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Awesomely Diverse TV Shows on the Way From Bend It Like Beckham Director Gurinder Chadha


Instead of waiting for interesting stories to be told, why not tell them yourself? That seems to be the motto of Gurinder Chadha, best known for directing international hits Bend It Like Beckham and Bride & Prejudice. She’s teaming up with FremantleMedia to bring her unique stories to the small screen via her production company Bend It TV, and hopes to reach audiences on a large scale.

“For me the most important thing about why I do what I do is to tell stories about people you don’t often get to see on the screen and hear their perspective,” she told Variety. That interest in telling different stories has worked well for creators like Michaela Coel, whose subversive comedy Chewing Gum has found a vibrant new audience since appearing on Netflix’s streaming platform. Shows like that, which dare to serve up different perspectives, have helped usher in what we’ve begun to call “peak TV.” But even with this crop of new and interesting shows, there’s still always room for even more. Unfortunately, the film industry seems to be lagging behind in that respect.

“Twenty-five years ago I made my first feature, Bhaji on the Beach, and I was the first Indian woman to direct a feature film in Britain, and now I’m still the only Asian woman directing feature films in the British film industry,” she added. “That shows how hard it is to get out there.” Especially when you consider that instead of banking on diverse leads, films set in other countries or centering on different cultural aspects still heavily rely on a non-POC name under the guise that they’re more bankable. (Note: The box office results for films like Ghost in the Shell and The Great Wall prove otherwise.)

She continued: “However, in my experience of late, television is much more open and responsive these days than the British film industry at getting those stories out there, getting them produced, made and on screens.”

No word yet on the first project she’s going to tackle but whatever it is, there is a 95% chance it will be great.

(via Variety, image: screencap)

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