Interview by Paul Salfen
From Director/producer Gurinder Chadha (“Bend It Like Beckham”) comes the critically acclaimed, inspirational drama “Blinded by the Light,” set to the music and lyrics of Bruce Springsteen’s timeless songs. inspired by the life of journalist Sarfraz Manzoor and his love of the works of Bruce Springsteen, Manzoor co-wrote the script with Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges. It is based on Manzoor’s acclaimed memoir Greetings from Bury Park: Race, Religion and Rock N’ Roll. Chadha talks to Paul Salfen about the pivotal ‘Hail Mary Moment” when she got Bruce Springsteen on board, and actor Aaron Phagura talks about his audition for the role of Roop. IN THEATERS THIS FRIDAY
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“Blinded by the Light” is a joyful story of courage, love, hope, family and the unique ability of music to lift the human spirit. The film tells the story of Javed (Viveik Kalra), a British teen of Pakistani descent growing up in the town of Luton, England, in 1987. Amidst the racial and economic turmoil of the times, he writes poetry as a means to escape the intolerance of his hometown and the inflexibility of his traditional father (Kulvinder Ghir). But when a classmate (Aaron Phagura) introduces him to the music of Bruce Springsteen, Javed sees parallels to his working-class life in the powerful lyrics. As Javed discovers a cathartic outlet for his own pent-up dreams, he also begins to find the courage to express himself in his own unique voice. In Theaters August 16th.Inspired by a true story, based on Sarfraz Manzoor’s acclaimed memoir Greetings from Bury Park: Race, Religion and Rock N’ Roll, “Blinded by the Light” was directed by Gurinder Chadha from a screenplay written by Manzoor, Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges. “Blinded by the Light” stars Viveik Kalra, Kulvinder Ghir, Meera Ganatra, Nell Williams, Aaron Phagura, Hayley Atwell and Dean-Charles Chapman.
The story is underscored by the music and poetic lyrics of Springsteen, who gave Chadha his blessing from the film’s inception. Gurinder Chadha, Jane Barclay and Jamal Daniel produced the film, with Tory Metzger, Renee Witt, Peter Touche, Stephen Spence, Hannah Leader, Tracy Nurse, and Paul Mayeda Berges serving as executive producers.
Chadha’s behind-the-scenes creative team included director of photography Ben Smithard, production designer Nick Ellis, editor Justin Krish, and costume designer Annie Hardinge. The original score music is by A.R. Rahman.
New Line Cinema presents, in association with Levantine Films and Ingenious Media, a Bend It Films Production, a Gurinder Chadha Film, “Blinded by the Light.” The film is slated for release on August 16, 2019 and will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.
This film has been rated PG-13 for thematic material and language, including some ethnic slurs.