Master Vinayak


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Master Vinayak (born Vinayak Damodar Karnataki) had debuted as an actor in his cousin Shantaram's films: Ayodhiyecha Raja/ The King of Ayodhya (1932), the first Marathi talkie, Agnikankan (1932), and Sairandhri (1933), India's first color film. Vinayak debuted as a director with Vilasi Ishwar/ Orphans of the Storm (1935), for Kolhapur Cinetone, written by Marathi playwright Mama Warerkar.

In 1936 Vinayak and cameraman Pandurang Naik started Huns Pictures in Kolhapur. Together they made the Marathi films Chhaya/ Shadow (1936), written by Vishnu Sakharam Khandekar, and Brahmachari/ Celibate (1938), written by Pralhad Keshav "Acharya" Atre, both starring Vinayak and his step-brother Baburao Pendharkar. Huns focused on scripts by distinguished Marathi writers such as Warerkar, Atre and Khandekar. In 1943 Vinayak started Prafulla Pictures and directed Gajabhau (1944) in Marathi, the film that launched singer Lata Mangeshkar. Badi Maa/ Elder Mother (1945) in Hindi, starring both Noor Jehan and Lata Mangeshkar.

In 1945 he moved his studio to Mumbai and he died two years later.

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