‘We need more mainstream films about Sikh women’

A short film has been made by a Sikh woman who said she’s had to wait too long to see movies featuring women who look like her.

Actor, writer and producer Parvinder Shergill said “Kaur” told the story of a Sikh woman who chose to defy her father’s wishes by wearing a turban.

She said Bend it like Beckham, 20 years ago, was the last mainstream film to feature women from her background.

“I didn’t want to wait another 20 years,” Dr Shergill said.

She decided to take on the responsibility of making her film herself and recruited Nina Wadia, who is known from her appearances in Goodness Gracious Me and Eastenders.

The story tells of the conflict between the main character and her father, who is reminded of the trauma he experienced as a turban-wearing Sikh Pubjabi immigrant in Britain.

Dr Shergill grew up in Coventry, Birmingham and Leicester and now works at St Mary’s Hospital in London.

She co-wrote the film script with Juggy Sohal and worked with more than 70 South Asian women on it, including The Apprentice winner Harpreet Kaur.

The film is currently touring festivals and Gudwaras and she hopes to take it around schools and then turn it into a feature-length film.

She said: “I thought how visually striking and stunning is it to see a woman in a turban in a Hollywood poster.”

She hopes to bring more stories told by Asian women to a mainstream audience.

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