It's an Indian treat in Toronto
Global Bollywood fans are all eager to watch Karan Johar's Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (KANK), which will be screened at this year's Toronto Film Festival as part of it Gala section.
Renamed Never Say Goodbye, KANK will sport English subtitles for the benefit of the international audiences.
Johar's highly anticipated third film stars heartthrobs of the past and the present: Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Rani Mukerji and Preity Zinta. With New York as its backdrop, the film tackles the bonds of marriage with delightful touches of humour and grand leaps into romance.
The Indian treat at the September 7-16 festival doesn't end there. Four titles will have their world premiere at the 31st annual festival, which boasts of being "dedicated to bringing the most provocative international cinema to Toronto audiences".
"India is a nation of different cultures and languages which makes its cinema diverse, dynamic and exciting," said Noah Cowan, festival co-director unveiling the roster. "Films in Hindi, Marathi, Telugu and Manipuri will be here, along with several major world premieres from talented new filmmakers."
Cowan added that the four films demonstrate the impressive range of Indian cinema. "We at the festival are thrilled to be a part of its future."
Further, Kabul Express by Kabir Khan will be screened under India Special Presentation, while Maati Maay (A Grave Keeper's Tale) by Chitra Palekar will be screened as "India Discovery".
Set in war-torn, post 9/11 Afghanistan, Kabul Express starring John Abraham spans a fateful 48 hours in the lives of five culturally and politically diverse characters, each of whom has been called out of a more familiar world by the hostility and desolation of war.
Filmed on location amid Taliban death threats, the Yash Raj Films production moves gracefully between bracing drama and outright humour.
Debutante Palekar's film is about a woman named Chandi (Nandita Das) condemned to the fringes of her society. The feature is based on Mahasweta Devi's Daayen (Witch).
Rajnesh Domalpalli's Vanaja will be screened as part of "India/USA Discovery".
The Telugu film is the filmmaker's Masters' thesis. It revolves around Vanaja, a 15-year-old who imposes herself on a wealthy household, convinced of her destiny to become a Kuchipudi dancer.
The film deals with sexual tensions between curious Vanaja and a 23-year-old man of the household who returns from the US.
The fourth film, A Cry In the Dark by Haobam Paban Kumar, will be shown as "India Real to Reel".
Kumar's is a documentary film about Manipur becoming part of India in 1949 despite resistance from a large portion of Manipuri population that believed the merger to be an illegitimate annexation. The film talks about the government's Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act of 1958 created to curb these 'separatists'.
The documentary traces the heightening unrest of the Manipuri people after a 32-year-old woman, taken from her home in 2004 by soldiers of the 17th Assam Rifles regiment, was found dead under suspicious circumstances.
Kumar captures the numerous clashes and showdowns between unarmed protesters and the officers of the Assam Rifles, presenting a look at abuses of authority and the fearless strength of an abused people.