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Punjabi Actress Karishma Bhandari Proves her Versatility on Screen
Over the last few years multi-talented performer Karishma Bhandari has become a highly sought after actress for an impressive list of productions across continents.

And from the performances she's given in films such as Venice Film Festival Alitalia Award winner Anjan Dutt's (Madly Bengali, Hemanta) film The Bongs Again, Ashok Pati's (Love Station, Loafer) film Aashiqui: True Love, and Edinburgh Film Festival Award nominee Aneil Karia's (Beat, Tag) film Southbank Centre Goes Bollywood, it's easy to see why.

Bhandari is undoubtedly beautiful, but her talent on both the stage and screen are what have made her an unstoppable force in the competitive film world. This, coupled with her ability to believably take on a variety of ethnicities have been major assets in her success in the industry.

Although Bhandari was born in East London, her parents are originally from Punjab, India. The actress grew up speaking Punjabi at home, but over the years she's become fluent in Hindi and Urdu, and of course, English, all of which have been integral to her ability to take on lead roles in productions in different countries - such as the film Club Dancer, a Hindi feature that Bhandari shot in Mumbai, India in 2016.

Earlier this year, Bhandari took on a key role in the film Six Rounds directed by UK-based filmmaker Marcus Flemmings (The London Epilogues, King). Released in theatres in the UK and the US in April, the dramatic film Six Rounds, which is based around the 2011 London riots, follows Stally, played by Adam J Bernard (Holby City, Legends) a former boxer who chooses to leave his criminal past in the lower class behind and tries to create a better future for himself by joining middle class society. However, he finds it increasingly difficult to assimilate into the middle class where, regardless of his efforts, he doesn't fit in.

In the film Bhandari plays a lower class "hood girl" and lead member in a gang who antagonizes Stally for leaving his former life behind in an attempt to pull him back into the ranks.

Bhandari admits, "It was very different for me to play this character, as one I do not look like a hood girl. So not only did we have to rely on outfit choices but I really had to study how to stand and talk in order for it to look as real as possible."

Regardless of the challenges, Bhandari nailed the mark and gave a stunning performance in the film where she acts alongside Daniel Johns (Shakespeare's Diaries, The Vault of Horror) and Phoebe Torrance (The Legend of Mandy the Doll, Friday Night Dinner).

Though it was only released a few months ago, Six Rounds has already done exceptionally well on the film festival circuit, being chosen as Official Selection of the Sankofa Film Festival, where it had its US premiere, as well as the Hong Kong Film Festival, East End Film Festival and the 12th annual Screen Nation Awards where it was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.

In 2016, Bhandari also played a critical role in Flemmings' film The Last Conversations, which he co-directed with Haider Zafar (Exist, Homeless). The film, which earned the Best Film Award from the 2016 Pune Film Festival and screened at the Cannes Film Festival's 2016 Court Metrage, tells the dark comedic tale of Ali Nawaab, who's played by Zafar, an Indian dentist based in London who pines for a career as a stand-up comic.

In the film, Ali faces extreme pressure from his family to marry a girl within his own caste; however, appeasing his family's wishes becomes exceedingly more difficult when he falls in love with a woman who's not only not from his caste, but of a different ethnic background altogether.

Meanwhile, Ali's family goes to work planning an arranged marriage for him and a woman they deem to be the "Perfect Girl," who is played by Kubra Khan from the Lux Style Award winning film Na Maloom Afraad and the adventure comedy Welcome 2 Karachi. Bhandari comes into the film as Khan's sister, who is deeply concerned for her sister's potential future with Ali as she sits at the dinner table observing the unusual conversation that plays out between the two families over the stipulations of the arrangement.

The Conversations' co-director and lead actor Haider Zafar says, "Karishma gave a phenomenal performance and easily tapped into both films, where she took on two very different characters."

In addition to being a knockout on screen, Karishma Bhandari has proven her skill as both a lead actress and dancer on stages across the world in productions such as "Bollywood Jane" and "17 Days Aur Bollywood Spice" at the Kenneth More Theatre in the UK, and the Shreya Goshal Show, which she performed in Wales, Switzerland and Amsterdam.

With an astonishing repertoire of work already under her belt, and several upcoming projects in the works, Bhandari is one actress that audiences definitely need to keep their eyes out for!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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