5 Jan : BAFTA nominated Gurinder Chadha’s comedy “It’s a Wonderful Afterlife” has made it to the renowned Sundance Film Festival (USA), where it will have world premiere.
This United Kingdom (UK) movie called a “supernatural escapade”, set in West London, revolves around a Punjabi mother obsessively seeking a husband for her rapidly aging daughter and includes murders, ghosts, and detectives. It will be screened in “out of competition” category at the Festival and later released in UK on April two.
Directed by Chadha, its cast includes Filmfare winner Shabana Azmi (Bhavna), Goldy Notay (London Dreams), Sendhil Ramamurthy (Blind Dating), Golden Globe winner Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky), and Jimi Mistry (RocknRolla). Cinematographer is Dick Pope while screenwriters are Chadha and her husband Paul Mayeda Berges. Chadha has already screened three films at this Festival in the past: “Bend it Like Beckham”, “What’s Cooking?”, and the short film “I’m British But…”.
Meanwhile Filmfare winner Aamir Khan (Lagaan) produced and Anusha Rizvi (The Falling) directed “Peepli Live”, satire about of a farmer in debt, was also selected for this Festival under “World Cinema Narrative” category, becoming the first Indian film ever to make it to the competition section of the Festival. In the “U.S. Documentary” category, “Bhutto”, about the life and work of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, directed by Jessica Hernandez and Johnny O’Hara, also made the selection.
Congratulating the makers of “It’s a Wonderful Afterlife” and “Peepli Live”, acclaimed Indo-American statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urged the India Government and large private conglomerates of India to promote independent cinema in India. India was full of creative and excellent filmmakers and they only needed an integrated effort in funding, encouragement, marketing/promotion, exposure in global avenues, and organization of world-level film festivals in India, Rajan Zed, who is chairperson of Indo-American Leadership Confederation, added.
One of the largest independent cinema festival in the world, Sundance runs January 21-31 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance—all in Utah (USA). In addition to the four competition categories, the Festival presents films in five out-of-competition sections also.
Founded by Oscar winner Robert Redford (Ordinary People) in 1981, Sundance Institute with offices in Park City (Utah) and Beverly Hills (California) organizes this Festival. Sundance Institute is a not-for-profit organization that fosters the development of original storytelling in film and theatre. John Cooper is the director of the Festival which reportedly attracted over 40,000 visitors last year.