Cannes 2023: Bollywood star Aditi Rao Hydari and 'Emmerdale' actress Paige Sandhu to star in Indo-UK co-production 'Lioness' – Gulf News

The historical film will tell the story of Princess Sophia, Goddaughter of Queen Victoria
Actors Aditi Rao Hydari and Paige Sandhu are all set to star in the Indo-U.K co-production ‘Lioness’.
‘Lioness’, the official Indo-UK co-production 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 Ministry of Information and Broadcasting) at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival.
Written and to be directed by award-winning filmmaker Kajri Babbar, starring Aditi Rao Hydari and Paige Sandhu in leading roles, the film produced by Vivek Rangachari, Vaishalli Paatil, Faraz Ahsan, Clare Cahill and Ajit Pal Singh has been certified by the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) and the British Film Institute (BFI).
Recently, Aditi exuded princess vibes in blue gown in a sky blue Oscar de la Renta outfit with her appearance at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival.
The film inspired by the research of Peter Bance, the historian who discovered the story of Princess Sophia Duleep, is the story of two British Punjabi women living in the UK, a century apart. Princess Sophia Duleep Singh born in 1876 was the Princess of Punjab, the granddaughter of the great Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and the Goddaughter of Queen Victoria. Sophia was one of the key leaders of the suffragette movement in the UK. She remained a tireless advocate for the rights of women and children till her last day.
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. 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.
Aditi who will play Mehak said, “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”.
Princess Sophia will be played by Indian-origin British actress Paige Sandhu, who has won many accolades for her performance in the ITV soap, Emmerdale. “It’s an honour and a dream come true to be playing Princess Sophia Duleep Singh. 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.” said Paige in a statement.
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