Writer-director Nida Manzoor (“We Are Lady Parts”) and co-stars Priya Kansara and Ritu Arya joined a conversation with Variety Studio, presented by Audible, to discuss Manzoor’s long-awaited feature debut, “Polite Society.”

The 103-minute narrative centers around Ria Khan (Priya Kansara), a British-Pakistani martial artist training to become a stunt performer. But when Ria’s sister, Lena (Ritu Arya), drops out of art school for an impromptu marriage to a wealthy suitor named Salim (Akshay Khanna), Ria must enlist the help of her friends to kidnap her sister from her own wedding.

Driven by the sibling camaraderie and love, both Kansara and Arya explained Manzoor’s ability to create a film about two loving sisters is what sparked their initial interest. “I think this story is a love story between two sisters,” said Kansara. “I just loved the heart of the story being about the sisters,” added Arya.

While the heart of “Polite Society” relies on the sisters’ bond, Manzoor wants to acknowledge her intention to shift the action genre, “I just wanted to bring in all the films that I grew up loving. I love action movies, but I never felt I could be part of them.” As a South Asian cinephile, Manzoor rarely got to see herself in her favorite films which provoked her “to make an action movie that has two South Asian sisters kicking butt.”

“I feel like if I could have seen a film like this growing up it would’ve changed my life. I really felt pretty alone growing up, not having seen people like me on TV and being in a town where there weren’t many South Asian families,” Arya said. “And so if this movie can make any South Asian girls feel seen to have a voice or take up more space than they would have done, then I feel like it’s done an amazing job.”

Kansara revealed that Manzoor’s ability to create a place for South Asian women in action, also allowed her to realize and embrace her ability as an artist, “this whole project made me realize that I shouldn’t question my own potential. I never thought I’d be capable of doing this.”

Performing alongside Kansara and Arya are Khanna, Seraphina Beh, Ella Bruccoleri and Nimra Bucha. Producers attached to the film include Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Olivier Kaempfer and John Pocock.

Last year, Manzoor received a Peabody Award and a BAFTA award for her work on the hit NBC sitcom “We Are Lady Parts,” which she wrote, directed and created. She was also recognized with nominations for the series at both the Gotham Independent Film Awards and the Independent Spirit Awards.

The action film premiered Jan. 20 at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, several months ahead of the film’s theatrical release through Focus Films on April 28.