Khatija Rahman to make her international debut with ‘Lioness’

Khatija Rahman

Khatija Rahman
| Photo Credit: @khatija.rahman/Instagram

Singer and musician Khatija Rahman is set to make her international debut as a composer with the UK-India co-production film Lioness, the makers announced on Wednesday. The film is backed and supported by India’s National Film Development Corporation Ltd (NFDC) and The British Film Institute (BFI), UK.

Starring Paige Sandhu and Aditi Rao Hydari, the film narrates the story of two women who lived a century apart. The first story in Lioness will revolve around Sophia Duleep Singh, the daughter of Maharaja Duleep Singh — the last ruler of the Sikh empire — and the goddaughter of Queen Victoria. Sophia was among the leading suffragettes who fought for women’s right to vote in 1900s Britain.

The second story, which will run parallel to Sophia’s, is a fictional tale of Mehak Kaur, to be played by Hydari, an educated, married immigrant woman living in 1990’s Southall.

Khatija, daughter of A R Rahman, said she is happy to make her maiden international film as a music director with Lioness. “Thrilled and honoured to be a part of Lioness. I connected deeply with the film’s values from the moment I heard its compelling story and the reason behind bringing her story to life. Our aspiration is to ensure that Princess Sophia’s struggle receives the long-overdue recognition it truly deserves,” the musician said in a statement.

The film is written and directed by Kajri Babbar, who unveiled the first poster of the movie, at the ongoing International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Film Bazaar, in Panaji. The event was attended by Prithul Kumar, Joint Secretary Films and NFDC; Agnieszka Moody, head of International Relations at BFI; and Hydari during the ‘Knowledge Series’ panel discussion on the co-production journey of both countries.

Khatija released her first independent single, ‘Farishton’ in 2020. The song was composed and produced by her father, A R Rahman. She has also collaborated with various artists such as Grammy Award winner Ricky Kej and rapper Arivu.

Khatija is working on scoring music for her Tamil-language feature film Minmini.

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