Preity G Zinta (pronounced [ˈpriːt̪i ˈzɪɳʈaː]; born 31 January 1975) is an Indian film actress and entrepreneur, who was one of the most popular and highest paid actresses in the 2000s. After graduating with degrees in English honours and criminal psychology, Zinta made her acting debut in Dil Se.. in 1998, followed by a role in Soldier in the same year. These performances earned her the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut, and she was later recognised for her role as a teenage single mother in Kya Kehna (2000). She subsequently established a career with a variety of character types; her film roles along with her screen persona have been credited with contributing to a change in the concept of a Hindi film heroine, and won her several accolades.Zinta received the Filmfare Award for Best Actress in 2003 for her performance in the drama Kal Ho Naa Ho. She went on to play the lead female role in two consecutive annual top-grossing films in India, the science fiction film Koi... Mil Gaya (2003) and the star-crossed romance Veer-Zaara (2004). She was later noted for her portrayal of independent, modern Indian women in Salaam Namaste (2005) and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006), top-grossing productions in overseas markets. These accomplishments established her as a leading actress of Hindi cinema. Her first international film role was in the Canadian film Heaven on Earth, for which she was awarded the Silver Hugo Award for Best Actress at the 2008 Chicago International Film Festival. She followed this with a hiatus from acting work for several years, with the exception of her self-produced comeback film, Ishkq in Paris (2013), which failed to leave a mark. In addition to acting, Zinta has written a series of columns for BBC News Online South Asia; she is a social activist, a television presenter, and a regular stage performer. She is the founder of the production company PZNZ Media, a co-owner of the Indian Premier League cricket team Kings XI Punjab since 2008, and the owner of the South-African T20 Global League cricket team Stellenbosch Kings since 2017. Zinta is known in the Indian media for publicly speaking her mind, and consequently has sparked the occasional controversy. These controversies include her being the only witness not to retract in court her earlier statements against the Indian mafia during the 2003 Bharat Shah case, for which she was awarded the Godfrey Phillips National Bravery Award.