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Principal photography begins on Gurinder Chadha's Blinded By The Light

Blinded By The Light

Story by Jack Foley

GURINDER Chadha has begun principal photography on her heart-warming new comedy drama, Blinded By The Light.

The film is a hybrid musical that is firmly rooted in the great British tradition of quirky comedies, but with a dash of youthful exuberance inspired by John Hughes’ films from the 1980s.

Blinded By The Light, developed from Chadha and British Journalist Sarfraz Manzoor’s shared passion for Bruce Springsteen and based on Manzoor’s celebrated rite of passage memoir Greetings from Bury Park, chronicles his experiences as a British Muslim boy growing up in 1980’s Luton and the impact Springsteen’s lyrics had upon him.

Chadha and Manzoor met Springsteen at the London Premier of his film, The Promise, in 2010 and discovered he had not only read but admired the book.

“I quickly pitched him the film we wanted to make from the book on the Red carpet and to our excitement Bruce nodded and said, ‘Sounds good – talk to Jon’,” said Chadha. “We then spent several years developing a script we knew had to impress Springsteen and managers Jon Landau and Barbara Carr or there would be no film without his music and blessings.”

Manzoor commented: “Growing up in eighties Luton as the working class son of Pakistani Muslim immigrants my world felt very small. In the music of Bruce Springsteen I found both hope and wisdom on how I could transcend my circumstances and make my dreams to be a writer come true.

“The fact that I was so affected by Springsteen’s songs shows just how powerfully music can transcend race, religion, nationality and class. Blinded By The Light is also a tribute to my late father whom I often fought in my teenage years not realising his generation also had dreams they were not able to follow.”

They embarked on the feature film adaptation alongside Chadha’s longtime writing partner Paul Mayeda Berges (Bend It Like Beckham).

Presenting a personal story that resonates on a global stage, Blinded By The Light is reminiscent of Chadha’s much-loved and acclaimed films that have taken characters new to the screen and transported them to people’s homes and hearts internationally.

Adds Chadha: “At a time of such political and social instability in the world, this film provides us with a vital reminder of our shared humanity and the transformative power of music on both a personal and global scale.”

Chadha and producing partner Jane Barclay (Gosford Park) have gathered a distinctive cast of new and familiar British comedy talent including Kulvinder Ghir (Still Open All Hours), Golden Globe® nominee Hayley Atwell (The Avengers franchise), and BAFTA® nominee Rob Brydon (The Ttip), Sally Phillips (Bridget Jones Diary) and introducing Viveik Kalra (ITV’s Next Of Kin) and Nell Williams as romantic leads.

Producer Jane Barclay commented: “We’ve had an overwhelming response to the power of this story whose emotional and social themes are so relevant in today’s world.”

The film, due for completion in early 2019, is currently shooting on location in the UK.

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