East Is East a play by Ayub Khan-Din, opened at the Royal Court Theatre on 26 March 1997.
In 1999, it was made into a film of the same name, directed by Damien O’Donnell. The comedy-drama is set in Salford, Lancashire in 1971, in a mixed-ethnicity British household headed by Pakistani father George (Om Puri) and an English mother, Ella (Linda Bassett). George expects his family to follow Pakistani ways, but his children, who were born and grew up in Britain, increasingly see themselves as British and reject Pakistani customs of dress, food, religion, and living in general, leading to a rise in tensions and conflicts in the whole family.
Made for a £1.9 million budget, it grossed more than £10 million in the UK and more than $4.1 million in US cinemas. In addition, when the film was released on video and DVD, it made £12.3 million in UK rentals alone.
In France, the film was called Fish and Chips: la comédie qui croustille! (“Fish and Chips: the crunchy comedy!”).
The film won the Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film at the BAFTA Awards, and was declared Best Comedy Film at the British Comedy Awards.
The screenwriter, Ayub Khan-Din, won both a British Independent Film Award and a London Critics Circle Film Award for his screenplay. He was also nominated for two BAFTA Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay and the Carl Foreman Award for the Most Promising Newcomer, and for a European Film Award for Best Screenwriter.
The director, Damien O’Donnell, won Best Debut at the UK Empire Awards, won the Evening Standard British Film Awards and Fantasporto for Best Film, won the OCIC Special Award at the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, won the Kingfisher Award at the Ljubljana International Film Festival, and received a number of nominations, among them a British Independent Film Awards nomination and a David di Donatello Awards nomination.
Image (c) Channel 4 Films.