Art & Entertainment

Punjabi Cinema Getting Good Recognition In The Country: Ammy Virk

Punjabi singer-actor Ammy Virk says the representation of Punjab and its people is changing for the better in cinema and pop culture, whether it's the success of a film like "Amar Singh Chamkila" or the international popularity of an artist like Diljit Dosanjh.

Ammy Virk
Ammy Virk Photo: Instagram
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Punjabi singer-actor Ammy Virk says the representation of Punjab and its people is changing for the better in cinema and pop culture, whether it's the success of a film like "Amar Singh Chamkila" or the international popularity of an artist like Diljit Dosanjh.

Through web series like "CAT", "Kohrra", "Tabbar", and "Chamak" and most recently, "Amar Singh Chamkila", fronted by Dosanjh, many filmmakers have trained their lens at Punjab or the stories set in the state.

Virk, who stars in the new film "Kudi Haryane Val Di" with Sonam Bajwa and Ajay Hooda, said he hopes content from Punjab continues to gain popularity across India.

"It's a good thing (the increased representation of Punjab in content). Earlier, Punjabis were depicted as funny characters, whether it was Bollywood or Punjabi films... Now in Mumbai, if they want a Punjabi character, they try to bring an artist from Punjab...

"Our Punjabi cinema is growing day by day and it's also getting good recognition in India. We hope more and more people see us, our culture, our people and the entire flavour of Punjab spreads across the world," Virk, known for "Qismat" and "Nikka Zaildar", told PTI in an interview here.

The singer said someone else was supposed to do "Amar Singh Chamkila" but when Dosanjh boarded the Imtiaz Ali directorial, he did a great job both as an actor and musician.

"Right now, Diljit paaji is international. In another two-three years, not just in India, he will be the biggest artist of Asia, because it is a huge thing that 50-60 thousand people are turning up for your concerts in Canada," Virk said, referring to the ongoing North American leg of Dosanjh's 'Dil-Luminati Tour'.

Bajwa, known for films such as "Sardaar Ji 2", "Carry on Jatta 2" and "Honsla Rakh", said Punjabi characters have always been an important part of Bollywood through the cinema backed by production banner Yash Raj Films. The actor said audiences too have been accepting of the Punjabi culture, particularly its music, which is popular across the country.

"(But) this barrier of language, the line is blurring. Now because of OTT, so many stories are coming out and people are loving it. There are series like 'Kohrra', which was fully Punjabi. A lot of people have watched it although there were no big actors. It's all about the story getting accepted beyond the language which is happening and is a very good thing.

"It is a proud thing that such films, such stories of Punjab and its music are coming forward. There are so many people whose stories deserve to be made on a national level that are from Punjab," Bajwa added.

Hooda, who hails from Haryana, said like Punjab, Haryanavi music and films are also doing well. "Back in 2007-08, when I entered the music line, all our tracks would come from Punjab and we would do dubbing on that. All our music composers would come from Punjab," he said, adding Haryanvis gradually started making their own music.

"Punjabi music and the Punjabi industry are growing. And along with them, Haryana is also growing. So, it feels great," he added. "Kudi Haryane Val Di" is a cross-cultural romance drama between a Haryanvi woman (Bajwa) and a Punjabi man (Virk). The film is directed by Rakesh Dhawan.

Virk and Bajwa, both top names in the Punjabi film industry, have previously worked together in a number of films, including "Muklawa" and "Nikka Zaildar".

Asked about collaborating with her frequent co-star, Bajwa said, "It's always nice to work with people who are not just good actors but also good co-actors. We have that comfort because we have worked in several films." "Everything feels nice while working with Sonam," Virk added.

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