The presence of Indian cinema is being felt in this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, unlike the previous years with five Indian films having made fanfare entries into the 42nd edition of the ongoing film festival.
The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) which commenced on September 7 amidst high anticipation will be showcasing films from all corners of the world till September 17. TIFF 2017 is witnessing the participation of Indian filmmakers in a commendable way with five Indian films making into the screening list. The list includes ‘Pahuna-The Little Visitors’ by debutant filmmaker Paakhi A Tyrewala, produced by Priyanka Chopra; Hansal Mehta’s Omerta; The Brawler (Mukkebaaz in Hindi) by acclaimed filmmaker Anurag Kashyap; Rina Das’ Village Rockstars and The Hungry by Bornila Chatterjee.
Azmaish: A Journey Through the Subcontinent, a feature-length documentary by Pakistani filmmaker Sabiha Sumar sees Indian actor Kalki Koechlin in a pivotal role. The film follows Kalki Koechlin and Sabiha Sumar, who go on an extraordinary journey across India and Pakistan to understand why people in these two countries are turning to religious extremism for answers.
— ITW Blitz (@itwblitz) September 7, 2017
Standing ovation for Pahuna
Pahuna-The Little Visitors produced by Priyanka Chopra and her mother Madhu Chopra’s production house Purple Pebble Pictures received an overwhelming response at TIFF. The film shot entirely in Sikkim with a local cast marked the directorial debut of Paakhi A Tyrewala. The film delves into the anxiety of separation due to political unrest. The film follows the journey of three Nepalese children making their way to Sikkim after being separated from their parents. Speaking about the film, Priyanka told IANS, “This (northeast) is a part of India which does not get seen too much, does not get too many people coming and visiting. But it is a little piece of heaven; the stories, these kids and the perspectives that you saw when it comes to conversions, when it comes to religion, when it comes to kids being replaced and not knowing their parents and where they are going; it is such a special and important story and I think Paakhi told it very well.”
— TIFF (@TIFF_NET) September 7, 2017
Northeast all the way
Rina Das’ film Village Rockstars set in northeast India was shot in the childhood village of the filmmaker and employed local non-actors to maintain the realistic angle. The film is about a 10-year old girl from a remote village with a dream to form her own rock band. The filmmaker followed this girl’s journey as she overcomes obstacles thrown her way to carve a niche for herself in the world.
The Indo Connect
Vancouver-based Indian animation director and motion designer Kunal Sen has lent his ‘animated’ touch to two films at this year’s TIFF. Sen has contributed to Morgan Spurlock Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!, that got screened in TIFF Docs. Sen is also a part of Afghanistan-born Canadian director Tarique Qayumi’s Black Kite that got featured in the Contemporary World Cinema section. While in the Spurlock documentary, a follow-up to the directors career-launching Super Size Me (2004), Sen has directed more than 3 minutes of animation, he has also contributed to the entire length of seven-minutes in Black Kite“, the story of an Afghan kite-flying enthusiast who defies the Taliban to pursue his passion, egged on by his spirited little daughter.
Priyanka Chopra is the first Indian guest of honour at the TIFF Soiree, following the footsteps of renowned artists such as Michael Fassbender, Al Pacino and Natalie Portman in the previous years.