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First look image of Devika Bhise as Rani Lakshmibai in Swords and Sceptres

Swords and Sceptres

Story by Jack Foley

A FIRST look image of Devika Bhise as Rani Lakshmibai from Swati Bhise’s forthcoming feature Swords and Sceptres has just been released.

The film follows the true story of the historic Queen of Jhansi, who fiercely led her army against the British East India Company in the infamous Sepoy Mutiny of 1857.

Swati Bhise, the CEO of Cayenne Pepper Productions and a renowned classical Indian choreographer and dancer, has also produced and co-written the film.

Devika Bhise (The Man Who Knew Infinity, The Accidental Husband) stars in the leading role of Rani, alongside a host of acclaimed British and Indian actors including BAFTA® nominated Rupert Everett (My Best Friend’s Wedding, An Ideal Husband), BAFTA® Winner Derek Jacobi (Gladiator, The King’s Speech), Nathaniel Parker (Stardust, The Bodyguard), Ben Lamb (Divergent, Now You See Me 2), Jodhi May (Defiance, Let Me Go), Nagesh Bhonsle (Sarkar, 24: India), Yatin Karyekar (Munna Bhai M.B.B.S., Iqbal), Milind Gunaji (Devdas, Virasat), Arif Zakaria (My Name Is Khan, Lootera) and Ajinkya Deo (Avgat, Aan: Men At Work).

Principal photography has now wrapped after an eight week shoot across India, London and Morocco.

Revealing one of Rani’s looks, this first image exposes the incredible detail and work which Swati Bhise and her team have put into portraying an authentic version of the historical queen.

The intricate costumes with original designs that existed during the period, all custom and individually handmade 14 months in the making, have been created by costume designers Vidhi Singhania, Riyaz Ali Merchant and Swati Bhise with make-up by national award winning make-up supervisor Vikram Gaikwad.

The jewellery has been loaned by Gadgil Jewellers known for their heritage jewellery from this period, with uncut diamond jewellery made by Shri Hari of Delhi.

Speaking about this, Swati stated: ‘During the pre-production phase I spent almost two years researching historical Indian texts especially in Marathi to ensure Rani and the characters who surrounded her are as historically accurate as possible.

“Rani was an incredible real woman who fought for what she believed in, and I believe our film is a unique re-telling of her story and something that she would be proud in.”

The final stages of the film’s production will see Swati Bhise completing the edit in London alongside Emmy-nominated Oral Norrie Ottey (Game Of Thrones, Rome).

The film will feature an original musical score, that will be announced early in post production.

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