FILM FESTIVAL: Actor-politician Jaya Bachchan takes time out to help launch Vancouver fest

Published: October 31, 2012

GLEN SCHAEFER
VANCOUVER DESI

Indian actress-politician Jaya Bachchan talks about her life and her art while visiting Vancouver to help launch the South Asian Film Festival Canada on October 31, 2012. Ian Lindsay/PNG

In someone else’s schedule, travelling from Mumbai to Vancouver for a couple of days to help launch a new film festival would be something hectic.

But for actor-politician Jaya Bachchan, part of the hardest working family in Indian show business, it’s just another day.

“Can we have some more light, do you think? It’s so dark,” Bachchan says easily, taking quiet control as she takes a seat in a downtown hotel room.

She holds a seat in India’s parliament, and still does the occasional movie role, while also working on behalf of various Indian charitable causes.

Her husband of nearly 40 years is Indian superstar Amitabh Bachchan, who celebrated his 70th birthday last month, a milestone that became a days-long public event in India.

“It was a bit tiring, a lot to do,” she says. “I needed some time to relax, and I’m here, relaxing.”

Bachchan agreed to act as the patron of Vancouver’s new South Asian Film Festival Canada after a request from festival director Hannah Fisher.

“I was quite impressed to be informed that they have films from Afghanistan and Bhutan. Afghanistan I know because I have colleagues from Afghanistan, I know there are people who are inclined towards cinema. Bhutan, I didn’t realize they made films in Bhutan.”

She was due to light a ceremonial lamp to launch the festival Wednesday night at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, and her two days in Vancouver will include an onstage question-and-answer session with former premier Ujjal Dosanjh.

As we speak, an assistant is sending a birthday message to Jaya’s daughter-in-law, Indian film beauty Aishwarya Rai.

Typical of members of this high-profile family, Rai was kept busy on her birthday, visiting India’s French embassy to accept France’s honour of Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters.

So you believe Jaya Bachchan when she says that her work as an MP doesn’t interfere much with family life.

“In my family everyone’s so busy working,” she says. “Even if I am in [Mumbai], it doesn’t really make much difference. My husband works, my son works, my daughter-in-law works.”

A rare break will come mid-month, when the family gets together for the first birthday of Aishwarya and Abhishek Bachchan’s daughter, Aaradhya.

“I’m very excited about that,” says Jaya. “Aishwarya is absolutely a hands-on mother.”

The young Jaya Bhaduri first started work in film as a 13-year-old discovery of legendary director Satyajit Ray, in the Bengali film Mahanagar.

She went back to school after that, including film studies, and then returned to acting as an adult.

She married Amitabh Bachchan in 1973, and managed to keep her hand in film while raising their daughter Shweta and son Abhishek. Along the way, she has lent her name and profile to various environmental and social causes, most recently a drive for transparency in India’s blood-donor program.

“I still am making films, but they don’t come that often,” she says. “I think that people don’t write very much for, especially, women of my age.

“But that’s my first love. If I get a good role and the script is good, then yes.”

Meanwhile, duty calls back home. “I have to get back because I have a parliament session coming up.”

——————–

A conversation with Jaya Bachchan and Ujjal Dosanjh
Where: Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour St.
When: 3 p.m., Thursday
Tickets: $13/$11 at the door or at saffcanada.org

Tags: , , , , , ,





Featured

Homicide investigators are on scene at a stabbing in Surrey.

Homicide investigators on scene of stabbing in Surrey

KIM BOLAN POSTMEDIA NEWS Homicide investigators are on the scene of a fatal stabbing in Surrey Friday. S. Sgt. Jennifer Pound, of the Integrated Homicide…
Continue Reading »

525020624_213567324

Indian baby whose head swelled to three times its size smiling and laughing a year later (w/ photos)

VANCOUVER DESI A three-year-old girl in New Delhi who was given little chance of survival after her head swelled to three times its normal size…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver restaurateur Vikram Vij poses with Barinder Rasode at his new South Surrey restaurant My Shanti at an event Thursday night. Submitted photo.

Will Vikram Vij’s ‘support’ be enough to push Barinder Rasode into Surrey mayoralty ring?

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Still yet to officially announce a bid for mayor this fall, Surrey city councillor Barinder Rasode had an endorsement party of…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Homicide investigators are on scene at a stabbing in Surrey.

Homicide investigators on scene of stabbing in Surrey

KIM BOLAN POSTMEDIA NEWS Homicide investigators are on the scene of a fatal stabbing in Surrey Friday. S. Sgt. Jennifer Pound, of the Integrated Homicide…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver restaurateur Vikram Vij poses with Barinder Rasode at his new South Surrey restaurant My Shanti at an event Thursday night. Submitted photo.

Will Vikram Vij’s ‘support’ be enough to push Barinder Rasode into Surrey mayoralty ring?

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Still yet to officially announce a bid for mayor this fall, Surrey city councillor Barinder Rasode had an endorsement party of…
Continue Reading »

Today in History – Aug. 7

Advance THE CANADIAN PRESS Today in History for Aug. 7: On this date: In AD 117, Roman emperor Marcus Trajan died at age 65. His…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

child abuse

Indian kidnappers agree to handover boy to parents on condition of swapping him for his sister

CEN AGENCY In a bizarre demand, parents of an Indian boy who has been kidnapped, were told that they could have youngster back if they…
Continue Reading »

basketball

Indian minister criticizes ‘no-headgear’ rule after Sikh basketball players told to remove turbans during Asia Cup

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW DELHI — India’s sports minister has criticized the ‘no-headgear’ rule of basketball’s world body FIBA after two Sikh players on the…
Continue Reading »

Greece

Tipsy British tourist asked to leave church after mistaking it for a disco

CEN AGENCY A tipsy British tourist had to be asked to leave a church in Crete where he started dancing after local kids told him…
Continue Reading »

Surrey-weight lifter-Commonwealth Games-Glasgow

Surrey weightlifter Parm Phangura bound for Commonwealth Games

MICHAEL BOOTH SURREY NOW FLEETWOOD — 163+205=368. That stark equation scrawled in the top corner of a chalkboard means little to a casual observer, but…
Continue Reading »

Kolkata-India-cruelty-abuse

Private tutor mercilessly beats child, CCTV footage sparks outrage (w/video)

IANS Kolkata – A shocking video of a private tutor mercilessly beating a three-and-a-half-year-old child, caught on CCTV footage, has sparked outrage across the country….
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Desi beauty

Gallery: Bollywood beauty Aishwarya Rai at Commonwealth Games opening ceremony

VANCOUVER DESI Longines Ambassador of Elegance Aishwarya Rai Bachchan attended the Opening Ceremony of Glasgow 2014. Take a look at photos from the opening ceremony….
Continue Reading »

Slam! The Tour  poster Horizdesi

Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone gear up for Bollywood extravaganzas in Vancouver, Toronto and the U.S.

IANS New Delhi – Superstar Shah Rukh Khan is ready to shake a leg with his fans in the US after a gap of 10…
Continue Reading »

Actress Alia Bhatt attends the Highway premiere during 64th Berlinale International Film Festival at Zoo Palast on February 13, 2014 in Berlin, Germany.Clemens Bilan/Getty Images

Alia Bhatt feels she’s too young to team up with Bollywood’s Khans

IANS Mumbai – Bollywood’s reigning Khans are in their late 40s and 21-year-old Alia Bhatt feels she needs to look more matured to look convincing…
Continue Reading »