1876 - 1956
The director Franz Osten was born as Franz Ostermayr in Munich.
After an education as a photographer he shot at the beginning of his film career often documentations, later followed movies for the cinemas. Very successful were his adaptions based on novels written by Ludwig Ganghofer.
To his first movies as a director belong "Erna Valeska" (11), "Die nicht sterben dürfen" (19), "Der gelbe Gaukler" (19) and "Die letzte Nacht" (19).
In the 20s followed his most successful period in Germany and he realised the productions "Der Ochsenkrieg" (20), "Der Verfluchte" (21), "Um Liebe und Thron" (22), "Der Schrecken des Meeres" (24), "Einbruch" (27) and "Die Dame in Schwarz" (28).
Franz Osten was already contacted by the actor and director Himansu Rai in the middle of the 20s. Rai wanted to realise movies which broached the issue of the East for the West film industry, on the other hand he also wanted to launch an own film production industry in India.
Franz Osten was stoked by the idea and he travelled to India in 1924 where he realised the movie "Prem Sanyas/Die Leuchte Asiens" (25).
After his return to Germany he shot other German feature movies but the fascination India did not get out of his mind and few years later he returned to India again.
There he realised the movies "Prapancha Pash" (29) and "Shiraz" (29).
Back in Germany Franz Osten made the movies "Almenrausch" (31), "Der Judas von Tirol" (33), "Die Reise ins Glück" (34) and "Ein Heiratsantrag" (34) before he returned to India again - this time for a longer period.
In India he worked together with Himansu Rai and whose wife Devika Rani and Franz Osten shot many Indian movies. Together with Himansu Rai he belonged to the co-founders of Bollywood which is a bigger industry today than Hollywood.
To Franz Osten's directions from the middle of the 30s belong "Jawani Ki Hawa" (35), "Mamta" (36), "Jeevan Naya" (36), "Izzat" (37), "Prem Kahani" (37), "Bhabi" (38) and "Durga" (39).
His film career came to an abrupt end in 1939 when World War II broke out in Europe. Franz Osten was arrested in India by the English. His already started movie "Kangan" had to be finished by Indian movie workers.
He was released in 1940 indeed but had to return to Germany where he did not realise movies as a director. He worked as a personnel manager for the "Bavaria" which was emerged from the former production company "Emelka".
After the war he retired from the film business and he worked as a director of the tourist board in Bad Aibling.