Blinded By The Light celebrated its UK Gala Screening this week at the Curzon Mayfair in London. 

Gurinder Chadha and writer Sarfraz Manzoor, whose life the feel-good film is based on, graced the custom orange carpet, alongside the stars of the film, including Viveik Kalra, Nell Williams, Kulvinder Ghir, Meera Ganatra and Aaron Phagura. 

Other star guests on the night included Archie Panjabi, Sonali Shah, Laura Whitmore and Punjabi music icons Heera, whose music features in the film.

Asian Image:

Nell Williams; Viveik Kalra; Gurinder Chadha; Aaron Phagura

Set to the music of Bruce Springsteen ‘ Blinded by the Light’ follows Javed a 16-year-old British Pakistani boy growing up in Luton.

It is 1987 Unemployment and the National Front are on the rise and Javed feels trapped, all he dreams of is escaping. On his first day at his new school, Javed runs into a boy in the hall and a cassette tape falls out of the boy’s Walkman - Bruce Springsteen. 

Javed knows nothing about him but when he first hears Bruce’s music - everything in his life changes.

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

He then worked closely with Chadha and her writing partner Paul Mayeda Berges from Viceroy’s House, Bend It Like Beckham, Bride & Prejudice, Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging. 

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Gurinder said, “In the book Sarfraz was doing that thing we do as Asians where, if we’re writing about ourselves, we want to protect ourselves and protect our community against stereotypes and any damaging preconditions that people might have,” 

“In the book I found that he often stayed away from getting to the real nubs of disagreement with his father or with members of his community, which was totally understandable. So, my job was always to push him and to try and get closer to the truth because drama is conflict.”

Chadha says there are indeed parallels because they are British films set within British Asian families, “Javed is male and his family are Muslim and while Bend it Like Beckham had a lot of my childhood in it, this film is inspired by Sarfraz’s teenage years.

“For me John Hughes was an inspiration for his classic teenagers coming of age movies. It is about wanting to have a dream and thinking that the dream is not going to be possible because of who you are, and what your background is, and what your parents might be thinking,” Chadha continues. 

“But then what if you fall in love, what if you get an opportunity, someone throws you a life-line, then what happens? It’s just a great rite of passage story for Javed.”

Blinded By The Light opens nationwide on August 9