Since the early 1990s Neil Spencer has worked with film maker Jeremy Wooding, a collaboration that has resulted in three prize-winning short films: Paris, Brixton (1997), Sari & Trainers (1999) and Soul Patrol (2000), and the full length feature Bollywood Queen (2003), ‘Britain’s first masala musical’.
Conceived as and collectively known as ‘The London Love Trilogy’, the three short films are, in the words of Wooding, ‘fairy tales of the city, dealing with love across different divides.’
Paris Brixton – a homage to the French nouvelle vague of the 1960s starring Laura Fraser and Ben Miles, explores the relationship between a French student and the man who drops through her South London attic window one night.
Sari & Trainers follows the fortunes of two 17 year olds from East London on a forbidden first date. Geena (Preeya Kalidas) is from a strict Hindu family while Jason (Kristian Wilkin) is from a white working class family. The film features three Bollywood musical sequences and remains the most aired short film on UK Channel Four TV.
Soul Patrol follows the path of womaniser Earl (Clint Dyer) as he encounters corporate high-flier Louisa (Sadie Frost) and discovers his beloved vampire movies might have a real-life presence.
Bollywood Queen is a star-crossed musical romance set among the streets of East London. A modern day Romeo and Juliet, it follows the crush between Geena (Preeya Kalidas, of Bombay Dreams and Eastenders) and Jay (James McAvoy, Atonement and The Last King of Scotland).
Here are two young lovers forbidden by their families to honour their feelings towards each other. Can their romance triumph?
Bollywood Queen draws on the visual and musical richness of Indian cinema and the energy of contemporary independent film-making. Nine songs in Hindi and several innovative dance sequences are just some of its many magical and surreal moments.
The score – a collaboration between composer and musician Steve Beresford and vocalist Najma – has lyrics written by Neil Spencer and translated by Najma.
Bollywood Queen also features Ray Pantaki , Amerjit Deu and singer Karen Shenaz David. The film’s guest star is Ian McShane, a perennial favourite as BBC TV’s Lovejoy, now enjoying a new lease of screen life following performances in Sexy Beast and Deadwood.