Tiger, a biopic based on former amateur boxing champion Pardeep Singh Nagra’s battle to fight boxing’s beard ban, is set for release across North America on November 30th. Starring Mickey Rourke and Prem Singh, the film is seen as a historic breakthrough for Sikh art, with its retelling of a modern day tale of Sikh principal being put before individual ambition in the face of Western discrimination.
In 1999 Pardeep Singh Nagra, became the Ontario amateur boxing flyweight champion. His achievement of winning the prestigious title presented him with an opportunity to possibly compete in the Olympics.
However, an obstacle was placed before his efforts in taking his boxing career further, one that would challenge his commitment to his faith.
As a practicing Sikh, Pardeep Singh wore a turban and kept his kes (unshorn hair), something mandated as part of Sikh practice. Amateur boxing across the world has had a beard ban in place since its inception, something upheld still to this day by AIBA (Amateur International Boxing Association). Despite the huge opportunity placed before him, Pardeep Singh recognised the long history of Sikh fortitude and sacrifice that came with the keeping of the distinct physical Sikh identity.
For this reason, Pardeep Singh decided to take on another fight, this time, outside of the ring. What came next was a courtroom battle between Canada’s boxing association and Pardeep Singh, one of the very few (and possibly at the time only) Sikh boxers competing at an elite amateur level, which is usually a precursor for a successful professional career.
This courtroom battle was fought simultaneously with his in-ring battles, both of which were inspired by his Sikh faith. Pardeep Singh Nagra changed boxing forever, and Tiger is the tale of how he did it.
For more details on Tiger please see SikhPA.com
The film is to be premiered in California, New York, Ontario and British Columbia on November 30th and shown throughout the week. Details;
New York, all day screenings at Regal E-Walk Stadium 13 & RPX from November 30th onwards. Tickets available here.
Los Angeles, all day screenings at Cinemark 18 from November 30th onwards. Tickets available here.
Toronto, all day screenings at Cineplex Courtney Park from November 30th onwards. Tickets available here.
Vancouver, all day screenings at International Village from November 30th onwards. Tickets available here.