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SOAS South Asia Institute

Bhaji on the Beach

Bhaji on the Beach

Film still: Bhaji on the Beach

Date: 10 March 2014Time: 6:30 PM

Finishes: 10 March 2014Time: 9:30 PM

Venue: Brunei GalleryRoom: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Film

Celebrating International Women’s Day Focus - Women In Films


From the director of 2002's box office smash hit Bend it Like Beckham, comes this hilarious comedy about a disparate group of Asian women from Birmingham who go on a day trip to Blackpool and consider their lives along the way.

A day trip to see the lights should be just a harmless break from the routine for a mini-bus full of women from the Asian Women's Centre. It all seems innocent enough but as the mini-bus trundles along to a Punjabi rendition of Cliff Richards "Summer Holiday" problems quickly become apparent. Ginder is fleeing her violent husband with her 5 year old son. Hashida is eighteen, about to start medical school, and has just discovered that she is pregnant by her black boyfriend. Teenage sisters Madhu and Ladhu, with no parent in sight, are on the rampage... for a man or perhaps a boy! Asha is to discover that there is life and indeed romance beyond the confines of the shop counter. And the judgemental Pushpa faces her day of reckoning when she encounters some male strippers.

By the end of the day a good deal more has been illuminated than just a stick of rock and a kiss-me-quick hat!

Bhaji on the Beach

5.30 pmReception with a Photo Exhibition,  'She Rises: Inspiring Change', (Oxfam & Asian Circle)in the Brunei Gallery Suite
6.30 pm


  • Michael Hutt, Director, SOAS, South Asia Institute
  • Pushpinder Chowdhry, PhD, Director, Tongues Of Fire
  • Santosh Bhanot, PhD, Chair, Asian Circle
6.45 pmFilm Screening: Bhaji on the Beach
8.40 pm

Panel Discussion: In Conversation

3-way discussion with Radha Bedi leading the discussion with Shaheen Khan and Shan Khan. Unfortunately, Meera Syal will not be able to participate in the event due to unforeseen circumstances. The topics around the  discussion will include Women's Community Spirit/Racism/Domestic Violence  and how it impacts Asians in the UK and comparisons from 'back-home'.


Best Newcomer Evening Standard Film Awards; winner of Locarno Prize of the Ecumenical Jury & Youth Jury Award; nominated for Alexander Korda outstanding British Film BAFTA; also nominated for the Golden Leopard award in Locarno.


Meera Syal MBE, Writer & Actor

Meera Syal is a British-born actress and writer who studied English literature and Drama at Manchester University (gaining a double first) and won the National Student Drama Award and the Edinburgh Scottish Circle Critics’ Award for her self-penned one-woman show, One of Us.  Meera Syal is the recipient of 11 National Awards including the Women In Film and Television’s Creative Achievement Award (2008) and was awarded an MBE for Services To The Arts. In 2011 she was visiting Professor of Theatre at St Catherine’s College, Oxford University. She is currently appearing as Granny Kumar in a new series of The Kumars for Sky television.

Radha Bedi, Investigative Journalist

Radha Bedi is an experienced broadcast journalist whose talent and skills first began within fast paced newsrooms. Her forte lies in reporting; and currently freelances within TV news and long-form documentary making. Radha’s diverse skill set also allows her to work within current affairs, in particular, investigative documentaries for Channel 4’s Dispatches and BBC Panorama. ‘India: A Dangerous Place to be A Woman’ is Radha’s latest presentation. This powerful BBC foreign documentary examines what life is like for women and girls living in India today.

International Women's Day

International Women's Day celebrates the social, political and economic achievements of women while focusing world attention on areas requiring further action. Each year International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. The first International Women's Day was held in 1911. Thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organisations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women's groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day. Inspiring Change is the 2014 theme for this years IWD and calls for challenging the status quo for women's equality and vigilance inspiring positive change.

On International Women's Day Oxfam celebrate women who are making a difference in the fight against hunger and poverty.  We engage with supporters nationwide as we celebrate the power of women to change the world – one action at a time. Oxfam supporters all over the country are putting on events to help women build a better future for themselves and their families.  

Tongues on Fire

Tongues on Fire is also the producer of the London Asian Film Festival that aims to entertain, inform, educate and affect change in mood, emotion or thought. This annual film festival has been going strong for over fifteen years and champions both arts and cinema intertwining political and social messages with entertainment.

Asian Circle

Asian Circle is a network of UK based influential Asian Women with a passion to support women in India and South Asia. Founded and Chaired by Santosh Bhanot, Asian Circle   membership includes leading business women, lawyers, scientists, financiers, all working in partnership with Oxfam to fight poverty. Leadership and direction of the Asian Circle is provided by a Steering Committee.  The Asian Circle aims to support projects that increase South Asian women’s capability and full participation in their communities through strengthening voice, gaining equality and realising their earning potential.  The Asian Circle is an integral part of the ‘The Circle’ Network:   'The Circle' which was founded by the singer,  Annie Lennox in 2008 is a partnership of highly influential women who are passionate about women's rights, empowering other women and female leadership.

Organiser: SOAS South Asia Institute

Contact email: centres@soas.ac.uk

Contact Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4892/3