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Bend It Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha to appear at cultural festival

PUBLISHED: 18:30 08 June 2018 | UPDATED: 12:00 09 June 2018

Director Gurinder Chadha will visit Thetford as part of the Festival of Thetford & Punjab. She is pictured at the UEA to receive an honorary degree. Picture: Denise Bradley

Director Gurinder Chadha will visit Thetford as part of the Festival of Thetford & Punjab. She is pictured at the UEA to receive an honorary degree. Picture: Denise Bradley

Copyright: Archant 2013

Film director Gurinder Chadha, best known for the hit film Bend It Like Beckham, will visit Thetford as part of the Festival of Thetford & Punjab.

The Jugnu Bhangra Dancers, dressed in their traditional folk Punjabi costume, will be performing at the Thetford & Punjab Festival. Picture:  Essex Cultural Diversity ProjectThe Jugnu Bhangra Dancers, dressed in their traditional folk Punjabi costume, will be performing at the Thetford & Punjab Festival. Picture: Essex Cultural Diversity Project

The two-week long festival will mark the 125th anniversary of the death of Duleep Singh, the last Maharajah of the Punjab, who lived on the Elveden Estate.

The festival will be a cultural celebration as well as an exploration of the story of Duleep Singh and his legacy.

Chadha will be in conversation with local historian and journalist Karen-Emma White at the Methodist Church on July 7.

Of Kenyan Asian origin, many of her films explore the lives of Indians living in England and how they must reconcile their converging traditional and modern cultures.

George Beechey's portrait of Prince Duleep Singh. Picture: Archant LibraryGeorge Beechey's portrait of Prince Duleep Singh. Picture: Archant Library

In addition to the 2002 smash hit Bend It Like Beckham, she has also directed Bride and Prejudice and Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging.

Chadha has always had a keen interest in Duleep Singh’s Story.

During the event she will talk about a new period drama based on the Duleep Singh family, other up-and-coming projects and her past work.

Mrs White, who said she is excited to interview Chadha, said: “This particular festival is going to the next level and will showcase that connection with Thetford but at the same time is about sharing the local community and Thetford with the wider Sikh community.

The statue of last King of Punjab, Maharajah Duleep Singh in Thetford. Picture: Rebecca MurphyThe statue of last King of Punjab, Maharajah Duleep Singh in Thetford. Picture: Rebecca Murphy

“It is fabulous to be able to celebrate our shared culture and it should be a really great festival.”

The festival will run from Saturday, July 7 until Sunday, July 22.

Organised by the Essex Cultural Diversity Project, Thetford Library, Ancient House Museum and Elveden Village Hall will also host activities as part of the festival.

Other contributors to the festival include Sathnam Sanghera, author of The Boy with the Top Knot, and comedian and presenter Hardeep Singh Kohli.

On July 21 the festival will merge with Thetford Town Council’s River Festival to create one large celebratory event.

A wide-range of activities including turban tying, henna painting and storytelling, will be taking place along the River Ouse.

A procession through the town centre will see collaboration between Bhangra and Morris dancers and Bhangra Dhol Drummers.

Tickets for Gurinder Chadha are £5 and can be bought by calling 01842 751975, 07802701911 or visiting Leaping Hare.

For further information about the festival visit the website.

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