Indian cinema has a rich legacy of stunt movies. The pioneers in producing such entertaining fare were Jamshed Wadia and his younger brother Homi Wadia. Even though they also produced social, fantasy, and mythological dramas, they are remembered today for the path-breaking stunt movies with Fearless Nadia in the lead. They created the unique screen persona of Fearless Nadia, as Australia-born Mary Ann Evens is popularly known, who could fight baddies on top of a running train, lift and hurl a man away, swing from chandeliers, do sword-fighting, ride a horse and jump off a building. Fearless Nadia could do all these and more, convincingly. Her feat and her significance in Indian cinema remain unmatched.
Late Riyad Wadia, the grandson of Jamshed, had collected and curated many posters, booklets pertaining to Wadia Movietone, set up by the Wadia brothers, as well as other Indian films. He also made a documentary titled Fearless: The Hunterwali Story (1993). Mumbai-based Prinseps, an auction house, will soon conduct an online auction of publicity materials from his collection, including about 30 posters, as many lobby cards, and a bunch of songbooks. These items The auction by Prinseps opens for bidding on September 19. The posters are from the Estate of Riyad Wadia and the images are shared by Prinseps. (Text by Alaka Sahani)