Toronto, November 28 (CINEWS): The shooting for a film based on the real-life experience of Pardeep Nagra, the Canadian boxer has begun in Hamilton. The Hollywood production titled “Tiger,” features Oscar nominee Mickey Rourke and has a production budget of $1 million. “Tiger” is described as a modern-day boxing drama based on the true story about Pardeep Nagra, an observant Sikh who found himself kicked off a soccer team for anger issues, only to be discovered by boxing coach Frank Donovan played by Rourke. Through that relationship, Nagra, played by Prem Singh, goes on to become a U.S. Olympic hopeful boxer. It also stars other actors like Jagpal Grewal, Rachhpal Sahota and Gyami Amrik Singh who will play important roles in the movie.
“We have been working on several projects and we are happy to be working on this one,” Sahota said.
Singh and Grewal both said they liked working with the cast and filming, which started last week.
Nagra had his boxing career cut short because Canadian Amateur Boxing Association barred him from fighting because international amateur boxing rules demanded it and Pardeep refused on religious grounds.
According to international amateur boxing rules, beards are a safety hazard in the ring, so instead of pursuing the boxing champion in the ring, he took his fight out of the ring and went on to fight for the right to compete without having to shave his beard — a mandatory article of his Sikh faith.
In 2000, he won an important decision for all Canadians and fought at the national championships with his beard intact. Ꮠ
You must be pretty excited with this film on your boxing career and the events around it. How do you feel about the film?
Well, I can’t share specific details because after the film editing certain scenes may not make the final cut. But the gist of this story is about perseverance, childhood struggles and my journey. It is based on a concept or metaphor that can speak louder than words.
Take us back to your boxing days and the controversy that erupted.
In 1999, I was in the process of having to qualify for the upcoming (2000) Sydney Olympics. That meant I had to qualify at the national championship here in Canada. But having a beard was against the rules and so I had to file a human rights complaint and that’s when the issue became international news. The movie speaks to that journey. It’s about a fight in and out of the rink.
Would you say we’ve come a long way since those dark days?
I am a Canadian of faith who has visible articles of faith. When the average person sees a turbaned Sikh, does he see him as Canadian or India? That’s what it boils down to. Am I afforded the same opportunities, rights and privileges as everyone else?
What should be the takeaway for those who watch this film?
I hope people will connect with me on my journey and see the value of who and what I am and what I am standing for. This is a human interest story. Ꮠ