Indian actors and filmmakers – some known, some not so known – will be displaying their craft at the 44th Toronto International Film Festival, which runs Sept. 5–15.
Indian director Shonali Bose’s film, “The Sky Is Pink,” starring Priyanka Chopra Jones, Farhan Akhtar and Zaira Wasim, is among the films that have been selected for the Gala and Special Presentations programs at the festival.
Twenty-five years in the relationship of a mother (Chopra Jones) and father (Akhtar) is told from the perspective of their recently deceased teenage daughter in this poignant, affecting, and unexpectedly humorous love story which is also among the films to close the 2019 festival.
At the festival, while Indian actress-filmmaker Gitanjali Rao’s “Bombay Rose” will have its North American premiere, Indian actor-filmmaker Lijo Jose Pellissery’s latest offering, “Jallikattu,” will see its world premiere. The two films are on the lineup of the festival’s Contemporary World Cinema program.
Rao’s animated feature, according to the festival, follows multiple characters, each connected by a single red rose, as they navigate life and love in the sprawling Indian metropolis.
“Inspired by true events, Rao’s debut feature weaves together the experiences of several denizens of India's largest city: A sweetly singing flower seller constructs garlands while dreaming of a fairy tale romance. A little girl befriends an orphaned deaf boy who has lost his job. Police conduct raids on businesses they suspect of hiring children. An English teacher prepares food and sets a place at the table for her long-dead husband. A troupe of dance-bar workers consider unionizing. A young Muslim man from Kashmir explores the metropolis he believes holds the key to his destiny — and finds himself falling for a Hindu woman, believing that true love trumps the confines of faith. These and other stories are connected by a single red rose.”
In “Jallikattu,” Pellissery presents a portrait of a remote village in his hometown where a buffalo escapes and causes a frenzy of ecstatic violence.
According to TIFF, “Jallikattu” “examines our latent capacity for lawlessness and chaos.”
British Indian actor Dev Patel’s hotly-anticipated film, “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” directed by Armando Iannucci, will have its world premiere at the prestigious film event. Iannucci brings his sardonic wit — and a stellar cast that includes Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Gwendoline Christie, Peter Capaldi, and Ben Whishaw — to Charles Dickens’ classic autobiographical novel.
Along with “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” the Special Presentations category lineup also includes Indian writer-director Geetu Mohandas’ “The Elder One.” In this drama pondering gender, sexuality, violence, and tolerance, Mohandas of “Liar’s Dice” fame, presents an unsparing yet inspiring vision of Mumbai through the story of two small-town siblings, each with their own reason for escaping to the big city.
Australian filmmaker Eva Orner’s “Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator,” about Bikram Choudhury, the controversial yoga teacher who had multiple lawsuits filed against him for sexual misconduct, is on the TIFF documentary lineup.