Movies of Dev Patel, Mira Nair emerge runners-up in Toronto film festival
TORONTO: Lion, set partly in India and starring Dev Patel, and Queen of Katwe by Indianorigin director Mira Nair have emerged the first and second runner-up, respectively, in the coveted Grolsch People’s Choice Award of the Toronto International Film Festival.
The winner was La La Land, a musical written and directed by Damien Chazelle, literally a Hollywood film, as it has Los Angeles as its backdrop. The film captures the story of Mia, an aspiring actress, and Sebastian, a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for destroying hopes and breaking hearts, TIFF said. “Set in modern-day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams,” it said. The film stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.
The People’s Choice Award is often a predictor for the Oscar season. Among the films to have won in recent years are Room, 12 Years A Slave, and The King’s Speech.
In 2008, this award went to Slumdog Millionaire, the breakout film for Patel. During a media interaction in Toronto, the now-bearded Patel said, “In terms of Toronto, it’s really been special. I keep saying, I walked up here with Slumdog in my school shoes and a borrowed suit. It’s so nice to be back here, with a bit of facial hair.”
Lion is an uplifting movie based on the real-life story of Saroo Brierley, who was adopted into an Australian family and 25 years later, using Google Earth, found his way home to his birth mother in Madhya Pradesh.
Uplifting is also the apt term for Nair’s latest venture, Queen of Katwe, which TIFF described as a “rousing tale of a brilliant Ugandan girl whose humble life is transformed after she realizes her gift for chess.”