pioneer in cinema

ACTOR | Producer | Director

I.A.Hafizji - Our grandfather, our inspiration, a pioneer in the film industry, and part of the foundation of Indian Cinema - Bollywood. In the 1930s to 50's he established his credibility as an actor, producer, and as director released a number of motion pictures including, Pardanasheen (1942) staring, Nargis, who is regarded as one of the greatest actresses in the history of Indian cinema. He was well known for his immaculate attire and respected for his social charm, one of class and nobility.

Given his experience and credibility in the early era of Indian cinema, he was fortunate to be recruited by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM Studios) in 1950. That year, he traveled from Calcutta, India to Hollywood, Los Angeles where he would serve as the Technical Advisor for the shooting of the movie, Kim. 

Kim is an adventure film made in Technicolor by MGM Studios. The movie was directed by Victor Saville and produced by Leon Gordon and is based on the classic 1901 novel of the same name by Nobel Prize-winning English author Rudyard Kipling. The film starred Errol Flynn, Dean Stockwell, and Paul Lukas. 

In Cinema: December 7, 1950

Errol Flynn and I.A. Hafizji
At an MGM production location of Kim

Errol Flynn and I.A. Hafizji
At Dean Stockwell's birthday celebration

Errol Flynn, MGM Executives and Hollywood elite hosting I.A.Hafizji to thank him for his contribution and support as Technical Advisor

Kim generated $2,896,000 in North America and $2,465,000 overseas box office, making it one of the studio's most popular films of the year

The March to MGM Studios Hollywood - 1950

From Staff Reporter, Calcutta, India 1959 - A socialite wherever he had been, Mr I. A. Hafizji J. P., Manager Metro Cinema, Calcutta, is, apart from his versatile activities in the show business, a person of rare qualities. He belongs to that fast decaying old class of nobility in whom courtesy and affection blend into an endearing charm.

I always found myself welcome wherever I called at his office. When we met he was beaming with smile though he had returned from the hospital only a few days ago and I felt so sorry we had to part so early, he is such a pleasant personality.

How He Came Into Show Business - On being asked to relate how he came into the show business, he said that he was an employees of Mr. B. N. Sircar’s engineering business and was, obviously, associated with the building up of Chitra Cinema House and New Theaters. 

As Actor - Mr. Hafizji joined the show business in 1929 at the age of 28. He was with New Theatre up to 1934 when he left for Bombay where he worked in various companies as an actor, and progressed to production manager and director. The last picture he acted in was ‘Amar Saigal’ for Mr B. N. Sircar.

As Producer - He returned to Calcutta in 1941 to produce his own pictures at Aurora & Indrapuri Studios under the banner Hindustan Film Corporation. Unfortunately his films were burnt by the fires that caught the Aurora and he had to seek a job in Metro. He joined Metro Cinema in 1944 as Second Assistant Manager and is Manager since 1946. In 1950 M.G.M. requisitioned his services as Technical Advisor in connection with their production of Rudyard Kipling’s Kim. He was with the unit for 7 months, 3 1/2 months in India and 3 1/2 months in Hollywood.

Mr. Hafizji is 59 and not been keeping fit for the last one year. I asked Mr Hafizji if he intended to open a house of his own to which he replied, “How can I?, I have no money.” 

I.A. Hafizji and Danny Kaye
At MGM Studios Hollywood, Los Angeles - 1950

Pardanasheen (1942) 

As Director - Released an Emotional-Romantic Musical-Thriller Family Drama Film exceptionally crafted with excellence. The Story, which still appears today, revolves around the life of a kind and sweet girl living with her family and wanted a fortune for her and arranged her marriage with a wealthy man- but she meets with a kind-hearted man and they fell in love and wanted to marry each other- but things get complicated to them- when an incident causes their relationship into danger and leads to consequences. Primary Starcast- Ram Dulari and Nargis.