A flavour of India as Toronto film festival celebrates 40 years

  • Anirudh Bhattacharyya, Hindustan Times, Toronto
  • Updated: Jul 30, 2015 11:34 IST

Acclaimed Toronto-based director Deepa Mehta’s latest film, Beeba Boys, is among the major features that will headline the 40th anniversary edition of the Toronto International Film Festival, which is among the major movie events internationally.

It was among the highlights for the 2015 version of the Festival by its CEO and Director Piers Handling and Artistic Director Cameron Bailey.

Speaking to the Hindustan Times at the event, Mehta said, “I feel thrilled about it. You make a film and you don’t know where’s it’s going to land up and it just so happened we finished right in time for TIFF. Thank God they liked it, otherwise I would’ve been really upset.”

That world premiere screening will be in September, while the films releases in North America in mid-October and is likely to show in India this December.

The film is a fictional take on the violent world of Indo-Canadian gangs in the West Canada city of Vancouver and its suburbs, in the midst of turf battles over illicit drugs and arms trade. The ensemble cast is led by Randeep Hooda who plays mobster Jeet Johar.

For Mehta, this is actually an indication of the community going mainstream, as she said, “It’s a fascinating story about immigration. Finally, the Beeba Boys is about assimilation because people who take up crime, if you think about it, that can only happen once they start getting assimilated.”

Special presentations at the Festival this year also includes director Meghna Gulzar’s Guilty, which is based on the events around the Aarushi Talwar murder mystery.

Indian director Leena Yadav brings another world premiere in Parched, which is about three women who “dare to break free from the century old patriarchal ways of their village in the desert heartland of rural India.”

One gala highlight of interest will be the British film The Man Who Knew Infinity, which looks a mathematics genius Srinivas Ramanujan’s tenure at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1913, and his relationship with mentor GH Hardy.

Mehta was also excited that the actors in her film get to play something other than stereotypical “brown” roles in her film, as she said, “It’s really wonderful for these actors because they’re so talented because we never get a chance to play anything except terrorists. It’s so wonderful they’re all main roles. They’re going to blow your brains out.”

Somewhat like the real characters their roles are based on.

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