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'My OBE makes me proud'

For Gurinder Chadha, her OBE is special as it has been awarded for her service to the British cinema.

india Updated: Jun 24, 2006 16:56 IST

Acclaimed Indian origin filmmaker Gurinder Chadha is delighted over being named for the prestigious Order of the British Empire award, and what makes it special is that it was for her "service to British cinema".

The director of Bend It Like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice says she was in Cannes when she heard about the OBE last week.

"This is for all our ancestors who helped build the British empire," the Punjabi-British director said.


 Gurinder intends to attend the ceremony before the Queen

"I had no idea this was in store. What really makes my OBE special is that it has been awarded to me for my service to British cinema. That really makes me proud. I have never denied my British side. I have always said it is as strong as my Punjabi side.

"I am told Asian people and people from third world countries have turned down the OBE earlier. It is seen as an endorsement of the British Establishment. But I am happy to be seen as part of the British establishment," Gurinder said.

"The OBE is an acknowledgement of the giant strides being taken by communities in Britain from the outside."

Gurinder of course intends to attend the ceremony before the Queen.

"I have missed out on honorary degrees in four universities because I was busy shooting. I just hope it doesn't happen while I am shooting for Dallas in the US," said Chadha, who is busy giving finishing touches to her next project Dallas.

"I have met the principal cast, everything is in place. I'll obviously not be in England for the OBE if the schedules clash. That would be a disappointment not just for me but especially for my godson Hamish who is a huge royalist. If I do attend the ceremony I'll take Hamish and my husband Paul (Mayeda Berges)."

Gurinder is extremely cut up by the scathing reviews her husband's The Mistress Of Spices has received.

"Why haven't people acknowledged Paul's efforts to do something different? He could have easily made a comedy set in the British Asian community. He chose magic realism. His efforts should be acknowledged."

She is hopeful that the Aishwarya Rai-starred film will do a turnaround in places like South Africa and Australia when it releases there.

"Now Paul accompanies me to the US for Dallas. He is an integral part of that project."

Gurinder has also planned two comedies, to be set on the British Asian community, and Berges might direct one of them.

"And none of them will be a sequel to Bend It Like Beckham. I have no intention of returning to Beckham."

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