New Delhi, May 23 (PTI): Actors Aditi Rao Hydari and Paige Sandhu will play lead roles in “Lioness”, an upcoming Indo-British production. To be directed by Kajri Babbar, the project is about Sophia Duleep Singh, the daughter of Maharaja Duleep Singh, – the last ruler of the Sikh empire, and the goddaughter of Queen Victoria. She was among the leading suffragettes who fought for women’s right to vote in 1900s Britain. The movie, inspired by the research of Peter Bance, the historian who discovered the story of Sophia, was unveiled at the India Pavilion at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival, the makers said in a press release.
It will explore the story of two British Punjabi women living in the UK, a century apart. Sandhu, known for appearing in British television series such as “Doctors” and “Emmerdale”, will play Sophia in the movie. While Sophia’s story is rooted in history, the second story is a fictional tale of Mehak Kaur, to be played by Hydari, an educated, married immigrant woman living in 1990’s Southall.