Fatma Begum

Best films:
, /10

Fatma Begum, India's first female producer and director, a Urdu-speaking Muslim who had started out in theater (the rare actress playing women's roles at a time when men played even women's roles), established in Mumbai in 1925 the production company Fatma Films, and directed her first film, Bulbul-e-Paristan/ Nightingale of Fantasyland (1926, lost), the adaptation of a Persian fairy tale, whose success spawned a trend for fantasy movies based on fairy tales. Begum used technical tricks to create special effects and featured women in leading roles. She cast her teenage daughters Sultana, Zubeida and Shehzadi in her films an and they all went on to become famous actresses. Sultana became a star of the silent era. Zubeida played the protagonist in India's first talkie, Irani's Alam Ara (1931), and sang most of the songs, and became a star of the 1930s.

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