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Kunal Nayyar to Star as Lead in Gurinder Chadha’s Theatrical Feature Film Christmas Karma

 Mumbai : True Brit Entertainment, Bend It Films, Maven Screen Media and Civic Studios today announce ‘Christmas Karma’, a contemporary Bollywood musical set in contemporary London and inspired by Dickens’ much loved A Christmas Carol, with Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory) leading the cast as Scrooge and with further cast including Eva Longoria, Boy George, Billy Porter, Hugh Bonneville, Leo Suter, Charithra Chandran, Pixie Lott, Danny Dyer, Bilal Hasna, Allan Corduner, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Rufus Jones, Eve, Nitin Ganatra.

BAFTA nominated Gurinder Chadha (‘Bend It Like Beckham’, ‘Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging’, ‘Blinded by the Light’) wrote, is directing and producing the feature, with music by the six-time Ivor Novello award winning Gary Barlow. Financing for ‘Christmas Karma’ is from Civic Studios. Gurinder Chadha, Celine Rattray, Trudie Styler and Amory Leader will produce. Zygi Kamasa, Anushka Shah, Paul Mayeda Berges, Sophia Pedlow, Hannah Leader will serve as Executive Producers.

‘Christmas Karma’ is the fifth high profile scripted project from new British distributor True Brit Entertainment, who formed in November 2023. The feature also sees Chadha’s return to the big screen following her time working on the Indian historical television series ‘Beecham House’. Her last feature film “Blinded by the Light” premiered in Sundance 2019 and was subject to a frenzied bidding war with Warners Bros acquiring multiple territories.

Commenting on the new feature film, Anushka Shah, CEO, Civic Studios, said, “We are thrilled to partner with the acclaimed director Gurinder Chadha and an exceptional cast for ‘Christmas Karma.’ Being a global company with Indian roots, we are excited to achieve a new milestone as we take on this ambitious international project that speaks to audiences around the world, and especially the South Asian diaspora.”

‘Christmas Karma’ is part of a wider Civic Studios’ slate ranging from an animated feature film ‘Schirkoa’ that won the NETPAC award for the Best Asian Film at International Film Festival of Rotterdam 2024, to its latest OTT series ‘Family Aaj Kal’ released on SonyLIV, with several feature films and series in the pipeline. Civic Studios is a global media company that creates authentic stories of change, hope and pride, across formats of film, web series and short-form digital content and develops, finances, produces and co-produces for an Indian and international market with a distribution reach across theatres, film festivals and streaming platforms.

Gurinder Chadha commented: “Just as I have enjoyed Frank Capra’s ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ for many years, my aim with ‘Christmas Karma’ is to create a festive classic for our times and for generations to come.

By adapting one of history’s greatest novels – Charles Dickens’ CHRISTMAS CAROL – I am making a British Film from my unique, original point of view but one that resonates with Dickens’ masterful statement on the human condition.

I am delighted to be working with Anushka Shah and her lovely team at Civic Studios who have supported me on this project very early on. What a pleasure and honour it’s been for me to work with amazing Indian female producers.

I am blessed with such a great diverse Cast and eclectic Music team – the soundtrack will be banging, influenced by Gospel, Bhangra, Carols and classic pop songs. You will not be able to sit still!”

Zygi Kamasa commented: “Gurinder has an incredible ability to tell such interesting contemporary British stories. Its been over 20 years since we made Bend it like Beckham together and this film has all those hallmarks of heart, comedy, drama and an incredibly feelgood ending. It will be a celebration of multi-cultural London set to an incredible set of songs written by Gary, Shaznay and Nitin, using musical genres from Rap, to disco to Bhangra and will be the ultimate Christmas movie which we will release in December 2025. It really is the perfect fit to the range of British films we will release at True Brit.”

Kunal Nayyar commented: “To explore a beloved holiday tale through the eyes of an immigrant story (much like my own) is exactly the kind of movie that I believe will resonate with so many of us who are searching for the meaning of home. It takes a visionary like Gurinder to take a chance on a story like this, and I am humbled to be a part of it. “

Gary Barlow commented: “It was an absolute honour to be asked to write music for Christmas Karma. I love Gurinder personally and professionally, and to collaborate with such a diverse and eclectic cast on the soundtrack has been really great fun.”

Nitin Sawhney commented: “It has been such fun working on Christmas Karma with Gurinder. She is a relentless tsunami of ideas, creativity and inspiration, who makes the alchemy of magical movie-making so enjoyable. To take an old Dickens classic like “A Christmas Carol” and make it relevant to multicultural contemporary Britain is no easy task but Gurinder has done so with impressively effortless good grace, humour and ambition. I am honoured to bring my own eclectic background of orchestral scoring, Indian classical influences, electronica, songwriting and composition to a cinematic table already replete with the exciting ingredients of an unforgettable Christmas classic.”

Shaznay Lewis commented: “It has been a wonderful experience working with Gurinder on Christmas Karma. Putting these songs together has been a writer’s dream, and the creative process has been an exceptional journey for me. Gurinder is a powerhouse, and her will and wit are something to be admired. I have learned a lot, and I’m incredibly honoured to be a part of the writing team.”

Gurinder Chadha is represented by CAA. Kunal Nayyar is represented by Innovative and Lovett Management. Eva Longoria is represented by Linden Entertainment, WME, Sunshine Sachs Morgan & Lylis and Yorn, Levine, Barnes.  Billy Porter is represented by CAA, Industry Entertainment and Slate PR. Boy George is represented by Paul Kemsley. Hugh Bonneville represented by Gordon and French.

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