Sheikh Iftekhar Rasool

Blog / Jan 30, 2015

Iftekhar Rasool with partner in London oriental show with snake

1904 –?

Indian film actor and director who did uncredited roles in films in the UK, France and USA. Born in Multan, (now in Pakistan) he left for London in 1923 aged 19 with the intention of studying law. He, however, drifted onto the stage, did oriental shows and danced in cabarets in London, Vienna and other European cities and also got small oriental parts in silent films like The Garden of Allah (1927). Next, he played the “lead” in the English film, Scheherezade and was called the ‘Rudolph Valentino of the East’.

In the early 1930s, he set up Elephanta Film Corporation Limited and Sphinx Films to produce a film inspired by Thomas Moore’s poem on a Mughal princess titled Lallah Rookh. It was started in England. However, little information about this film, his contribution as a filmmaker or his later career seems to have surfaced so far.

The above findings are part of the research which ensued in the project – A Hidden Heritage: Indo-British Film Collaboration (1930-1951)

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