanwantar group. Directed the first Kannada sound feature, Bhakta Dhruva, from a Ratnavali Theatre play. After a stint at Master Vinayak’s Huns Pics (e.g. the Khandekar? script Sukhacha Shodh) and CIRCO Films (Geeta, featuring Chandramohan in a double role; Mahatma Vidur? with Vishnupant Pagnis and Durga Khote), he became an independent producer with his own Natraj Cinetone partnered by Durga Khote, Govindrao Tembe, Mubarak et al., making the important Tembe-Khote musical Savangadi. Made three Tamil films (Parvati Kalyanam, Pati Bhakti, Bhishma Pratigna, all 1936). Started a theatre training school (1938) and soon stopped making films, devoting his energies to theatre work. His films often continued his experiments with naturalist theatre for Natyamanwantar, Radio Stars and his repertory National Theatre Academy, for which he wrote several essays on the theory of stage performance in the Marathi journal Yashwant (e.g. Rangabhoomichi Avashyakta Kay? in December 1942; Udyacha Nat and Udyachi Rangabhoomi in November 1943).

FILMOGRAPHY (* only act/ also act): 1924: Prithvi Vallabh*; 1925: Maharachi Por*; Chandrarao More*; Chhatrapati Sambhaji*; Kangal Qaidi*; Mulraj Solanki*; Prabhavati*; Saurashtra Veer*; 1926: Vande Mataram Ashram*; 1927: Jugari Dharma; 1928: Jagadguru Shrimad Shankaracharya; 1929: Vasal Ni Raat; Gori Bala; 1931: Janma Haq (all St); 1934: Bhakta Dhruva; Vasavadatta; Chhatrapati Sambhaji; 1936: Parvati Kalyanam; Pati Bhakti; Bhishma Pratigna; 1937: Begunah*; 1938: Savangadi/ Saathi; 1939: Sukhacha Shodh/Mera? Haq; 1940: Geeta; 1943: Mahatma Vidur; 1952: Chhatrapati Shivaji*; 1953: Maisaheb*.