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

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

Surrey First

Surrey mayor fires back, tells Barinder Rasode ‘she’s misleading the public’ about her safety concerns

AMY REID SURREY NOW SURREY — Since Coun. Barinder Rasode announced her departure from the Surrey First slate last week, Mayor Dianne Watts has yet to…
Continue Reading »

Russian social services have confiscated a two-month-old baby from his mother after she pushed him onto the rail tracks in his pram during a heated row with the boy's father. CEN Agency

Video: Angry mom wants baby back that she shoved onto train tracks (w/gallery)

CEN AGENCY Russian social services have confiscated a two-month-old baby from his mother after she pushed him onto the rail tracks in his pram during…
Continue Reading »

Crime Against women,females

Minor boys rape two girls in separate incidents in Rajasthan and Jharkhand

HINDUSTAN TIMES Two minor girls were allegedly sexually assaulted by teenagers – also minors – in two separate but shockingly similar incidents in Jharkhand and…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Surrey First

Surrey mayor fires back, tells Barinder Rasode ‘she’s misleading the public’ about her safety concerns

AMY REID SURREY NOW SURREY — Since Coun. Barinder Rasode announced her departure from the Surrey First slate last week, Mayor Dianne Watts has yet to…
Continue Reading »

Bangladesh factory victims honoured

Canadian designer Laura Siegel’s Project Eleven27 honours victims of Bangladesh factory collapse (w/gallery)

LAUREN LA ROSE THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — Seeing images emerge from the world’s worst garment industry accident hit Laura Siegel hard — then led…
Continue Reading »

Restaurant-Temporary Foreign Workers

Restaurant that allegedly laid off long-serving employees in favour of temporary foreign workers under investigation

THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA — The federal government said Monday it is investigating a Saskatchewan restaurant where two long-serving waitresses say they and two others…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Mouse deer

World’s smallest deer that’s more like a ‘mouse’ born at a Spain zoo

CEN AGENCY The world’s smallest deer – more like a mouse – with a heritage stretching back millions of years has been born at a…
Continue Reading »

Rape-Gang rape-crime against women

Indians view rape as ‘very big problem’: Poll

MATTHEW PENNINGTON THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON — A new poll shows that Indians view rape as a big problem in their country and think the…
Continue Reading »

Desi-bhoot bangla-China-Asia

Gallery: No one wants these luxury villas in ‘The City of the Dead’

CEN AGENCY These are the luxury homes that no-one wants in a place locals call ‘The City of the Dead’. Over 100 villas here have…
Continue Reading »

In this Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, file photo, Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri attends the NCAA college basketball game between Syracuse and North Carolina State in Syracuse, N.Y. AP Photo/Nick Lisi

Miss America asks U.S. high school to reconsider suspending student who asked her to prom (w/ gallery)

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS  YORK, Pa. — Miss America is asking a Pennsylvania school district to reconsider the punishment of a high school senior who asked…
Continue Reading »

biniaz

Vancouver beauty queen Sahar Biniaz onto new ventures after Miss Universe Canada reign (w/ gallery)

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Life hasn’t always been glamorous for Vancouver beauty queen Sahar Biniaz. The Indian-born and Iran-raised beauty spent most of her elementary…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Indian Oscars-Bollywood

Tampa an unusual choice for Bollywood Oscars

TAMARA LUSH THE ASSOCIATED PRESS TAMPA, Fla. — The so-called Bollywood Oscars have been held in Macau, Singapore, London and now … Tampa? Starting on…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Sonam Kapoor supports art foundation running camps for underprivileged children

IANS New Delhi – Actress Sonam Kapoor has lent her support to Rouble Nagi Art Foundation, which runs art camps for underprivileged kids in India….
Continue Reading »

Bollywood actress

Nargis Fakhri caught on video screaming expletives in fear while shooting action sequence

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS  Mumbai – Nargis Fakhri was seen screaming expletives in a video recording during the shooting of “Main Tera Hero” and she…
Continue Reading »