The film, which is being made under the bilateral treaty signed by the two countries in 2008, was announced on Tuesday at the India Pavilion at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival.
By: Mohnish Singh
Aditi Rao Hydari and Indian-origin British actress Paige Sandhu have been confirmed as female leads for an upcoming Indo-British production, titled Lioness.
Written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Kajri Babbar, the film tells the story of two British Punjabi women living in the UK a century apart. It is basically about Sophia Duleep Singh, the daughter of Maharaja Duleep Singh, the last ruler of the Sikh empire, and the goddaughter of Queen Victoria. She was among the leading suffragettes who fought for women’s right to vote in 1900s Britain.
Sandhu, known for appearing in British television series such as Doctors and Emmerdale, has been cast to play Sophia in the film. While Sophia’s story is rooted in history, the second story is a fictional tale of Mehak Kaur, to be played by Hydari, an educated, married immigrant woman living in 1990’s Southall.
“Mehak uncovers a fascinating story of women’s emancipation and empathy in contemporary times. The two stories play out in different eras, highlighting grit, determination, and compassion,” the official description read.
“I was instantly drawn to the story that brings to the screen, the life and legacy of an extraordinary woman; a story lost in history. While Princess Sophia is a heroine in the true sense of the word, Mehak is an equally strong character whose journey parallels the Lioness’s in the present,” Hydari said.
Sandhu said she is excited to play Sophia in the film. “I am very humbled to be portraying someone with a legacy such as hers, the work that she did, the lives she helped, and the family she came from. I truly hope to do justice to her incredible story,” she added.
Lioness will be produced by Vivek Rangachari, Vaishalli Paatil, Faraz Ahsan, Clare Cahill, and Ajit Pal Singh.
The film, which is being made under the bilateral treaty signed by the two countries in 2008, was announced on Tuesday at the India Pavilion (managed by FICCI under the aegis of the Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting) at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival.
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