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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 July 2006, 12:24 GMT 13:24 UK
Brick Lane makers cancel filming
Monica Ali
Monica Ali won widespread acclaim for her debut novel
The makers of the film Brick Lane have cancelled filming in the London area where it is set owing to opposition from the Bangladeshi community there.

Ruby Films said it had been advised by police and Tower Hamlets council not to film in Brick Lane area, Shoreditch.

Brick Lane Business Association chairman Mahmoud Roug told BBC News it was a "victory for the community".

Some members of the Bangladeshi community claim that the original novel, by Monica Ali, is "insulting".

The book is about a Bangladeshi woman sent to London for an arranged marriage.

Ruby Films is now seeking alternative locations for exterior scenes it had been due to film in the Brick Lane area this weekend.

Community victory

A spokeswoman said: "We have been advised by the police and Tower Hamlets council that it is probably best not to film there.

"We wouldn't want to go anywhere where we are not wanted, or put anyone at risk."

Mr Roug said: "If they have moved from here and will not be filming here, it is a victory for the community."

The original novel said "a lot of wrong and bad things about the community", he said.

Once the film is finished and people are able to see it, then we will be happy to open a dialogue on it
Ruby Films spokeswoman
"As the book was saying things against the people of the Brick Lane area, they shouldn't come to do their filming around Brick Lane.

"The people [of Brick Lane] have been humiliated, and they [the film-makers] should not come near to them."

Ruby Films claims it has maintained constant contact with community members, including as both consultants and crew.

"We want to just get the film finished," said the spokeswoman.

"Once the film is finished and people are able to see it, then we will be happy to open a dialogue on it."

Brick Lane, which was Ali's debut novel, was shortlisted for the 2003 Booker Prize.

In December 2003 Bangladeshi community leaders from The Greater Sylhet Development and Welfare Council - which represents Bangladeshis in the UK - called the book a "despicable insult".

At the time, Random House said the company did not believe the book's views were offensive.

Brick Lane 'fury' over film plans
18 Jul 06 |  Entertainment
Author Ali on women's prize list
15 Mar 04 |  Entertainment
Ali nominated for US book prize
20 Jan 04 |  Entertainment
Ali's Brick Lane upsets community
03 Dec 03 |  Entertainment
Ali's 'refreshingly' simple tale
17 Sep 03 |  Entertainment


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