Gurinder Chadha

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Gurinder Chadha
Gurinder Chadha 2013.jpg
Gurinder Chadha in 2013.
Born (1960-01-10) January 10, 1960 (age 55)
Nairobi, Kenya
Years active 1990 - present
Spouse(s) Paul Mayeda Berges
Awards Order of the British Empire

Gurinder Chadha OBE (born 10 January 1960) is a British film director of Sikh Indian origin. Most of her films explore the lives of Indians living in the United Kingdom. She is best known for the hit films Bhaji on the Beach (1993), Bend It Like Beckham (2002), Bride and Prejudice (2004) and Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (2008). Her most recent project is the comedy film It's a Wonderful Afterlife released on 21 April 2010.


Gurinder Chadha was born in Nairobi, Kenya, then a British colony. Her family was part of the Indian diaspora in East Africa. They moved to Southall, West London when she was two years of age, where she attended Clifton Primary School.[1] After graduating from the University of East Anglia, Chadha attended the London College of Printing in 1984/85 and studied for a post-graduate


After starting her media career in radio in the mid-1980s, Chadha moved into television as a BBC news reporter. She went on to direct award-winning documentaries for the British Film Institute, BBC and Channel Four, and in 1989 released the documentary I'm British but... for Channel 4, which followed the lives of young British Asians. In 1990, Chadha set up a production company, Umbi Films. Her first film was the 11-minute Nice Arrangement (1991) about a British Asian wedding.

Chadha mentions the influence that the film Purab aur Pachhim had on her work, in an interview with Robert K. Elder for The Film That Changed My Life.[2]

…There’s a wonderful kind of yearning quality about what is culture and the perils of living in the West and the dangers of what could happen.[3]

Her affinity for stories about families was also attributed to her love for It’s a Wonderful Life.

Her first feature, Bhaji on the Beach, won numerous international awards including a BAFTA Nomination for 'Best British Film of 1994' and the Evening Standard British Film Award for 'Best Newcomer to British Cinema'. Chadha first received wide recognition for the film in 1993. Several major projects followed, most notably the movies Bend It Like Beckham (2002) and Bride and Prejudice (2004).

In 1995, she directed Rich Deceiver, a two-part drama for the BBC, watched by 11 million viewers.

What's Cooking? was the Opening Night Film of the 2000 Sundance Film Festival, and was the first British script to be invited to the Sundance Institute’s Writer’s Lab. The film was voted joint audience award winner in the New York Film Critics’ 2000 season (tied with Billy Elliot), and Chadha won the award for Best British Director in the London Film Critics’ Circle Awards.

Bend it Like Beckham was the highest grossing British-financed, British- distributed film, ever in the UK box-office (prior to the success of Slumdog Millionaire). The film was a critical and commercial success internationally, topping the box-office charts in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and South Africa, and winning audience favourite film awards at the Locarno, Sydney and Toronto film festivals. The film received a Golden Globe Nomination for Best Picture (Musical or Comedy), a BAFTA Nomination for Best British Film, a European Film Academy Nomination for Best Film, and a Writers Guild of America Nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Bride and Prejudice - a film which marries Jane Austen with Indian and Western musicals - was the first film ever to open at Number One in the UK and India on the same day.

She wrote the screenplay for The Mistress of Spices (2005), (based upon the novel of the same name by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni) with Berges, who directed the film.

In 2005, she appeared on the BBC show Your London, in which she told the story of a Sikh prince who lived in London in the 19th century. In 2006, she took part in the BBC genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? in which she traced her Sikh family roots back to Kenya and before that to India's Punjab.

Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging - based on the international bestseller, was released worldwide by Paramount Pictures in 2008/2009. It's a Wonderful Afterlife premiered at the Sundance Film Festival before releasing internationally in 2010.

Chadha has received several Honorary Doctorates from British universities and was awarded an O.B.E. in the 2006 Queen’s Birthday Honours List on 17 June 2006 for her services to the British film industry.

Although the BBC had confirmed that Chadha was to direct the forthcoming feature film adaptation of the popular television series Dallas, she left the project in 2007.[1][4]

Chadha is currently collaborating with composer A. R. Rahman and lyricist Stephen Schwartz on DreamWorks Animation's first musical set in India. She has announced an animated musical entitled Monkeys of Bollywood, based on the Indian epic Ramayana. Reportedly, the Bollywood-style animated musical is set in Mumbai and revolves around two monkeys who try to stop an ancient demon from conquering the world. It is produced by DreamWorks Animation.[5]

Her next film is an epic drama on Indian Independence and Partition, to be released in 2012. It is based on the book Freedom at Midnight by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre.[6]

In a recent interview Chadha mentioned she was planning to make part two to the hit romantic comedy Bend It Like Beckham where she hopes the three main actors make a return. The film would be based on their successes, and a further development on Joe and Jess's love story.



See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b BBC News (Friday December 14, 2007) Chadha to direct school Nativity Accessed 2007-12-14
  2. ^
  3. ^ Chadha, Gurinder. Interview by Robert K. Elder. The Film That Changed My Life. By Robert K. Elder. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2011. N. p189. Print.
  4. ^ Friday April 21, 2006) Chadha to direct new Dallas film
  5. ^ "Rahman, Gurinder Chadha team up for monkey musical". Los Angeles: The Indian Express. 2011-01-13. Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  6. ^ Adler, Tim. Chadha Planning Her First Historical Epic. 22 April 2010.

External links[edit]