Gurinder Chadha still struggles to pitch projects with an Asian-led cast.

The 'Bend it Like Beckham' director has heaped praise on the BFI (British Film Institute) and National Lottery Fund for helping her people's ''perspective'' be told and admitted their work is ''essential'' in bringing diversity to the cinema.

Speaking ahead of National Lottery Cinema Day this Sunday (25.08.19), Gurinder said: ''My biggest hurdle as a young director and even today, is when I choose to tells stories that have an Asian cast in the lead.

''Sadly in our industry, if you want to tell stories from our perspective, its immediately seen as not a commercial proposition - I always try to prove the opposite and say, 'Yes it is!'

''But I think without the support of the Lottery, I don't think we would be seeing a lot of the stories that we do see in terms of British cinema, because the industry just doesn't back them.

''[And so] I think that the BFI and National Lottery play an essential role in nurturing what British cinema is, and what British cinema voices are.

''I think that it has certainly opened up cinema in all kinds of different ways in terms of representing what the population of the British Isles is.''

Gurinder has also made the films such as 'Bride and Prejudice' and this year's 'Blinded By The Light', which tells the story of Javed (Viveik Kalra), a Pakistani teenager who experiences racial and economic turmoil while living in Luton, England.

Whilst on the small screen, the filmmaker has had success recently with drama 'Beecham House' starring Tom Bateman in the lead role of John Beecham.

Gurinder insisted that without being able to share these stories, her community would be ''more or less absent'' in the history of Britain culture, which is why it's vital to get the backing of organisations like the BFI.

She added: ''As I said just now, I think it's essential that we have mechanisms that allow us to tell stories from all different points of views.

''If I hadn't made any of the films I've made, there would be very little record of multicultural Britain and Asian Britain, from my perspective.

''Imagine if there had been no 'Bend It Like Beckham', or no 'Bride and Prejudice' or even 'Blinded By The Light'?!

''The Asian community would be more or less absent from the cinema screen.

''So yes, I think it's essential that we have those mechanisms of the Lottery and the BFI to help support diverse voices.

To kick-start celebrations for 25 years of the National Lottery, over half a million FREE tickets are available for National Lottery players at over 250 cinemas across the UK this Sunday (25 August 2019) for National Lottery Cinema Day.

Simply use your 24th August Lotto Double Event ticket for a free cinema ticket on National Lottery Cinema Day - at participating cinemas. Find out more at www.CinemaDay.co.uk.