UK, Germany, USA


Eighteen year-old Jess's parents want her to be a nice, conventional Indian girl. But she just wants to play football like her hero, David Beckham. For Jess, that means kicking a ball around the local park with the lads until she's spotted by Jules, who invites her to join the local women's football team. The girls are the same age and they share the same dreams. As they become firm friends, their team really starts to go places.
But Jess's parents don't understand why she won't settle down, study for law school and learn to cook the perfect chapatti. Why, they wonder, can't she be more like her sister, Pinky, who's engaged to a very suitable young man? If they only knew what Pinky gets up...
Jules dreams of playing pro-football in the United States, but her Mum wishes she could be a bit more girlie — how is she ever going to find a boyfriend if she won't put on a dress? What her Mum doesn't know is that Jules isn't interested in playing the field -she's just after one man, Joe, but being the team coach, Joe is out of bounds.

Director's Biography

Gurinder Chadha began her career as a BBC news reporter. She went on to direct award-winning documentaries for the British Film Institute, BBC and Channel 4. Chadha's first feature 'Bhaji on the Beach', won numerous International awards including jury prizes at Locarno and several audience's favorite film awards. lt received a BAFTA nomination for 'Best British Film' of 1994 and Chadha won the 'Evening Standard British Film Award' for Best Newcomer to British Cinema. Chadha's second feature What's Cooking?', was released in the US in 2000 and internationally in the summer of 2001, both to great critical acclaim. Starring Alfre Woodard, Joan Chen, Kyra Sedgwick, Julianna Margulies and Mercedes Ruehl, it was the first British script to be invited to the prestigious Sundance Institute's Writer's Lab. lt was voted joint 'Audience Award' winner in the New York Film Critics 2000 season (tied with Billy Elliot), and was voted 'Best Film' at the 2001 Birmingham Film Festival. The LA Times and Roger Ebert named it as one of the best films of 2000. Chadha is currently working on a US Studio Project 'Neurotica' for New Line Cinema, 'The Mistress of Spices' for Mike Newell's Fifty Cannon Productions and 'Bollywood Untitled', for Pathe.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Gurinder Chadha

Written by: Gurinder Chadha, Guljit Bindra, Paul Mayeda Berges

Produced by: Gurinder Chadha, Deepak Nayar

Cinematography: Jong Lin

Editing: Justin Krish

Production Design: Nick Ellis

Costume Design: Ralph Holes

Make-Up & Hair: Julie van Praag

Original Score: Craig Pruess

Cast: Juliet Stevenson (Paula Paxton), Parminder Nagra (Jesminder „Jess“ Bhamra), Keira Knightley (Juliette „Jules“ Paxton), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Joe), Anupam Kher (Mr. Bhamra), Archie Panjabi (Pinky Bhamra), Shaznay Lewis (Mel), Frank Harper (Alan Paxton)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Film 2002