Gurinder Chadha has begun principal photography on her new comedy drama Blinded by the Light, deserved as “a hybrid musical that is firmly rooted in the great British tradition of quirky comedies, but with a dash of youthful exuberance inspired by John Hughes’ films from the 1980s.”
Developed from Chadha and British Journalist Sarfraz Manzoor’s shared passion for Bruce Springsteen and based on Manzoor’s celebrated rite of passage memoir Greetings from Bury Park, the film chronicles his experiences as a British Muslim boy growing up in 1980’s Luton and the impact Springsteen’s lyrics had upon him.
The pair met Springsteen at the London Premier of his film The Promise in 2010 and discovered he had not only read but admired the book.
Chadha says: “I quickly pitched him the film we wanted to make from the book on the Red carpet and to our excitement Bruce nodded and said, “Sounds good – talk to Jon”. We then spent several years developing a script we knew had to impress Springsteen and managers Jon Landau and Barbara Carr or there would be no film without his music and blessings.”
“Growing up in eighties Luton as the working class son of Pakistani Muslim immigrants my world felt very small. In the music of Bruce Springsteen I found both hope and wisdom on how I could transcend my circumstances and make my dreams to be a writer come true,” said Sarfraz Manzoor.
“The fact that I was so affected by Springsteen’s songs shows just how powerfully music can transcend race, religion, nationality and class. BLINDED BY THE LIGHT is also a tribute to my late father whom I often fought in my teenage years not realising his generation also had dreams they were not able to follow.”
The film, due for completion in early 2019, is currently shooting on location in the UK.