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Special screening of Maharaja Duleep Hollywood biopic at Cannes

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NEW DELHI: Even though no Indian feature film has been selected for the 70th Festival de Cannes this year, an award-winning historic film biopic on the poignant life story of the last King of Punjab – Maharajah Duleep Singh – also known as The Black Prince -- will be screened at a special screening on 20 May after the formal release of its first trailer.

The film, starring singer, composer and Sufi poet, Satinder Sartaaj in his acting debut, is set for global release on 21 July 2017.

Sartaaj along with Jason Flemyng (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch) will address the media before unveiling the trailer at the India Pavilion.

This will be followed by a Red Carpet appearance by the stars and the screening of the film at the Festival Palais theatre.

Produced by Brillstein Entertainment, The Black Prince is a period drama written directed by the Hollywood filmmaker Kavi Raz and filmed widely across the United Kingdom and India.

It captures the tragic, yet fascinating true story and legacy of Maharaja Duleep Singh providing a visual narrative of one of India’s most noble kings, and his fragile relationship with Queen Victoria, who was the Godmother to his children.

The film is touted to be the most historical and factually accurate portrayal, covering the phenomenal legacy led and left behind by Maharaja Duleep Singh, right from his early upbringing in the United Kingdom under Queen Victoria, to his ultimate revolt against the British for the freedom of his kingdom.

Sartaaj is a known Sufi poet and singer. Hooked to the melody emanating from the wandering artistes as a child, his Sufi folk style has been appreciated by the audience in India and across the globe. He has carved a niche and maintains a unique presence in the modern-day music industry. He promises to do the same on the screen in his leading role.

Portraying the dignified personal struggle of the last King of Punjab, he imbues the role with the same depth and meaning that his fans know him for. He was recently awarded the ‘Best Newcomer’ Award at the London Independent Film Festival and the ‘Best Debut’ Award at the Accolade Global Film Competition held in San Diego, California.

Sartaaj is joined by Jason Flemyng as Dr Login, the foster parent for the Maharajah, English stage, screen actress Amanda Root (The Iron Lady), who portrays the bold role of Queen Victoria; and veteran actress Shabana Azmi (City of Joy) as Rani Jindan, the exiled King’s mother. The film also features Keith Duffy, David Essex OBE, and Canadian actor Rup Magon in supporting roles.

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