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Indian rush at Toronto film festival

One of the main attractions of the 37th Toronto International Film Festival or TIFF this September will be the world premiere of Indo-Canadian director Deepa Mehta’s film version of Salman Rushdie’s novel Midnight’s Children.

world Updated: Jul 26, 2012 00:06 IST
Anirudh Bhattacharyya

One of the main attractions of the 37th Toronto International Film Festival or TIFF this September will be the world premiere of Indo-Canadian director Deepa Mehta’s film version of Salman Rushdie’s novel Midnight’s Children.

“It will be premiering here,” Mehta confirmed to HT, at the venue of the festival.

While Midnight’s Children is to release in theatres this October, Mehta, a Toronto native, said the much-anticipated film based on the winner of the Booker of Bookers award, “is now finished” and after a few challenging months, she finally has time for a vacation.

Author Rushdie took to Twitter to express his pleasure: “It’s official now: the film of Midnight’s Children will be at the Toronto International Film Festival, special Gala Screening. So delighted!”

While Midnight’s Children will be the highlight, another major Indian-origin director with a project based on a work of fiction will also have her latest movie showcased at TIFF, North America’s pre-eminent film festival.

Mira Nair’s film based on Pakistani writer Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist will have its North American premiere at the festival, even as it heads to the Venice film festival for its world premiere.

At what is shaping up to be a banner year for Indian films and filmmakers at TIFF, Indian women directors will be getting quite a lot of attention as another world premiere gala has been scheduled for Gauri Shinde’s new film English Vinglish.

Part of the reason for the choice of this movie, explained TIFF’s artistic director Cameron Bailey, was that it marked former star Sridevi’s “comeback”.

There may actually be a dozen or more films from the Indian film industry at the festival, marking its most extensive presence at TIFF or at any major international film festival and a huge boost to Indian cinema at the global level.

The City to City section of the festival’s programming this year will spotlight Mumbai and will include 10 films, across genres. As Bailey said, “This is the biggest selection of Indian films we’ve had at this festival.”

The opening night film will be Looper, starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.