Motion Pictures Archive of Pakistan

The Light of Asia 

Also known as…..

Prem Sanyas (Urdu/ Hindi)

Die Leuchte Asiens (In German)

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1925 Films




October 22, 1925  Silent

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In 1925 Himansu Rai along with Justice Lahore High Court Mr. Justice Moti Lal Sagar and his brother Seth Prem Sagar established a new film company named Great Eastern Film Company and also laid foundation of Punjab’s first film studio, Punjab Film Studio. Great Eastern Film Company produced their first film The Light of Asia with collaboration of Emelca film company of Germany, this company has also an office in Dehli (India). This film was directed by Franz Osteen of Germany and story of the film was based on the life of Gautama Budh. The writer of the film Niranjan Pal basically had this idea for making a film on Gautama for last twelve years who derive the idea from a German Doctor Otto Heinreich’s advise. So Niranjan Pal took almost six months to complete the script of the film and wanted a German director to direct the film but was unable to find someone of his own choice. Then he met Charles Urban who took the film script from Niranjan and paid him five hundred pounds. Charles Urban hired the services of Floyd Martin Thorton as director of the film and decided to start the film shooting in summers of 1913. But it could not be matured because of the misunderstanding of directors of the film production company. Next year in 1914, world war l started so the complete Europe was affected resultantly this film idea went into the shelf until 1919 when Niranjan Pal made a film company in collaboration with United Kingdom under the chairmanship of UP Governer Lord Metson. Once again Emelca film company of Germany was contacted for making of the film but once again film was delayed because of the financial constraints. So Niranjan Pal was in look out for some investor so he met Himansu Rai in London who was there in regard to his Law education and gave him the idea of making of The Light of Asia. Hamansu not only agreed to but also accepted the main role of film as well. On his return Hamansu met retired Judge Sir Moti Lal Sagar and his brother Seth Prem Sagar in Lahore who were agreed to invest for the Great Eastern Film Corporation.

Himansu Rai played the main role of Gautama in The Light of Asia whereas for Gopa, the heroine of the film Himansu Rai and Niranjan Pal went to Calcutta and published an advertisement in the newspaper and in response to this ad, they selected school Anglo-Indian student Renee Smith and brought her to Lahore with name of Seeta Devi who subsequently became a top heroine. Two brothers Prafulla Roi and Charo Roi were also included the cast of film from Calcutta. The Light of Asia became the high budget film with expenditure of Rs. 90000 in that point of time and film was also declared technically much ahead of films made in all over India. This film proved a big hit not only in sub-continent rather it was screened in Japan and Windsor Palace London, UK and a special film show was organized for Royal family.


All possible details about the movie are appended below……. ………however looking forward for your input / information about this film, please.

Genre: Drama l Fiction Color: Run Time: 97 Mins



Credited cast:

Himansu Rai   – as –  Gautama Siddharta
Seeta Devi   – as –  Gopa
image not aval Sarada Ukil   – as –   King Suddhodhana
image not aval Rani Bala   – as –  Queen Maya
image not aval Ekambi Tongo
image not aval Modhu Bose
image not aval Mrinalini Devi
image not aval Prafulla Roi 
image not aval Sunalini Devi
image not aval Charo Roi

Complete credited cast: NC


Film Details with Crew

Released Date: October 22, 1925
Production: Great Eastern Film Corporation
Producer: Great Eastern Film Corporation

Franz Osten
Himansu Rai

Writer / Story:

Niranjan Pal

Edwin Arnold

Screenplay: Niranjan Pal
Studios: Punjab Film Studios, Lahore
Set Decoration: Devika Rani

Willi Kiermeier
Josef Wirsching

Music: Silent
Singers: Silent
Songs: Silent


Technical Specifications

Language: Silent
Genre: Drama l Fiction
Run Time: 97 min
Length: NC
Sound Format: Silent
Color:  Black & White  
Aspect Ratio: 4:3






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