British-Indian filmmaker Gurinder Chadha’s career appears to be going in all manner of weird and wonderful directions.
The ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ director has won widespread praise for the recent stage adaptation of her iconic film about football, love and fitting in.
Chadha’s filming in India at the moment for ‘Viceroy’s House’ a star-studded epic about the chaotic final days leading up to India’s Partition.
The Chadha-backed ‘Desi Rascals’ – a British Asian version of ‘The Only Way is Essex’ – has proved hugely popular despite being utterly insipid and awkward.
And now Chadha’s announced she’s working on what is arguably her most ambitious project yet: a British Asian epic in the mould of the blockbuster HBO series ‘Game of Thrones’.
Chadha, 55, told the Independent: “It is a massive drama series. When I say ‘Game of Thrones’ I mean that it’s an epic story set in a long ago time.
“The story telling and the concept come from an Indocentric philosophy in place of Eurocentric. I’m not making a Bollywood show but it is fantasy – it’s like Game of Thrones!”
The director is reportedly developing the show for Sky Atlantic, which broadcasts ‘Desi Rascals’ which has won over mainstream audiences but which has, surprisingly, not gone down well with British Asian audiences.
Chadha says she wants broadcasters to take the show’s example, creating programmes that are told from one community’s viewpoint but appeals to a wider audience.
“It’s about trusting the idea that if a story comes from a different cultural perspective it can be of mainstream interest,” she said.
“Just because it’s a minority in front of you, it doesn’t mean it’s of minority interest.”
Chadha also praised actor and comedian Lenny Henry for his recent campaigning on greater diversity in British television.
“He’s right,” she said.
And she said that many of the barriers to entry for British Asian and ethnic minority talent are being broken down.
“I am optimistic that we will get other shows going in a way where we are in the driver’s seat of telling those stories from our own sensibilities.”
“When I see the credits on TV, I see a lot more Asian names – I just wish we were allowed to tell more stories from our perspective, and that’s not always to do with problems and crime.”