Netflix announced March 6, that it will adapt Nidhi Chanani’s best-selling graphic novel Pashmina into an original CG animated musical with writer-director Gurinder Chadha (Bhaji on the Beach, Bend It Like Beckham), and producer Ashok Amritraj, and Chadha’s long-standing writing partner, Paul Mayeda Berges.
Chanani is an Indian-American freelance illustrator and artist.
Pashmina is a fantasy and adventure story that follows Priyanka, a first generation American of Indian descent, as she explores her family history with the help of a magical pashmina. The graphic novel is Chanani’s debut work and was lauded for its portrayal of Indian culture and feminism. It received numerous awards and recognition, including Amazon’s Top Twenty Children’s Book of the Year, Northern California Indie Bookseller Association Long-List Title and A Junior Library Guild Selection.
“When our hero, Priyanka, puts on the magical pashmina for the first time and is transported to the India of her dreams, that’s when the fun, the magic, the song and the dancing really come to life!” Chadha is quoted saying in a March 6 press release from Netflix.
“I’m overjoyed to share this announcement with you that my debut graphic novel PASHMINA will be adapted into an animated musical with Netflix. Gurinder Chadha, OBE and Ashok Amritraj are wonderful and I’m honored to have them take my work to new places,” Chanani said on Facebook.
“I’m a bit overwhelmed with the good news! Thank you to everyone involved, especially my husband Nick, my editor Mark Siegel and the entire team at First Second/Macmillan and my rockstar agent who years ago helped me believe in myself, Judy Hansen. And of course all the folks who supported PASHMINA since it’s release,” Chanani added.
“Pashmina is a wonderful coming-of-age story that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt like an outsider, and one that I believe Netflix families around the world will enjoy experiencing together,” Amritraj is quoted saying in the press release.
“Gurinder, Paul and Ashok together form a cinematic dream team and we’re beyond thrilled to work with them to bring to life the beautiful story of Pashmina – with its universal themes of family, female empowerment, and identity,” added Melissa Cobb, vice president of kids & family at Netflix. “Pashmina connects three generations of women across two continents in a timely story that we hope will resonate with family audiences around the world on Netflix.”
Pashmina will be produced by Amritraj’s Hyde Park Entertainment together with Chadha’s Bend It Films. Jon Levin of Fourward will serve as executive producer, along with Hyde Park’s Priya Amritraj and Addison Mehr as well as Berges and Chanani.
According to Chanani’s Facebook biography, she was born in Calcutta, brought up in California, and lives in San Francisco. She had her formal training in illustration from the academy of art in San Francisco and has a bachelor’s degree in literature from the University of California-Santa Cruz.