Early Life of Gurinder Chadha
She was born on 10 January 1960 in Nairobi, Kenya into a Sikh family. Her family moved to Southall, West London when she was two years of age. Her father faced much prejudice because of wearing a turban and having a beard.
Education of Gurinder Chadha
Chadha attended Clifton Primary School in Southall, West London. She graduated from the University of East Anglia. Chadha joined the London College of Printing in 1984/85 and studied for a post-graduate.
Career of Gurinder Chadha
She kick-started her media career in radio in the mid-1980s. She then moved into television as a BBC news reporter. She has directed several award-winning documentaries for the British Film Institute, BBC and Channel Four. In 1989 she released the documentary ‘I'm British but...’ for Channel 4, which revolves around the lives of young British Asians.
Chadha started her own production company, Umbi Films in 1990. She made her first film ‘Nice Arrangement’ in 1991, which revolves around a British Asian wedding. This 11-minute film was selected for the Cannes Film Festival Critic's section in 1991. She made her first feature in 1993 titled Bhaji on the Beach. It was a British comedy drama film which went on to win 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'. It was the first full-length feature film made by a British Asian woman. The film revolves around a day in the lives of Indian women, across different generations, and how they change in order to converge their cultural background with modern UK living. It also deals with the issues of domestic abuse.
Her next projects were Rich Deceiver (1995) and What's Cooking? (2000). What's Cooking? was the Opening Night Film of the 2000 Sundance Film Festival. The film made her win the award for Best British Director in the London Film Critics’ Circle Awards.
In 2002 she made Bend It Like Beckham which 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. It won audience favourite film awards at the Locarno, Sydney and Toronto film festivals. The film essays the story of a strong Indian-British woman, who tries to realize her dreams while managing her duties as a daughter of traditional Indian parents.
In 2004 she made a romantic musical film Bride and Prejudice. The screenplay by Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges is a Bollywood-style adaptation of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. It is an attempt to blend Bollywood, Hollywood, and a "British sensibility" into one film.
Her other films are Acting Our Age (1992), What Do You Call an Indian Woman Who's Funny? (1994), The Mistress of Spices (2005), Paris, je t'aime (2006), Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (2008) and It's a Wonderful Afterlife (2010) to name a few.
In addition to films, Chadha has worked in television talk shows. In 2005, she appeared on the BBC show Your London, in which she narrated the story of a Sikh prince who lived in London in the 19th century. In 2006, she participated in the BBC genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? in which she talked about her Sikh family roots back to Kenya and before that to India's Punjab.
Achievements of Gurinder Chadha