The eagerly awaited Hollywood Production starring Satinder Sartaj and Shabana Azmi on the life of Maharajah Duleep Singh was released on the 21st July 2017 with positive reviews around the world.
Q&A at the Thetford Screening
The film which took five years in the making is the hard work of US-based Jasjeet Singh and Hollywood director Kavi Raz. The Black Prince sees Punjabi Sufi singer Sartaj in his debut film alongside Bollywood legend Shabana Azmi in a memorable perfomance. The film stars British actors Amanada Root who plays Queen Victoria effortlessly while Jason Fleming as the likeable John Login.
The Black Prince had its first UK media screening in the home town of the Duleep Singh family at Thetford, in the Norfolk market town's newly opened Light Cinema with local dignatories and guests having the first view of the complete movie before many of the stars. The screening was further glamorised with the appearance of Satinder Sartaj and Producer Jasjeet Singh alongside Duleep Singh historian and author Peter Bance who were all on the after movie Q&A panel headed by Oliver Bone, the curator at Thetford Museum.
Ranjit Singh Shubh (played Thakur Singh Sandhawalia), Harbhajan Singh, Peter Bance and Amit Chana at the BFI London
The Next stop was London where the film premiered at the BFI at Southbank, with much of the cast on show, notably Rup Magon who played the Maharajah's Sikh valet Aroor Singh in an impressive perfomance. Also attending was Sophie Stevens who played Maharani Bamba and Leanne Joyce who was the maharaja's second wife Ada. The BFI screening was fully booked with not a spare seat in sight and the audience was not disappointed with a rapturous applauding at the end of the film. The premier after-party was hosted by Peter Virdee in Mayfair with guests including Gurinder Chadha, Indian cricket legend Harbhajan Singh and British actor Ameet Chana who played British Agent Azzizuddin.
The last leg of the tour was at Birmingham's Broad Street Theatre, where Sartaj arrived with Kapurthala royalty and Peter Virdee, amid a packed crowd eager to see a glimpse of the superstar poet and singer Sartaj.
The film which was has already previewed at Cannes in May was screened at the IIAF Awards in the USA in July hosted by Bollywood director Karan Johar.
Christy Campbell, Sophie Stevens, Jasjeet Singh and Ameet Chana at the BFI
The film which has received mixed reviews (although mostly positive) for its storyline and perfomances, will appeal to many, and is a must-watch especially for all Punjabis, and history buffs. Many Duleep Singh projects have been scripted over the last two decades but none have ever got off the floor, so for this effort the makers of this film must be commended. Whatever your view on Duleep Singh or the take on the story it is defintely one to share and will be a platform to build on for further films on Sikh and Punjabi history.