Google has a history of using doodles to mark important days, particularly birthdays, of important personalities and days that changed the world forever. Today, they have chosen to honour V Shantaram, the famous Indian filmmaker, on his 116th birthday.
The doodle features three of his most famous films, Amar Bhoopali (Immortal Song), which follows a cow herder with a penchant for poetry and was nominated for the grand prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1952; Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje, starring his wife in a film about classical dance and love. This film was notable for being one of the first films to use Technicolor in India and has won multiple national film awards; and Do Aankhen Baarah Haath (Two eyes, 12 hands), which follows a prison warden trying to reform 6 criminals, which was based on a real-world experiment and was nominated for a Golden Globe and won a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.
Born in Kohlapur in 1901 to a Jain family, Shantaram began his career with odd jobs in Maharashtra Film Co. and went on to star in the silent film Surekha Haran in 1921. He began his directorial career with Netaji Palkar (based on Chatrapati Shivaji's Commander-in-Chief) in 1927 and continued to direct several films, many of which won significant acclaim across the world. He was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1985 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1992, which was conferred to him post-humous.
Apart from directing and acting, he had an active role in music production and would work with the music directors of his films to help craft the soundtracks. He was well-known for using cinema as a means of instigating societal change, using films as a means of advocating humanism and exposing bigotry and hypocrisy at the same time.