*Director sells stake in production outfit
*Same company behind new fantasy TV series, ‘American Gods’
FILMMAKER Gurinder Chadha is all set to make long-form ‘fiction’ television for the first time.
She has signed a deal with FremantleMedia, which is taking a 25 per cent stake in Chadha’s TV company, Bend It TV.
Chahda posted news of the deal reported exclusively in the US entertainment trade title Variety on her own Facebook page on Monday (April 5) lunchtime.
She told the magazine she wants to reach global audiences and believes she has both the commercial and artistic sensibility to do so.
Her commercial success marked her out, she believed.
‘Viceroy’s House’, her latest movie, continues to screen in the UK and has made more than £3.5m, according to the latest box office figures.
It has to yet to open anywhere outside the UK, but has distribution deals in many parts of the world.
Excited by the possibilities that TV is now creating for storytellers, Chadha said she was really looking forward to working with FremantleMedia.
On her FB page she said: “It is so gratifying and wonderful to have your work and reputation be appreciated in our business.
“This announcement comes after several years of hard work developing an amazing slate of dramas and documentaries we will be sharing soon.”
She said she wanted to cover stories about people who are from the margins and get little to no attention in the wider arts and media space.
She told the title it also helped that FremantleMedia drama script chief Sarah Doole and its CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz got her ideas very quickly as women, making it a more efficient process all around.
In a press release from FremantleMedia, she said: “I am so impressed with Cecile, and Sarah and her team at FremantleMedia and their understanding and support for creative storytellers like me.
“I look forward to working on our vibrant, international drama slate and bringing our brand of stories to our global audience, now excitingly, on TV.”
Frot-Coutaz declared: “Gurinder is a phenomenal storyteller and a real auteur; I’m thrilled to be working with her.
“When we set out to build our scripted business, at the top of my list was working with and supporting the best creative talent in the world and this new partnership truly exemplifies that goal.”
Chadha said she was also interested in making non-scripted entertainment with FremantleMedia, which produces programmes like ‘The X-Factor’.
Viewers in the UK will remember Chadha’s TV series, ‘Desi Rascals’ which she co-produced with ‘Towie’ supremo Tony Wood getting two series in 2015, before being axed by Sky.
The first series was widely welcomed and praised, but the second in which Chadha appeared not to have as much involvement, lost viewers and interest, long before the decision was taken in September to end it.
Her TV company Bend It Networks has a presence on the web – through a website and a Youtube channel.
Chadha is one of the most successful British filmmakers of her generation. She started out in factual TV for the BBC before making her first feature, ‘Bhaji on the Beach‘ in 1993 and has gone on to make than half a dozen feature films, among which the best known are ‘Bend it Like Beckham’ (2002) and ‘Bride & Prejudice’ (2004).
FremantleMedia are about to unleash ‘American Gods’ an eight-part US drama series developed from the 2001 novel of the same name by Brit Neil Gaiman. It will debut online on April 30 and on pay TV in US through Starz and features UK actors, Ian McShane and Ricky Whittle.
Chadha was not available for comment.