EXCLUSIVE: Bend It Like Beckham filmmaker Gurinder Chadha is lining up to direct Blinded By The Light (working title), a comedy/drama adapted from Sarfraz Manzoor’s 2007 memoir Greetings From Bury Park. The autobiographical story is based on journalist/broadcaster Manzoor’s experiences growing up as a Muslim and die-hard Bruce Springsteen fan in Luton, England. Alison Thompson and Mark Gooder’s Cornerstone Films is boarding for international sales.
Chadha is writing the script with her husband Paul Mayeda Berges and Manzoor. However, there are still elements to be confirmed as it’s early days and details come together. The film won’t make a splashy appearance on Cornerstone’s current Berlin slate, rather it should be expected to be a talking point around Cannes.
When Manzoor was two-years-old, his family emigrated from Pakistan to join his father in Luton’s Bury Park. In his memoir, the future Channel4 Commissioning Editor and documentary presenter retraces his teenage years as he tried to reconcile being both British and Muslim, and his reaction to the tragedies of 9/11 and 7/7.
Along the way, his best friend introduced him to Springsteen and his life changed for ever. The book has been described as an inspiring tribute to the power of music to transcend race and religion and a moving account of a relationship between father and son.
Chadha last directed Viceroy’s House which screened at the Berlin Film Festival in 2017. Her Bend It TV recently joined forces with FremantleMedia to create diverse scripted and non-scripted content. It currently has commissions for returning drama series with Sky Atlantic, BBC Drama and ITV.