Marcus Bartley is an Anglo-Indian film actor and renowned cinematographer, who played a significant role in a number of Indian films. He used to be an amateur photographer when he was still studying. He continued his passion until he got the opportunity to work as a press photographer in the newspaper, Times of India, in 1935. Under the patronage of the Times of India, he became the British Movie Tone’s News Reel Cameraman.
Marcus has been the cinematographer of classic films like Chemmeen (1965) and
Maya Bazaar (1957). He joined the Pratagi studios when he got to Madras. The first film he worked on was B.N. Reddy’s Swarga Seema in 1945, which shows his Excellency in Black and White photography. This film made him associated closely to B.N. Reddy,
Nagi Reddy, and K.V. Reddy.
He also worked in several studios such as Newtone Studios, National Studios, and Vauhini Productions. He has been the cinematographer for all 40 Vauhini films such as Guna Sundari Katha, Yogi Vemana, to name a few. He also worked for Vijaya Productions for films like Shavukaru, Pellichesi Chudu, Patala Bhairavi, Missamma, Shri Rajeswari Vilas Coffee Club, and more.
He has laid his photographic hands to many of the super hit films during those times, and his expertise was his footages under the moonlight. Marcus also worked as an actor and was starred in Krishnan Kartha’s 1987 drama film, Amshini.
Marcus was a disciplinarian, especially while on sets. He always wanted silence when working. \He rarely gave interviews and remained private. During Sundays, he is usually at home repairing cameras and preferred not to work on that day. He was born in 1917 and has died on March 14, 1993, in Chennai, but his contribution to the film industry is still being remembered and inspiring the youth to take up the same profession.
He won the Best Cinematography Award at the National Film Festival for the Tamil film, Shanti Nilayam. In 1978, Marcus earned President’s gold medal award at the International Film Festival for his work in the Malayalam film, Chemmeen.