AN UPCOMING Solihull film star has had his first big breakthrough in front of the camera after starring in an independent British film.
Manveer Sohal played the role of Amir – a member of the Belgian Mafia – in The Antwerp Dolls, a film released digitally last month and directed by Jake Reid.
The film is based on the story of Tommy Callaghan, a ruthless businessman who orders two of his most trusted couriers to collect a locked case.
Tommy hopes the contents of the case will forge a powerful alliance with a mysterious new mafia force from Belgium.
The mission however is intercepted by Callaghan’s disgruntled former protegees – seeking revenge on their corrupt ex boss.
When Callaghan’s men change their game plan in response, a destructive vortex of violence and double dealing ensues, leaving Callaghan in a deadly race against time to save his crumbling empire.
Manveer’s role in the Belgium Mafia saw him act alongside former Hollywood veteran actor Bruce Payne, Sebastian Foucan – known for his role in Casino Royale – and Sean Cronin, who previously acted in Mission Impossible Rogue Nation.
The 29-year-old has previously worked in roles behind the camera, though his latest acting antics has left the Shirley resident hungry for a future career in acting.
Manveer told The Observer: “I wanted to work the other side of the camera for a change and I think it was a good move for my career to take up a role in acting.
“It’s nice to have a different mix of acting and behind the scenes work – it opens plenty of doors for the future for me and I’ve developed close links with some key people involved in the film.
“Me and the director got on particularly well and he’s asked me to be a part of his next film too which is very exciting.
“I want to continue acting, but in the meantime I’m still doing plenty of auditions hoping to get a big break into film work.”
Manveer, who studied multi media at university, also runs regular kick boxing classes at the International Freestyle Association on Grove Lane.
With the film set for DVD release on Sunday (July 17), Manveer reflected on his time in the industry since his early 20s.
He added: “I came back home and joined an independent theatre group where I developed close links with current film makers.
“Last year I made the decision to go into acting full time – it was a bold move but I’m keeping myself busy and there’s plenty of opportunities out there.
“I have more time to prepare for auditions now which only means my work is improving.
“There’s been lots of commercial work I’ve been a part of – they simply help pay the bills and keep me in touch with potential contacts.”
With the film already collecting two major awards, and being shortlisted for six internationally, Manveer is hopeful The Antwerp Dolls can provide the first stepping stone needed for future stardom.
He said: “Days can vary, for example last week I was working in London and came home expecting a nice relaxing weekend until my phone called saying I had an audition lined up in Manchester.
“Working with Bruce Payne was great for me, a real breakthrough and something I’m extremely proud of – it was quite surreal to be honest.”
The Antwerp Dolls is now on release for most digital platforms and will be on DVD sale next month.