Gurinder Chadha Remembers Alan Parker


Alan Parker, who passed away on 31 July 2020, was a mentor and inspiration to Gurinder Chadha. Gurinder pays tribute to Alan in Screendaily and on the Robert Elms show on BBC Radio London.

“Alan is a filmmaker I really admired when I was getting into the business,” noted director Gurinder Chadha. “He directed The Evacuees [for BBC’s Play Of The Day in 1975] which I saw as a child. Between him and [writer] Jack Rosenthal, it was the first time that I got a sense of what otherness is in Britain and the idea of another community, the British-Jewish community. From that moment, I’ve been following his career. What I love is that every film he has made is so different to the other. That is where he is really underrated as a director, his ability to go from Bugsy Malone to Midnight Express and Birdy. I thought Birdy was one of the best anti-war films I’ve ever seen and the performances were phenomenal.”

“When he became chair of the UK Film Council, he reached out to me and said ‘you have to be part of this Gurinder.’ I said, ’What, me?’ [the UKFC went on to back Chadha’s Bend It Like Beckham]. In his own way, he made sure someone like me was represented [on the board] of this new UK Film Council. I would wholeheartedly say he was a mentor to me. People like to pigeonhole me as doing certain types of films but my interests are huge…what I loved about Alan is that with each of his films, people would say, oh no, he’s a Brit from Islington, that is not his cup of tea but actually he went out and made films people probably wouldn’t expect him to make. I loved that and that is where I was inspired by him.”

Read the full article published in Screendaily on 3rd August 2020 here 

Gurinder’s tribute to Alan Parker on the BBC Radio London Robert Elms show can be heard below