The Kenyan born, British South Asian, Gurinder Chadha OBE, is a film director/writer. Chadha is widely known for Bahji on the Beach (1993), Bend it Like Beckham (2002), Bride and Prejudice (2004), Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (2008), and Viceroy’s House (2017), with upcoming feature Blinded by the Light (2019). Her films showcase the trials and difficulties, as well as vibrantness, of South Asian women living in Britain. Growing up in the Indian diaspora in East Africa, and moving to Southall, West London, at the age of two, Chadha shares many of her experiences with her protagonists.
Chadha started her media career in radio in the mid 1980s, moving to television as a BBC News reporter initially, before moving to documentary-making for the British Film Institute, the BBC, and Channel Four, winning many awards along the way. During this time Chadha directed I’m British But… which followed the lives of British South Asians. Chadha also created her own production company, Umbi Films, in 1990, producing the Cannes Film Festival Critic’s selected short film, Nice Arrangement (1991).
Her first feature film, Bhaji on the Beach – and first full-length feature to be directed by a British-Asian woman – won several international awards including a nomination for Best British Film from BAFTA, receiving wide recognition and praise for the film in 1993. Bend it Like Beckham was the highest grossing British film ever in the UK box-office at the time of release. The film also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture (Musical or Comedy), a BAFTA nomination for Best British Film, and a Writers Guild of America nomination for Best Original Screenplay.