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Page last updated at 15:35 GMT, Wednesday, 20 October 2010 16:35 UK
West is West follow-up confirmed by Salford film writer
The cast of West is West
The cast of West is West at the premiere in London

The Salford writer of West is West, the sequel to East is East, has confirmed that a third film will be made.

Ayub Khan Din was speaking at the UK premiere of West is West, ten years after East is East became a hit.

The sequel focuses on the turbulent relationship between the youngest son Sajid, now 15, and his father, George 'Genghis' Khan.

West is West, which continues the true story of Ayub Khan Din's childhood, is released in February 2011.

Interview

Writer Ayub Khan Din spoke to BBC Asian Network reporter Shabnam Mahmood.

Why has it taken ten years to write a sequel to East is East?

Ayub Khan Din
West is West is based on the fact that I was that boy, I did suffer a lot of racism in school, I did truant, I did petty shoplifting.
Ayub Khan Din, writer

"I don't know. Initially, I didn't want to jump straight in to doing a sequel partly because of the success of East is East, both as a play and a film, and also because people's expectations would have been for me to recapture what East is East was with the same emotions and humour. I wanted to take those characters, the humour and the subject matter and put them on a broader emotional canvas which I think I've managed to do with this film."

Couldn't you have done it sooner?

"No, because East is East was my first play and screenplay and, for the last ten years, I've really worked at my craft and I think the script is better for that. And also, my actors have matured as well - not that Om Puri (George Khan) needs any moment to mature because his acting is just incredible - the depth of emotion he gets is amazing. And also with the new actress who plays his first wife, Ila Arun (Mrs Khan No. 1) - she's amazing too. Maybe we would never have got her ten years ago. So all these things tend to work out for the best."

East is East was the story of your childhood in Salford. Is the sequel autobiographical too?

"Yes. West is West again is based on the fact that I was that boy - I did suffer a lot of racism in school, I did truant, I did petty shoplifting. I wasn't caught by the police but I was sent to Pakistan for a year.

"I think my parents thought, 'we need to do something now to show him, by sending him to Pakistan, what a good life he's got here.' And it did. Don't ask me what it taught me: I ran wild for a year in Pakistan - gave my father's first wife and her daughters and the relatives hell -but I think having that freedom matured me in a way. So I went from Salford in 1974 to Pakistan where there was no electricity, the water came from a well and there were no toilets."

How like your own family is the Khan family in the film?

Sajid Khan, West is West
The story of Sajid is based on writer Ayub Khan Din's childhood

"Well, the mother and father are direct portrayals of my own parents. Sajid is me as a 12, 13-year-old boy. There was ten in my family - eight boys and two girls - but we could never put that many people on the stage or in the film. So the characters, they're just aspects of my own brothers and sisters with my arguments. But the nucleus, the mother, father, and the youngest boy are complete portrayals."

What did your family say about how the film portrays them?

"I think they accepted that it wasn't really my family. Even though they recognised the autobiographical aspects of East is East, they understood that the arguments coming out of the characters' mouths were my arguments. But they loved it, they really enjoyed it."

West is West is humorous but has serious undertones...

"It's like life. Life isn't all a barrel of laughs and it was the same with my life in Salford. There was comedy that went with the tragedy and the same thing happens with West is West. At moments, it's hysterically funny but then you're brought back down to Earth. But I think it's only through the comedy that you accept the emotional depths that these characters have to go through. You can't have one without the other."

There's talk of a trilogy. Can you confirm that..?

"Yes, there's going to be a third film, at what point I don't know but definitely within the next ten years."

West is West premiered at the BFI London Film Festival on Tuesday 19 October. It's released at UK cinemas in February 2011.




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