Masterchef India winner Shipra Khanna with Sash Simpson in Born Hungry | Melbar Entertainment Group

Priyanka Chopra Jonas Boards Canadian Doc Born Hungry

Barry Avrich's new doc premieres at Hot Docs on Apr. 26

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3 mins read

Priyanka Chopra Jonas has signed on as a producer to the Canadian documentary Born Hunger. The award winning actor and producer’s Purple Pebble Pictures joins forces with the team of director/producer Barry Avrich’s Melbar Entertainment group. The news comes today via a release. Mary Rohlich, Purple Pebble Pictures’ Head of TV and Film also joins the film as producer.

Born Hungry offers an intimate portrait of Toronto-based celebrity chef Sash Simpson and his journey from living on the streets of Chennai, India, to being an acclaimed figure of Canada’s culinary scene. His restaurant Sash opened shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic closed it for months, nearly shuttering a hard-fought dream. Despite the challenges, the upscale Yonge Street restaurant continues Simpson’s underdog story and serves a spread of foie gras, lobster, and signature cocktails to this day. The doc follows Simpson as he reconnects with the tastes and spices of India.

“Sash’s story immediately captivated me, presenting a stunning opportunity to not only showcase India but to also capture his journey and his profound passion for finding his family and himself,” said Chopra Jonas in a statement. “At Purple Pebble Pictures, we are grounded by the mission of leveraging the power of cinema to tell global stories that shift people’s perspectives, and I am immensely proud of our collaboration on this project.”

“I have always loved the brilliantly colorful storytelling from India and the vibrancy of iconic Bollywood filmmaking,” added Avrich. “When I discovered this story, I was immediately struck by the passion and complexity of this emotional journey.” Avrich’s previous credits include Without Precedent: The Supreme Life of Rosalie Abella, which screened in the Big Ideas series at Hot Docs last year and frequently charted in the Audience Award rankings.

Born Hungry was announced last week as one of five films selected for the Scotiabank Big Ideas series at Hot Docs. The marquee series features extended conversations with talent following the screenings. Avrich and Simpson will attend for a post-screening Q&A. Born Hungry had its world premiere at Palm Springs earlier this year where the Desert Sun highlighted it as an example of how “[e]veryone has a great story to tell” with an appropriately cinematic twist coming from the fact that Simpson lived in a theatre before his adoption by a Canadian family. The film premieres at Hot Docs on April 26.

Pat Mullen is the publisher of POV Magazine. He holds a Master’s in Film Studies from Carleton University where his research focused on adaptation and Canadian cinema. Pat has also contributed to outlets including The Canadian Encyclopedia, Paste, That Shelf, Sharp, Xtra, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association and an international voter for the Golden Globe Awards.

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