March 29, 2009
Director Gurinder Chadha started filming her latest venture this week, with the feature film slated to release in cinemas across the UK early next year.
It’s a Wonder Afterlife is being billed as a cross between My Big Fat Greek Wedding and the British horror-comedy Shaun of the Dead, and will star the Indian actress Shabana Azmi alongside Sendhil Ramamoorthy (Heroes) and British actors Shaheen Khan (Bend It Like Beckham) and Ray Pathanki (Eastenders) among others.
The film is a supernatural comedy about an Indian mother who takes her obsession with marriage into frightening territory.
Mrs Sethi, a widow, can’t bear the thought of her daughter being alone and unhappy. Angry at the families who rejected her daughter, she takes matters into her own hands. Soon, a police hunt begins for a serial murderer who cooks a killer curry. Mrs Sethi’s victims then come back to haunt her and want her dead.
Mrs Sethi is happy to oblige but she wants to ensure her daughter gets married first. And so the mother and a coterie of ghosts try and get her daughter married off so they can all have a wonderful afterlife.
Screenplay for the film is written by Gurinder and her husband Paul Mayerda Berges.
She last week: “I am thrilled to be making another British movie in the west London suburbs of Southall and Ealing with a true feeling of the Ealing comedies of Michael Balcon I so admire. This is also my tribute to one of the great directors, Frank Capra and my all time favourite movie, It’s a Wonderful Life.”
The film is being made on a fairly tight budget. Gurinder is also busy looking after her recently born twins.
She added: “I’ve chosen to direct a relatively smaller film. It’s just a seven-week shoot and we’ve the weekends off. And then there’s three months of post-production when I get to spend a lot of time with the kids. The editing will be done right next door. There’s also a zoo-park nearby; so I can take them there in between editing.”
She said she had wanted to work with Shaban Azmi for a long time. “Mine is an ensemble film. Six characters are on screen all the time. I wanted Kirron Kher to play a fiercely funny Punjabi character, which I thought she’s very good at. But it didn’t work out,” the director said.
It’s a Wonder Afterlife will be a joint venture between her own company, Bend It Films, and The Indian Film Company (TIFC).
The London-based outfit, Hanway Films, is handling overseas sales for the movie, while TIFC is releasing it in India through Studio 18.
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