Anushka Shah: Christmas Karma questions people like Rishi Sunak

Serving as one of the executive producers on Gurinder Chadha’s upcoming musical Christmas Karma, Anushka Shah talks about adapting Charles Dickens, casting Kunal Nayyar in the film and more
Anushka Shah: Christmas Karma questions people like Rishi Sunak

For Anushka Shah, who serves as the executive producer in Gurinder Chadha's upcoming directorial Christmas Karma, being a producer is much more than just funding a project. As a founder of the production house, Civic Studios, she feels that there is a wrong image associated with her fraternity. According to her, being a producer is a big responsibility as each project involves a lot of capital, risk and also the emotions of everyone working on it. “A producer’s job is to bring all the right people together and then let them do their magic. There is a lot to manage," she says.

It was at the Cannes Film Festival last year that she met Bend It Like Beckham (2002) director Gurinder Chadha and so began their discussions of working on Gurinder's new musical Christmas Karma. She says, “The idea is not necessarily an Indian story, but it is looking at the Indian culture. It is looking at global issues with the lens of the global South.”

Christmas Karma is an adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic novella, A Christmas Carol. “It is an adaptation of a classic British tale, but it has the Gurinder Chadha masala musical flavour,” says Anushka. She reflects that it delves into the complexities of immigration and the rise of Indians in the Conservative Party in Britain. “It questions people like Rishi Sunak,” says the producer. “They have come to Britain due to immigration and have now become anti-immigrant in their policies.” In that way, she feels that the themes of Dickens' book, as well as the upcoming film, reflect the current state of the world. “How do you go from being hateful and resentful to then letting go of that hate? This was something which we both felt strongly about in our initial discussions.”

Scrooge is played on-screen by The Big Bang Theory-fame Kunal Nayyar. “Everyone knows him largely for doing a comic role in The Big Bang Theory, however, he plays a contrasting character in the film where for the most part, he's a really angry and grumpy person,” reveals Anushka.

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