‘Kaur’ filmmaker aiming to achieve “mainstream” diversity
(Credit: Netflix)

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'Kaur' filmmaker aiming to achieve "mainstream" diversity

Juggy Sohal, the filmmaker behind the short film Kaur, has spoken of his pride in showing his Sikh background to a wide audience. The film will soon be shown on Netflix from May 3rd, after a positive airing on ITVX.

In an interview with the BBC, Sohal said that he and his friend Dr Pavinder Shergill are “just two brown kids trying to make it in their weird world of film”. He went on to point out how the Sikh community knows the kind of story that Kaur tells “but the mainstream audience” doesn’t.

The film stars Nina Wadia, known for her role in EastEnders, and explores the themes of religion and female liberation, focusing on a British South Asian Sikh girl who wears a turban despite her father’s wishes.

Discussing his joy at having Kaur arrive on Netflix, Sohal noted, “We’ve done this all ourselves. “There’s so much room for diversity in mainstream media.”

“We tell our stories to our own community; our own community know our stories; we live and breathe them,” he added. “The mainstream doesn’t, and Kaur is the perfect example of that.”

Sohal also noted the importance of the turban in Sikh culture and explained how women had indeed been wearing them for several centuries. “It’s not as common as men, so when we put it out to the world, they thought it was controversial, but it’s not,” he said.

The filmmaker continued, “People are hearing about the name, Kaur, that all Sikh women have the right to use. It means warrior, lioness and princess. No one really knows about it, and it’s been brought to the forefront.”

Sohal believes that there is an “importance” to understanding other people’s cultures in order to become “more unified”. “If you understand it, you’re not treading on eggshells to find out,” he said.

Kaur was filmed in 2022, and since then, Sohal has made two further short films, The First Moment We Met, which tells of two people meeting in a record shop, and The Last Moment We Spoke, which focuses on a mother’s worry when her son gets into trouble.

Sohal is dreaming that both films could also “go on Netflix”.