Preity Zinta, a popular star of Indian cinema, will be coming to Birmingham next month to add a Bollywood splash to the Diwali celebrations of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and Chair of the WMCA, will be leading a weekend of exciting events in conjunction with the Consulate General of India on November 4 and 5, ahead of Diwali which falls on November 12.
The Mayor said: “Diwali is a special time for the Indian diaspora and communities right across our region are looking forward to celebrating the Festival of Lights.
“From the very outset of my time as Mayor, the WMCA has worked closely with local groups and the Consulate General of India to mark this occasion in suitably grand style – with dance, special guests and entertainment.
“This year, events will be spread across the weekend including a star-studded gala dinner at Millennium Point with Bollywood star turned self-made businesswoman Preity Zinta and a cultural programme at Birmingham Town Hall. I look forward to seeing local people at the festivities and joining in the celebrations myself.”
Preity G. Zinta’s life story has captivated audiences worldwide including across the subcontinent, Asia and the Middle East. The winner of two Filmfare Awards, she is most fondly remembered for her role in the legendary film ‘Veer Zara’ among many other blockbusters.
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Now based in Los Angeles, Zinta has achieved considerable success in the world of business – becoming one of the richest self-made Indian females in the world thanks to her investment interests, production company and co-ownership of the Punjab Kings cricket team in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
A former UNAIDS ambassador and member of the UN Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council, she has taken a keen interest in charity work throughout her life.
Zinta is expected to be honoured by some of Birmingham’s leading civic and educational institutions – and set to get a rapturous reception from the hundreds of Indian students enrolled at Birmingham's colleges and universities as well as the city and wider region’s substantial diaspora. Zinta’s last appearance in the UK was over a decade ago when she spoke to Oxford University students at the Oxford Union Society.
Speaking about her forthcoming visit, Zinta said: “I’m very excited to be part of the Diwali celebrations in Birmingham and look forward to meeting all the wonderful people there – marking the Festival of Lights together.”
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Event lined up for her Diwali tour in Birmingham include:
Tour the burgeoning creative district of Digbeth, home to ‘Peaky Blinders’ creator Steven Knight’s Digbeth Loc studios. The intention is to showcase the area’s potential for attracting filmmakers from around the globe – including the multibillion-dollar Bollywood film industry and to explore opportunities to forge links and partnerships.
Gala events at Millennium Point.
Diyas at Birmingham Town Hall: A free community event.