A historic film biopic on the poignant life story of the last King of Punjab – Maharajah Duleep Singh – also known as THE BLACK PRINCE, is set for its international release in cinemas on 21st July 2017. See trailer
Produced by Brillstein Entertainment (Academy Award winning film 12 Years A Slave), THE BLACK PRINCE, a period drama written and directed by Hollywood filmmaker Kavi Raz and filmed widely across the UK and India, carefully captures the tragic, yet fascinating true story and legacy of Maharajah Duleep Singh, providing a visual narrative of one of India’s most noble kings, and his fragile relationship with, Queen Victoria, who was Godmother to his children. Acclaimed singer-poet Satinder Sartaaj marks his acting debut in THE BLACK PRINCE, essaying the character of Maharajah Duleep Singh with eloquence.
He is joined by an esteemed cast of acting stalwarts including Jason Flemyng (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch) 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, Canadian actor Rup Magon and Sophie Stevens in supporting roles.
As the last King of Punjab, THE BLACK PRINCE chronicles Maharajah Duleep Singh’s lifelong struggle and daring journey of self-discovery in order to reclaim his identity, his faith, and the Kingdom that was rightfully his. This ultimately leads him to meeting his mother after 13 years of her being in exile. THE BLACK PRINCE spotlights Queen Victoria’s cordial relationship with Maharajah Duleep Singh, as he begins adjusting and embracing the English culture he was drawn to at the age of 15. The film also sheds light into his upbringing as an aristocrat in the UK who converts to Christianity under the influence of his foster parents, but later longs to return to his Kingdom, mother and roots. His character, as it evolves is torn between two contrasting cultures – his royal ancestry from the Kingdom of Punjab as its last King, set against his upbringing in the UK as he embarks in a new journey of exile, away from his mother.
THE BLACK PRINCE is also poised to create a wave of intrigue in India and the UK as the story touches upon the historically significant and priceless Kohinoor diamond, which was purportedly gifted by a young 13-year-old Maharajah Duleep Singh to Queen Victoria in a ceremony held in 1850, at Buckingham Palace, London. The Black Prince releases internationally in cinemas on 21 st July 2017
Short Synopsis: The King, Maharajah Duleep Singh, was placed on the throne at the age of five only to be robbed of his throne by a bloody treason at the hands of trusted courtiers. He was then torn from his mother and taken to England by the British at age fifteen. While in England, he was introduced to Queen Victoria, who took an immediate liking to him, calling him ‘The Black Prince’. He was indoctrinated into Christianity and baptized, changing his life forever. Meeting his mother again after thirteen years, the Maharajah awakens to the realities of his former life in Punjab. He then begins the arduous journey to regain all that was lost, and re-embrace the faith of his birth, Sikhism. Maharajah Duleep Singh, his character as it evolves, torn between two cultures and facing constant dilemmas as a result. His relationship with Queen Victoria will be the most impactful relationship in the film, the Queen representing the English culture he was drawn into. His lifelong journey to regain his identity, dignity, and Kingdom took him across the world, but his struggle was not met with success, as he never won the chance to set foot again in his own land of Punjab. Maharajah Duleep Singh died in 1893 at the age of 55 years, a lonely pauper in a hotel in Paris. Though a reconverted Sikh, his final wishes were denied even in death as he was buried as a Christian in an English countryside. Efforts by his people to take his remains to the land he once ruled to be cremated as per Sikh rites continue today. Duleep’s devotion and faith inspired following generations to fight until India regained.