About Prabhat Film Studio Museum, Pune, Maharashtra
Established in Kolhapur as a partnership between five members of Baburao Painter's Maharashtra Film Company, namely V Shantaram, Vishnupant Damle, S Fatelal, Keshavrao Dhaiper and Sitarampant Kulkarni, Prabhat moved its studios to Pune in 1933. The new Prabhat Film Studio in Pune boasted of the largest stage floor in India, one of the finest art departments, a well-equipped sound and editing department and its own laboratory.
Within this impressive physical structure worked some of the most creative directors, actors, music composers, script writers and technicians of that period. Collaboratively they made several memorable films like Amrut Manthan, Sant Tukaram, Duniya Na Mane, Aadmi, Padosi and Ram Shastri.
Inner architecture of the Prabhat Film Studio Museum, Pune, Maharashtra
The Prabhat Film Studio Museum is divided into five sections-the first two house artifacts and memorabilia, the next two take the visitors back to movie shootings through photographs, while the corridor houses various props used in the movies.
As you climb the steps leading to the first floor museum, the symbol of Prabhat Films, a lady playing the tutari (an Indian form of a trumpet) greets you.
Once inside, the photograph of the five founders of Prabhat, headed by Baburao Painter, welcomes you to view the exhibits of musical instruments including lezim, trumpet, flute, taal, conch shell, veena, ektari, rill (chipali) in metal and wood and a large wooden lute. A variety of water containers, jars, goblets, vases including rose water containers follow. There are turbans and Indian arms including guns, axe blades, sword shields, helmet, bows and arrows, scabbards, quiver of arrows, decorative swords, etc.
The section on crowns includes one worn by Prithviraj Kapoor, one made in Roman style, one with the word 'God' and a precious stone carved in the centre to a crocodile shaped one. The jewellery includes a number of sets with different designs of necklaces, bindi, bangles, earrings, anklets, armlets, maang tikka and hair pieces.
The second room displays Indian costumes used in the movies including full-length cloaks and waist coats and the Ghagra that Shanta Apte wore in Gokul. The showcase displaying worship artifacts has the padukas (footwear) used in the movie Sant Dnyaneshwar, conch shells, lamps, flower caskets, holy water containers, thali and malas.
Kitchenware, toys, betel leaf boxes and apparatus, hand fans can also be found here. The photographs are indeed a delight to view. The quality of the images is good and they show the sheer magnitude of sets used in those days; some of them have captured sterling moments of the movies while some show the actors in various moods.
The poster section includes posters of movies like Sant Janabai, Chandrasena, Sinhgad, Dharmatma, Sant Tukaram, Kunku, Amar Jyoti, Maya Machindra, Ram Shastri, Sant Dnyaneshwar, Sant Sakhu and Padosi.
The corridor exhibits cradles, a palkhi, harmoniums, vessels, bed stands and pillars used in various films which are in relatively good condition even today.
Rare collections of the Prabhat Film Studio Museum, Pune, Maharashtra
Like so many other great studios of the period, Prabhat Film Company closed down in 1953 but within the premises emerged a new avatar-the Film Institute of India, in 1961. As a tribute to its illustrious predecessor, the FTII has assembled in this museum, set up in 1995, a few surviving artifacts, rare photographs and documents of a bygone and glorious era of filmmaking.
When to visit Prabhat Film Studio Museum, Pune, Maharashtra
Prabhat museum is open from 3:00-5:00 pm on all working days and there is an entry ticket of Rs 10 for Indians and Rs 250 for foreigners to be purchased from the security at the entrance gate of FTII.