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Gurinder Chadha Talks New Disney Princess Movie & How Harrison Ford Had An Influence On ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ Getting Made — Cannes

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Gurinder Chadha revealed that Harrison Ford had an unknowing effect on her ability to get UK hit film Bend it Like Beckham off the ground when she made it two decades ago.

At the time, the director was struggling to get financing from any of the UK public film funding bodies so she could make her now treasured film about a young British-Indian girl with a talent for soccer but whose family wouldn’t permit her to play.

Speaking at the annual Winston Baker International Film Finance Forum in Cannes, in partnership with the Marché du Film, she told delegates how difficult it was to get the film off the ground.  “I had been struggling to make this film because I really believed the world was changing at this point and I believed that my cultural paradigm was relevant and I was fresh and new to British film makers,” she said. “I’d written a script with my husband Paul [Mayeda Berges] and it was very international…and a very human story and I just didn’t understand why the gatekeepers were passing on it.” She recalls getting wind that her application for funding from the former UK Film Council was set to be rejected and so she spoke to incoming CEO John Woodward and said, “I’m furious because when you guys all want me to do panels about how hard it is to make films, particularly if you’re a person of color, you wheel me on to all of these platforms to talk about it and but now you’re not backing me – you have to back me.”  She said she heard feedback on why it would be rejected which said, “the reason this film will never get made is because you will never be able to find an Indian girl who can bend it like Beckham.” “That was the main reason they rejected the film,” said Chadha.

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