British Premiere of Light of Asia

01 Apr 1926
Precise date unknown: 
Event location: 



The German film-maker Franz Osten's film Light of Asia (Prem Sanyas or Die Leuchte Asiens) had its British premiere in April 1926. The film was an adaptation of Edwin Arnold's 1861 epic poem on the life of Buddha. It was a silent film and a German-Indian collaboration between Munich-born Franz Osten and film producer and actor Himansu Rai, who had previously studied law in Calcutta and London and at Rabindranath Tagore's university. The film was celebrated in Germany and found a wide audience in Britain as well. Favourably reviewed in the British press, it ran in London for ten months. George V and his family attended a screening of the film at Windsor Castle on 27 April 1926.

People involved: 

Franz Osten, Himansu Rai.

Secondary works: 

Dwyer, Rachel, Filming the Gods: Religion and Indian Cinema (London: Routledge, 2006)

Rajadyaksha, Ashish and Willemen, Paul (eds), Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema, revised ed. (London: BFI, 2002)

Schönfeld, Carl-Erdmann, 'Franz Osten's "The Light of Asia" (1926): a German-Indian film of Prince Buddha', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 15.4 (1995), pp. 555-559