Ardeshir Irani

1886 - 1969

The Journey

A short and crisp look at the career of Ardeshir Irani

Birth & Early Life: Ardeshir Irani was born into a Zoroastrian family on 5 December 1886 in Poona. In 1905, Irani became the Indian representative of Universal Studios and he ran Alexander Cinema in Bombay for over forty years.

Film Making: In 1922, Irani established Star Films and made his first film, Veer Abhimanyu.  Under the banner of Star Films  he produced seventeen films. In 1924, he founded Majestic Films and made around fifteen films.

Film Making: In 1925 he founded Imperial Films and produced over fifty films. On 14th March 1931 he released the first film with sound, Alam Ara.

Film Making: Irani is not only credited for the first talkie of India but also for introducing the first color film, Kisan Kanya, in 1937.

Film Making: Irani's Imperial Films introduced many new actors, which included, Prithviraj Kapoor and Mehboob Khan. He made several films in other languages as well, including, Dokhtar-e-Lor in Persian. 

Film Making: Irani went to England to learn the nuances of film making and sound recording. Later, he introduced the concept of Artificial Lighting. He started to shoot indoors under heavy lights and away from undesirable outdoor sounds. 

Career: Irani made one hundred fifty-eight films in a long and illustrious career of twenty-five years, between the First and Second World Wars. He made his last film, Pujari, in 1945.

Last Days: He gave up filmmaking during the second world war and went silent. He died on 14 October 1969 at the age of 82, in Mumbai.

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