Ardeshir IraniArdeshir Irani became the father of talkie films with the release of Alam Ara on 14 th March, 1931. He is also accredited with the first Indian English film 'Noor Jahan' in 1934. He completed his hat-trick of earning fame when he made first colored film of India: 'Kisan Kanya' in 1937, although the trend of colored films started very late. His contribution does not end only with giving voice to the silent cinema and colors to the black & white films, he gave new courageous outlook to film-making in India and provided such a wide range of choice for stories in films that till date there are films being made which have a theme relating to one of the 150 films made by Irani. He made movies not only in Indian languages but also in English, German, Indonesian, Persian and Urdu languages. He wanted to make his Imperial Company a real universe company because he was the representative of Universal studios (USA) and the Universal was his all time ideal.

Born on December 10, 1885, Irani became the Indian representative of Universal Studios in 1905 and ran the Alexander Cinema (Bombay) in association with Abdul Ali Yusuf Ali for 55 years. Irani entered the field of film production in 1917 with 'Veer Abhimanyu' of Star film company. In 1919, he started another company: Majestic film co. which aimed at making historical films. He made maximum number of films for Imperial film company. At the age of 40 Irani was an established producer-director-distributor and 'Showman' of the Indian cinema.


Irani's Imperial Company has given the maximum number of film stars to the Indian cinema, viz, Billimoria, Bibbo, Prithviraj Kapoor, Mehboob Khan, Yakub, Mubarak, etc. He also interfered with the medium. He produced Kalidas in Tamil on the sets of Alam Ara with songs in Telugu. Irani went to London alongwith Bharucha to learn sound recording for 15 days and recorded sounds and voice for Alam Ara on the basis of this knowledge. In the process, he started another new trend unknowingly. Those days outdoor shootings were done in sunlight with the help of reflectors. But the outer undesirable sounds were disturbing him so much that he shoot the entire sequence in the studio under heavy lights. Thus, he started the trend of shooting under artificial lights.

Irani made 158 films in 20 years, between the first and the second world wars. He made his last film 'Pujari' in 1945. Irani was not compelled to live like Dada Saheb Phalke, he realized that the war time was not suitable for film business and therefore he suspended his activities during that period. Irani died on October 14, 1966.

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