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

desi-crime-sexual assault

Surrey man who pleaded guilty to mistreating sex trade workers should go to prison for 2-3 years: Crown

KEITH FRASER VANCOUVER DESI SURREY — A Surrey man who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old sex trade worker nearly 20 years ago and…
Continue Reading »

sexual harassment

‘Will you have fun with me?’: Immigration officer sexually harasses female passenger at Delhi airport

HINDUSTAN TIMES An immigration officer at the Delhi airport has been suspended after a female passenger complained that he sexually harassed her by asking obscene…
Continue Reading »

crime-Surrey

Two Surrey men in hospital with gunshot wounds after targeted shooting

VANCOUVER DESI SURREY — Two men are in hospital with gunshot wounds following what appears to be a targeted shooting in Surrey on Thursday night….
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

desi-crime-sexual assault

Surrey man who pleaded guilty to mistreating sex trade workers should go to prison for 2-3 years: Crown

KEITH FRASER VANCOUVER DESI SURREY — A Surrey man who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old sex trade worker nearly 20 years ago and…
Continue Reading »

Changes to Nova Scotia law allow sex assault victims to sue retroactively

By Keith Doucette THE CANADIAN PRESS HALIFAX — Nova Scotians who have been sexually assaulted can now launch civil lawsuits against their perpetrators regardless of…
Continue Reading »

Changes to Nova Scotia law allow sex assault victims to sue retroactively

By Keith Doucette THE CANADIAN PRESS HALIFAX — Nova Scotians who have been sexually assaulted can now launch civil lawsuits against their perpetrators regardless of…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

World Cup final

Underarm incident recalled as Australia-New Zealand rivalry rekindles in World Cup final

STEVE MCMORRAN THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MELBOURNE, Australia — Relations between New Zealand and Australia at a political level have regained their natural cordiality in the…
Continue Reading »

Cricket World Cup

Clarke’s Australians prepare to take on unpopular role in the World Cup final vs New Zealand

JOHN PYE THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MELBOURNE, Australia — Win or lose, Michael Clarke and his Australian teammates are probably going to be portrayed as the…
Continue Reading »

India-Australia-weird news

Youth cut his tongue as sacrifice at an Indian temple for nation’s cricket victory

IANS Chennai – In a senseless act, a cricket crazy youth in Tamil Nadu offered the tip of his tongue as a sacrifice at a…
Continue Reading »

Freedom-Section 66A-India

Teenager shoots himself after father bans Facebook chat

IANS Lucknow - A 14-year-old boy shot himself Thursday after his father reprimanded him for chatting too often on social networking site Facebook, police said. The…
Continue Reading »

messy custody battle-desi lingerie model

Jeremy Renner’s messy divorce from B.C. model gets messier as custody battle rages

VANCOUVER DESI A B.C. woman who was married to Hollywood actor Jeremy Renner is being accused of being a gold digger and blackmailer who has…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

pakistani sex meera-Veena Malik

Gallery: Bollywood celebs in trouble with the law

ALMAS MEHERALLY VANCOUVER DESI Indian film actress Shruti Haasan has run into legal trouble after she pulled out of a signed contract, according to an…
Continue Reading »

Salman Khan-Bollywood

Bollywood actor Salman Khan denies he was driving or drunk during 2002 accident

IANS Mumbai – Bollywood actor Salman Khan on Friday told a Mumbai court, conducting the trial of the 2002 hit-and-run case involving him, that he…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood movie

Amitabh Bachchan: Balki challenges me with never-done-before roles

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS Mumbai – R. Balakrishnan and Amitabh Bachchan’s much anticipated third outing “Shamitabh” turned out to be a box office disaster, but…
Continue Reading »