On the 20th anniversary of Bhaji on the Beach, her BAFTA-nominated dramedy about a group of South Asian women who take a day trip to the British seashore, Indian-British director Gurinder Chadha will be honored at the New York Indian Film Festival (May 5-10) with a retrospective of her documentary work.
The Kenyan-born Chadha is most well-known as the director of Bend It Like Beckham (2002), Bride and Prejudice (2004) and Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (2008). But she’s a wide ranging career beginning as a reporter for the BBC. NYIFF and Third World Newsreel will present four of her nonfiction works: I’m British But… (1989), A Nice Arrangement (1991), Acting Our Age (1992), and What Do You Call an Indian Woman Who Is Funny (1994). All these early efforts deal with South Asian immigrant life in the UK.
“Gurinder Chadha is one of three ‘Bhanji Brigade’ superstar diaspora women filmmakers — the other two being Mira Nair and Deepa Mehta — all three of whom have been honored for their talent by NYIFF in years past,” explained a spokeswoman for the Indo-American Arts Council, which coordinates NYIFF.
Added festival director Assem Chhabra, “I have been a fan of Gurinder Chadha since I saw her Bhaji on the Beach 20 years ago in New York City…. Soon after I discovered her four documentaries, made while she was a journalist. In all of these works and her subsequent films, including the worldwide hit Bend It Like Beckham, Gurinder explores the Asian Indian immigrant experiences in Britain, laced with humor, pathos and a lot of introspection.
Her works are iconic representation that speak about immigration, living in the diaspora, and the meaning of loss. We are thrilled to be able to show Bhaji and mark its very significant milestone and to have Gurinder with us to speak about her works.”
She is currently working on a stage version of Bend it Like Beckham.