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HomeEntertainmentGurinder Chadha to make festive film about Indian scrooge

Gurinder Chadha to make festive film about Indian scrooge

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Indian-origin filmmaker Gurinder Chadha on Tuesday said she is working on a festive film in the same vein as Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, but her Scrooge will be “an Indian Tory who hates refugees”.

Appearing in front of the Culture, Media, and Sport Committee at Westminster, Chadha said it is still more difficult to get films made with a cast of colour as she feels there is a perception that viewers do not want to see movies that “culturally” don’t represent them.

The director discussed the state of the independent movie industry in the UK as part of the first session in the Government inquiry into British film and high-end TV.

“I’m making A Christmas Carol, but my Scrooge is an Indian Tory who hates refugees – but then we go on that journey with them, and hopefully they have reclamation,” Chadha said.

She added that she told Prime Minister Rishi Sunak about the project and claimed he said: “‘Oh, don’t make me look bad’. And I said: ‘I don’t have to do that for you, Rishi’.”

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Chadha, best known for Bend It Like Beckham and Blinded By The Light, said her upcoming film is “fun and British”.

“It’s very close to Dickens’ original themes given the cost-of-living crisis in Britain,” she said.

Published in 1843, A Christmas Carol recounts the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an elderly miser who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. In the process, Scrooge is transformed into a kinder, gentler man.

Chadha, 64, said she “struggled to get it off the ground” partly due to the lead being depicted as an Indian.” By making it an Indian Scrooge, it changes everything in terms of how I get it financed. Suddenly people go ‘It’s not commercial, it’s small, it’s an Indian film’,” she said.

Chadha rose to prominence after Bend It Like Beckham, starring British actors Parminder Nagra – who is of Indian Punjabi descent – and Keira Knightley as two young girls who desire to be professional footballers, despite their parents’ wishes.

She is also been behind other hit films including Bride And Prejudice, based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and starred Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Martin Henderson.

 

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