From the director behind Bend It Like Beckham, Gurinder Chadha, comes another unashamedly heart-warming yet poignant comedy-drama, Blinded by the Light.

The coming-of-age tale is based on the true story of journalist Sarfraz Mazoor, who co-adapted the screenplay from his memoir Greetings from Bury Park: Race, Religion and Rock n’ Roll alongside Chadha.

It’s set in 1987 Luton – the height of the Thatcher era – and follows Javed, a disillusioned young British-Pakistani Muslim whose life is transformed by the discovery of the music of Bruce Springsteen.

We were there for the film’s London premiere at the Curzon Mayfair to speak with the cast and creatives about the making of the film.

Director Gurinder Chadha told us what had drawn her to Manzoor’s story and motivated her to put it on the big screen, the joy of working with her young cast and what she hopes people will take away from the film.

Sarfraz Manzoor was also there to tell us about why he wanted to share his story via his memoirs and the journey of making it into a film with Chadha.

The charismatic Viveik Kalra spoke to us about playing the lead role of Javed, the fun he had working with the Chadha and why he thinks the film is relevant for contemporary audiences.

Nell Williams talked us through her experience of playing Eliza, what drew her to the role and why she loved discovering Bruce Springsteen’s music.

We also heard from Aaron Phagura who plays Roops and Meera Ganatra on his role as Noor.

Producer Jane Barclay gave us her insights into the making of the film and how her own relationship with Springsteen’s music grew throughout the process.

By Sarah Bradbury. First published on The Upcoming on 20th July 2019.
Video: Cristiana Ferrauti