The Toronto film Festival 2010, which began this Thursday, will have a lot to offer to its Bollywood patrons. On show are Anurag Kashyap’s That Girl In Yellow Boots, featuring Kalki Koechlin and Naseeruddin Shah, Kiran Rao’s Dhobi Ghat, co-starring Aamir Khan and Prateik Babbar, Sidharth Srinivasan’s Pairon Tale (Soul Of Sand) and actor Aamir Bashir’s directorial debut, Harud (Autumn), with Iranian actor Reza Naji and Shahnawaz Bhat.
Co-director of the festival, Cameron Bailey was all praise for Kiran Rao’s Dhobi Ghat, describing it as “a love letter to Mumbai”. Bashir’s Harud, he says, “is a remarkable achievement marked by indelible performances and a deep understanding of politics of family and war”.
That Girl In Yellow Boots has already made news when a bold scene with Koechlin was leaked on the Internet. Since Kashyap wanted to position the film as an emotional story, he is understandably upset. Koechlin remains upbeat: “The film was well received at the Venice Film Festival and Anurag and I are looking forward to a positive response at Toronto before its November release in India.”
Bashir’s Harud will have its world premiere at the festival and he’s hoping to meet his idols, Robert Redford and Clint Eastwood. He’s also hoping to hit the international market that’s slowly coming out of recession.
“I’m also excited about watching non-American films that are not easily available on DVD back home,” he smiles. “And I’m looking forward to getting a first-hand response from an international audience to a film on Kashmir… The stress and the psychological damage people have gone through in the valley.”
Sidharth Srinivasan who’s produced Pairon Tale with the support of the Rotterdam International Film Festival's Hubert Bals Fund, believes his film stands a good shot at crossing over.