'Singh is Kinng' in India. But, Canada's permanent resident Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar reportedly faced hurdles to see his blockbuster through in the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival.
And, now it seems that 'Kinng's flick isn't going well with critics in this democratic North American nation, the reason being the entry of an out-and-out commercial movie in the film festival mostly dominated by art films.
However, TIFF co-director Cameron Bailey has strongly defended his decision to invite 'Singh is Kinng' to Toronto.
"The idea is to bring the full diversity of Indian cinema to audiences in Toronto. People here are familiar with India's regional cinema but commercial Hindi films haven't had the sort of exposure it deserves. It is an integral part of the Indian cinema landscape," he said.
In fact, in the course of a party hosted by Percept Picture Company, Akshay revealed that he was keen to have Priyadarshan's comic drama 'Bhool Bhulaiya' included in the official Toronto film festival list last year.
But, the organisers of North America's premier film festival rejected the request, the veteran actor said.
It may be mentioned here that mainstream Mumbai cinema was totally blanked out by Toronto last year although the selection did include Rituparno Ghosh's 'The Last Lear', starring Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan and Preity Zinta.
Significantly, the Toronto film festival has offered recompense this year by hosting two separate films involving both Akshay and Priyadarshan in its official selection although the two entries have nothing in common.
The latter is here with an offbeat Tamil-language drama, Kanchivaram, the first-ever Priyadarshan venture to make the cut for a major film festival.