Deana Uppal Stars in Punjab’s First Female-Led Movie

Punjabi Cinema’s first women-orientated film Hard Kaur is due to release this December 2017.

Hard Kaur is a film we’ve been eagerly anticipating, ready for it to create a refreshing storm in Punjabi Cinema! Those of us who are familiar with films from Pollywood (Punjab cinema), would most likely agree there’s a lot of repetitive comedies, not to mention, all very male-centric.

We’ve yet to see a current Punjabi film explore Woman empowerment deeply, and because of the sensitivity surrounding a woman’s place in India, it’s about time!

We at British Bindi pride ourselves as passionate, female empowerment advocates. So it’s an absolute delight to share an exclusive interview, with one of the lead actor’s from the film, Deana Uppal.

Deana Uppal, Hard Kaur

Deana is UK-born model, businesswoman, reality-star, actress and director (wearing many hats, she’s a busy woman!). This is her debut film in Punjabi Cinema, we were so happy to catch up with her and get her to spill some details on the film:

What’s the film ‘Hard Kaur’ about?

The movie is based on a Kaur named Seerat, who is stalked by a filthy rich impostor. Satwant Kaur, a Sikhni played by Nirmal Rishi knows the girl and comes to her rescue when the boy misbehaves with her. Amarjit, played by Drishti, is a lawyer who defends Seerat’s legal suite.

These Kaurs, together, fight against the society who bully, ridicule and abuse women. This is Punjabi cinema’s first female-oriented movie.

Tell us more about your role in the movie?

I am playing the character of Sirat Kaur. Sirat is a very simple sweet girl brought up in Patiala, Punjab. She works as a school teacher and always takes care in her appearance, everyday choosing to wear bright salwar kameez. She lives with her Bhabji as her parents passed away.

How did you get into acting and landing this film role?

It was a gradual process. I entered the industry modeling and then moved on to Reality TV. I was a finalist in Big Brother and contestant in Indian’s Khatron Ki Khaladi (Fear Factor). From there I was always looking for a nice script but I was only being offered roles where they needed a foreign girl to play floozy roles. I waited for a few years for a script I was comfortable with, in that time I started concentrating on my businesses. At the start of 2017 I saw Hard Kaur’s script and knew this was the project for me to get back into the industry with.

How is this character like you? And how is she different?

Sirat is like me in the sense that I am also shy and don’t like to have confrontations. I have to act a certain way in society to look confident but deep down I am a very shy person. Sirat does not speak up for her self as much as she should, that’s the way we differ. I have learned to speak up if someone treats me wrong.

Hard Kaur Punjabi FilmWhat was the biggest challenge for you during the shoot of the film?

The biggest challenge was the language. My Punjabi is not perfect so sometimes communicating my feelings on set was hard. Also as I was playing the role of a village girl, I had to make sure whilst shooting that even small gestures such as head movements and body language, were a certain way that matched that of a village girl.

What was it like working with the other actresses on set?

I really enjoyed working with all especially Nirmal Rishi Ji. Nirmal has won the lifetime achievement award for her work in Punjabi Movies. She has dedicated her life to acting so it was really nice speaking to her and sharing so much screen space with her.

What sort of impact do you think this film will have on Punjabi cinema?

I am hoping the film will be successful so it will change the path of other filmmakers choosing scripts. At the moment Punjabi cinema is full of comedy movies, Hard Kaur is really something different. This is the first Punjabi film with all female lead cast. The feedback on the trailer has been amazing so I really hope its the same for the movie.

How will women be able to relate to this film?

In this movie there are 5 Kaurs, Each girl has a completely different personality to the other. Every girl will see a situation in the movie that they can relate to. There is a scene in the film where Sirat is sat on a school bus and she can hear the men making comments and staring, but she doesn’t speak up as it will cause more trouble. I’m sure many girls can relate to similar situations like this. Also, every girl will see a part of themselves in one of the Kaurs that they will be able to relate to.

And finally, what is next for your career?

Well, for now, my plans are to carry on concentrating on my businesses. I will continue also to search for nice scripts to act in. Next year I want to produce my own Punjabi movie. I also direct, my last directional video was ‘Main Kosa Rabb Nu’ by Shamshad. I have a few beautiful songs in the pipeline that I will be directing.

We’re excited to see what Hard Kaur will bring to the big screens and most importantly how it will impact the rest of Punjabi stories heading for production.

You can keep up with Deana on her social media pages on Twitter and Instagram. Here’s the trailer for the upcoming film which releases 15th December 2017.

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