Puneet Sira

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Puneet Sira
Born (1967-12-03) 3 December 1967 (age 47)
London, England
Occupation director, producer, actor, screenwriter
Spouse(s) Vekeana Dhillon 2010–present
Children Shaan Sira, Simran Sira
Awards 2009 SAFF Director Award: Kisaan
Website
http://youtube.com

Puneet Sira (born 3 December 1967) is a well-known British and Bollywood film director, producer, screenwriter and actor.

Sira's directorial career consists of several feature films. Two feature films released in 2009: Kisaan (2009) for Sohail Khan Production, starring Jackie Shroff, Sohail Khan, Arbaaz Khan and Dia Mirza and Jai Veeru (2009), starring Fardeen Khan and Kunal Khemu and Dia Mirza.

Sira was honoured with an award for directing Kisaan',[1] at the SAFF Film Festival in L.A. in 2009. Sira directed the critically acclaimed film I - Proud To Be An Indian (2004)[2][3][4] starring Sohail Khan, Hina Rehman and Tim Lawrence for Sohail Khan Production.

Biography[edit]

Early career[edit]

Sira started his career as an actor in the UK at the age of nine where he worked with Rosemary Leach and Ben Kingsley as a beggar boy in Annie Besant, The Warrior's Return[5](1977) as part of The Velvet Glove series for the BBC, directed by Philip Saville. Puneet went on to star alongside Christopher Lee, Mickey Rooney, Oliver Tobias, Emma Samms and Peter Cushing in the feature film Arabian Adventure[6] (1979). He played the lead role of Majeed, directed by Kevin Connor. In the same year Puneet played Kasava Minor in the BBC series To Serve Them All My Days[7] (1979).

In 1979 Sira was the youngest member to participate in Comex 10, a commonwealth expedition sponsored by the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Founded by Lieutenant Colonel Lionel Gregory, OBE, Comex 10 was an expedition where 40 artistes from all commonwealth countries toured India performing variety acts in every city visited.

More acting work followed from How We Used to Live[8] (Yorkshire Television), Why Couples Break Up (Yorkshire Television), London's Burning (London Weekend Television), The Moneymen (London Weekend Television), The Park[disambiguation needed] (Regent Productions), The Betrothed[disambiguation needed] (LIFS) and the highly acclaimed Walkers Poppadoms Commercial, The Rocking Sikh directed by Paul Weiland.

Film-making career[edit]

A vast body of work is credited to Sira during his tenure as an assistant director at the BBC Drama Films Department. Sira became an assistant director on films such as Hallelujah Anyhow[9] (1991) (Screen Two) starring Keith David, Sweet Nothing[10] (1990) (Screen One) and Can You Hear Me Thinking?[11] (1991) starring Judi Dench. He freelanced on Flying Colors (1993), Memsahib Rita (1994), Blue Baby (1994) before venturing into directing his own films like Strings (1996) which he also wrote and produced.

Sira was the director of the London Academy of Acting (a school founded by his father, Gurdial Sira in 1970), where he would teach acting for film. He set up an actors' agency, Talent Introduction Centre (T.I.C.), where he provided work for Asian actors in the UK.

Casting director was another title to Sira's credit: films such as Jinnah (1998) starring Christoper Lee, Flight[12] (1992) (BBC Screen One), directed by Alex Pillai, Immaculate Conception (1992) directed by Jamil Dehlavi, Memsahib Rita[13] (1994) and Frantz FanonBlack Skin, White Mask (1996) directed by Isaac Julien. On the American feature film Passion in the Desert (1997) Sira worked on production.

Sira lectured on basic film making at Middlesex University and Italia Conti Acting Academy as a visiting lecturer.

In 1998, Sira became the executive producer for Rupert Murdoch's Channel V, (STAR TV), producing more than 22 television shows for the channel in Mumbai. He went on to produce and direct drama for television The Steal (2000) STAR TV, followed by Sanatta (2001) and Jataka Tales (2002) for Japanese television which Sira directed and produced with his partner Vikram Dhillon. Sira went on to direct the feature films I - Proud To Be An Indian (2004), Jai Veeru (2009) and Kisaan (2009).

As a screenwriter Sira wrote I - Proud To Be An Indian with Vekeana Dhillon. Together they have written the screenplay for the feature film Kurbani for Feroz Khan (FK International) and Spiceboy for Miracle Films. Sira had written The Steal and Sanatta.

Sira and Vikram Dhillon are partners in Eyeline Entertainment, a production company which has several feature films in development and pre-production slated for 2013 and 2014, starting with Ji Karda which begins principal photography in March 2013.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Sira married Vekeana Dhillon in 2010, an accomplished screen writer and actress. Vekeana wrote Sira's I - Proud To Be An Indian, Jai Veeru and Kisaan.

Sira has two children Shaan Sira and Simran Sira.

He is the son of actor Gurdial Sira (1940–2013).

Filmography[edit]

Director[edit]

Producer[edit]

  • Jataka Tales (2003) Television
  • Sanatta (2002) Television
  • The Steal (2000) Television
  • Strings (1997) Film

Executive Producer[edit]

  • V Dares You (1999) Television
  • Challenge (1999) Television
  • Oye (1998) Television
  • The Juice (1999) Television
  • Sophia's Choice (1999) Television
  • Cool Maal (1999) Television
  • Patli Galli (1999) Television
  • Fashion Police (1999) Television
  • Late Night [V] (1998) Television
  • First Day First Show (1998) Television
  • Maang Ta Hai (1998) Television
  • By Demand (1998) Television
  • Flashback (1998) Television
  • Rewind (1998) Television
  • Speak Easy (1999) Television
  • The Ticket (1999) Television
  • House of Noise (1998) Television
  • V People (1999) Television

Writer[edit]

Casting Director[edit]

Assistant Director[edit]

  • Memsahib Rita (1994) Television
  • Blue Baby (1993) Film
  • Flying Colours (1993) Film
  • Can You Hear Me Thinking? (1990) Feature Film
  • Sweet Nothing (1990) Feature Film
  • Halleujah Anyhow (1990) Feature Film

Actor[edit]

  • The Bethroded (1990) (Arjun) Film
  • The Rocking Sikh (1990) Commercial
  • How We Used To Live (1989) Television
  • Why Couples Break Up (1989) (Husband) Television
  • The Moneymen (1988) (Dealer) Television
  • To Serve Them All My Days (1980) (Kassava Minor) Television
  • Arabian Adventure (1979) (Majeed) Feature Film
  • The Velvet Glove – Warriors Return (1978) (Beggerboy) Television

Awards[edit]

SAFF Awards:

  • 2009: SAFF Award for Direction (Kisaan)

References[edit]

External links[edit]