Fali Mistry
Fali Mistry.jpeg
Born(1919-02-17)February 17, 1919[1]
Died1979 (aged 59–60)
Occupation(s)Cinematographer, director of photography
Years active1942 - 1979
Known forGuide (1965)
(m. 1953)
RelativesJal Mistry (younger brother)

Fali Mistry (1919–1979) was an Indian cinematographer, who worked in Bollywood films, from the 1940s to 1980, both in black and 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).

Early life

Mistry was born in Bombay on 17 February 1917 to a Parsi family.[2] His younger brother Jal Mistry, also became a cinematographer.


Mistry first received acclaim for his work in film Amrapali (1945), directed by Nandlal Jaswantlal.[3] 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,[4] 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,[5] The film also noted for its music by SD Burman in songs Tum Na Jaaney Kis Jehan Mein Kho Gaye sung by Lata Mangeshkar.[6]

Along with his younger brother, Jal Mistry (1923-2000), the Mistry brothers made a name for themselves in Bollywood.[7][8] 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.[9] 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..[10][11]

He died in 1979 at the age of 60.[12]

Personal life

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. Shyama lived in her South Mumbai flat before she died in 2017.[12] 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.[13] His son Faroukh Mistry is a cinematographer.[14] Faroukh's previous film to hit the theatres was Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain in the year 2018.[15]





  1. ^ "Fali Mistry". Complete Index of World Film. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Fali Mistry, the Cinematographer Who Taught Bollywood the Importance of Cameramen". The Wire. 11 February 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  3. ^ Swatantra, Volume 9, Issues 1-26, 1954. p. 48
  4. ^ a b Suresh Kohli (4 October 2008). "Blast From The Past: Guide 1965". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 29 June 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  5. ^ Bunny Reuben (1993). Follywood flashback: a collection of movie memories. Indus. p. 205.
  6. ^ "SD Burman _ composer who used Bengali folk to create melodies". Daily Times. 4 January 2012. Archived from the original on 13 January 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  7. ^ "Their SHOT at fame". The Hindu. 9 September 2003. Archived from the original on 1 August 2004. Retrieved 27 April 2013. ..the immensely talented cinematographer duo, the Mistry brothers Fali and Jal,..
  8. ^ Gulzar, p. 590
  9. ^ Gulzar, p. 248
  10. ^ "Poetry in picture". The Hindu. 20 July 2007. Archived from the original on 22 October 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2013. Fali Mistry was his guru. .
  11. ^ "Through The Mind's Eye". Tehelka Magazine, Vol 7, Issue 12. 27 March 2010. Archived from the original on 30 June 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  12. ^ a b "Shyama's Interview". Cineplot. 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  13. ^ David M. Martin (29 October 1999). "Zubin Mistry continues a tradition of cinematography". Shoot (advertising magazine). Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  14. ^ "Bada kabrastan: Actress Shyama laid to rest at Bada Kabrastan in Mumbai | Mumbai News - Times of India". The Times of India.
  15. ^ "All you want to know about #FaroukhMistry".
  16. ^ "Best Cinematographer Award (B&W), Colour". Official Listing, Indiatimes. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2013.