Fali Mistry

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Fali Mistry
Born 1917[1]
Died 1979 (age 60)
Occupation cinematographer, director of photography
Years active 1942-1979
Known for Guide (1967)
Spouse(s) Shyama (1953-1979) (his death)

Fali Mistry (1917 - 1979) was a noted Indian cinematographer, who worked in Bollywood films, from the 1940s to 1980, both in black white and colour cinema, and along with younger brother Jal Mistry, he was one of the most acclaimed cinematographers of his era. He also produced and directed a few films.

He won the Filmfare Award for Best Cinematographer twice, Guide (colour) (1967) and Fakira (1977).


Mistry first received acclaim for his work in film Amrapali (1945), directed by Nandlal Jaswantlal.[2] He was a stalwart of Navketan Films, after the critical acclaim of Guide (1967) directed by Vijay Anand, which also won him a Filmfare Award,[3] Mistry worked in a number of films directed by his elder brother Dev Anand, including Prem Pujari (1970), Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971), Heera Panna (1973), Ishq Ishq Ishq (1974), Des Pardes (1978).

He directed three feature films, including, Jan Pahchan (1950), Armaan (1953) and Sazaa (1951) starring Dev Anand,[4] The film also noted for its music by SD Burman in songs Tum Na Jaaney Kis Jehan Mein Kho Gaye sung by Lata Mangeshkar.[5]

Along with his younger brother, Jal Mistry (1923-2000), the Mistry brothers made a name for themselves in Bollywood.[6][7] Their work exemplified influences of Hollywood and European cinema. In time, he became known for his glamorous lighting, with diffusers and low-key lighting in night sequences. His work in Vyjayanthimala and Pradeep Kumar starrer, Nagin (1954) is especially noted for use of diffusers, and high-contrast lighting to create graphic art like effect and composition.[8] He became an influential cinematographer and inspired other technicians, noted cinematographer V.K. Murthy who made name in Guru Dutt classic, Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool and Sahib Bibi Aur Gulam, worked as his assistant, and in an interview mentioned Amrapali (1945) as the most inspiring cinematographic work ..during those days..[9][10]

He died in 1979 at the age of 60.[11]

Personal life[edit]

He married actress Shyama in 1953, she was noted for films like Aar Paar (1954) and Barsaat Ki Raat (1960). The couple had two son Faroukh and Rohin and a daughter Shirrin. Today, Shyama continues to live her South Mumbai flat.[11] His son Faroukh Mistry is a cinematographer and documentary filmmaker, while brother Jal Mistry was also a noted cinematographer in Hindi cinema, whose son Zubin Mistry is also a cinematographer based in London.[12]


  • Jan Pahchan (1950)
  • Sazaa (1951)
  • Armaan (1953)
  • Jan Pahchan (1950)
  • Taj (1956)
  • Chandan (1958)



  1. ^ "Fali Mistry". Complete Index of World Film. Retrieved Apr 27, 2013. 
  2. ^ Swatantra, Volume 9, Issues 1-26, 1954. p. 48
  3. ^ a b Suresh Kohli (Oct 4, 2008). "Blast From The Past: Guide 1965". The Hindu. Retrieved Apr 27, 2013. 
  4. ^ Bunny Reuben (1993). Follywood flashback: a collection of movie memories. Indus. p. 205. 
  5. ^ "SD Burman _ composer who used Bengali folk to create melodies". Daily Times. January 4, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-01-13. Retrieved Apr 27, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Their SHOT at fame". The Hindu. Sep 9, 2003. Retrieved Apr 27, 2013. ..the immensely talented cinematographer duo, the Mistry brothers Fali and Jal,.. 
  7. ^ Gulzar, p. 590
  8. ^ Gulzar, p. 248
  9. ^ "Poetry in picture". The Hindu. Jul 20, 2007. Retrieved April 27, 2013. Fali Mistry was his guru. . 
  10. ^ "Through The Mind's Eye". Tehelka Magazine, Vol 7, Issue 12. March 27, 2010. Retrieved Apr 27, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "Shyama's Interview". Cineplot. 2010. Retrieved Apr 27, 2013. 
  12. ^ David M. Martin (October 29, 1999). "Zubin Mistry continues a tradition of cinematography". Shoot (advertising magazine). Retrieved Apr 27, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Best Cinematographer Award (B&W), Colour". Official Listing, Indiatimes. Retrieved Apr 28, 2013. 

External links[edit]