The Black Prince, true story of the last Maharajah of Punjab, wins special jury prize at Worldfest -Houston International Film Festival
The Black Prince, an historical drama based upon the true story of Maharajah Duleep Singh, the boy who became king of Punjab shortly before it was annexed to the British empire, was awarded the Special Jury Remi Award today at the 50th annual WorldFest International Film Festival in Houston. The event’s Gold Remi was also awarded to the film’s Natalie O’Connor for achievement in Art Direction.
Majarajah Duleep Singh was exiled by the British to a privileged life in England when he was only 15 years old, and was shortly thereafter converted to Christianity. Reuniting with his long-lost mother after more than a decade, Duleep begins a daring journey of self-discovery in order to reclaim his faith and the kingdom that is rightfully his. His struggle inspired Sikhs to continue their fight for freedom until India regained its independence from British Imperialism in 1947, and the Sikh kingdom was divided into India and Pakistan.
Produced by Brillstein Entertainment (12 Years a Slave), The Black Prince was written and directed by Hollywood filmmaker Kavi Raz and filmed widely across the U.K. and India.
Acclaimed singer-poet Satinder Sartaaj marks his acting debut in The Black Prince, and is joined by an esteemed cast of British acting stalwarts including Jason Flemyng (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch) as Dr. Login, the foster parent for the Maharajah,English stage and screen actress Amanda Root (The Iron Lady), who portrays Queen Victoria, and veteran Indian actress Shabana Azmi (City of Joy), as Maharani Jindan, the exiled king’s mother. The film also features Keith Duffy, David Essex, Canadian actor Rup Magon and Sophie Stevens in supporting roles.
“This powerful chapter of Indian history has been poorly documented but it is a chapter that needs to be re-examined. When I received the opportunity to be part of this wonderful journey and to share this amazing but tragic story with the world, I made a promise that I share the epic nature of the life of the boy king of the mighty Kingdom of Punjab, but I would also share something of myself as well—my heart and my soul—what moves and inspires me,” said writer-director Kavi Raz upon receiving the Special Jury Remi Award. “It’s the history of my ancestors, of a land where I find my roots firmly and deeply planted.”
WorldFest Houston is the world’s largest independent film festival. The 2017 event concluded last night with the participation of 74 countries. Out of 500 feature film submissions, a total of 63 films were selected for presentation.
The Black Prince made separate debuts at the CineQuest Film Festival in San Jose, California and the Manchester Film Festival in England, both in March of this year. The film will next be unveiled at the Bentonville Film Festival in Arkansas and at the International Film Festival of South Asian films (IFFSA) in Toronto in May.
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