She moved to England when she was 10 years old, thereafter Parminder Vir not only created her own space in the British filmdom but crossed borders to perform greater roles, albeit off the screen. Vir, now the CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation headquartered in Africa, came to the limelight with her work that was unique in the 1980s. It was 1986 when Vir instantly created a stir in the British film and media industry by producing a showreel on black filmmaking in Britain. That was the turning point in her career and she never had to look back.
From 1986 till 1994, she worked with the BBC in various profiles, starting out as a researcher and progressing to assistant producer and eventually to series producer. Though she formally bowed out of her office, she didn’t intend to cut all ties with her professional alma mater. Vir collaborated with the BBC by producing films for the agency but under her home production banner, Formation Films.
Her work was always a discourse on a contemporary issue with social, political and cultural relevance. She portrayed them with great intensity and depth. Some of her outstanding, impactful and international projects are: the BBC series Our War, based on how the Middle Eastern directors explored the effect of the Gulf War on their different countries and people, Algeria – Women at War, The Sex Warriors and the Samurai, African Eyes on Europe, and a mini-series on the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations.
Vir soon broke away to other film-making genres, a likely experiment for any creative artist. She produced the feature film Babymother (d. Julian Henriques), a reggae musical set in West London and in 2000 she produced the second series of Single Voices, four half-hour comedy monologues by selected writers.
Career wise Vir was gradually gravitating towards more holistic roles and before she took over as the CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, she dabbled into specialist consultancy pertaining to cross border business development with emerging markets as the CEO of PVL Media.
Vir was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II for her services to the Broadcasting and Film industry. The winner of many accolades, Vir today is helming and propagating entrepreneurship in Africa as the head of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.