Aditi Rao Hydari, Paige Sandhu to Lead U.K.-India Co-Pro ‘Lioness’


“Lioness,” an official Indo-U.K. co-production being made under the 2008 bilateral treaty, will star Aditi Rao Hydari (“Jubilee”) and Paige Sandhu (“Emmerdale”), it was revealed at the Cannes India pavilion on Tuesday.

Written and to be directed by Kajri Babbar (“Khoj”), the film is inspired by the research of Peter Bance, the historian who wrote about Princess Sophia Duleep, one of the key leaders of the suffragette movement in the U.K., the Princess of Punjab, granddaughter of Maharajah Ranjit Singh and the goddaughter of Queen Victoria. The film will tell the story of two British Punjabi women living in the U.K., a century apart. While Sophia’s story is rooted in history, the second story is a fictional tale of Mehak Kaur an educated, married immigrant woman living in 1990’s Southall.

Bance is also one of the executive producers on the film, which is produced by Vivek Rangachari, Vaishalli Paatil, Faraz Ahsan and Clare Cahill with Ajit Pal Singh serving as executive producer. The project has been certified by the National Film Development Corporation and the British Film Institute, the filmmakers said.

English Heritage will be unveiling a plaque at Hampton Court, U.K., in memory of the princess on May 26.


Temple has revealed a trailer for “Brand Bollywood – Down Under,” directed and written by Anupam Sharma (“The Run”) and co-written and edited by Karin Steininger (“Remember Anne Frank”). The feature documentary looks at the ‘Bollywoodization’ and globalization of Indian cinema through its 89-year-old relationship with Australia. The film explores the successes and failures of Bollywood’s rise as a serious subculture in Australia and features well-known practitioners including Anupam Kher.

The trailer was launched at Cannes and comes on the eve of an Australia-India film co-production treaty which was discussed at a panel on co-production at the India pavilion on May 17 in the presence of Indian Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting L. Murugan along with Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason and head of content Grainne Brunsdon.

The film will have a theatrical release through Forum Films, in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Fiji after screenings around Australia.

Watch the trailer here:

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