San Leandro, Calif. — Bollywood’s Priyanka Chopra presented “Mary Kom” Sept. 4 on the opening night of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, earning raves for her red carpet look — a floor-length white silk gown with blocks of black and red accents, from New Delhi-based design duo Gauri and Nainika — and for her physically demanding performance in the biopic.
Chopra was also accompanied by “Mary Kom” director Omung Kumar at the film’s world premiere and press conference earlier that day.
“The film needs aggressive promotion because it’s not some big-budget ‘masala’ film,” she told media during the Sept. 4 press conference.
“I want people to watch it because I know they will be inspired by it. It is a story of how a young woman fights all odds to become India’s face in the boxing circuit worldwide. It is entertaining, too, because Mary is a fun person, who celebrates life to the fullest.”
Immediately after the screening, Chopra hopped on a plane to rush back to India and join the promotional efforts there in time for its release Sept. 5.
“Mary Kom” has earned largely positive reviews and solid box office in India on its opening weekend (see separate story). Within the United States, the Eros release came in at a modest 25th place on the U.S. box office list, earning $370,277 in a limited release in 139 theaters.
This year’s TIFF ran Sept. 4-11 and featured more than 300 films from 60-plus countries, including five Indian films curated by the festival’s artistic director, Cameron Bailey.
“Margarita, with a Straw,” an independent release from Shonali Bose starring Kalki Koechlin and Sayani Gupta, is set in contemporary New York, where a young international student from India falls for a fiery political activist.
In M. Manikandan’s “The Crow’s Egg,” screening in the prestigious Discovery section of the festival, two young boys in a Chennai slum search out their first taste of pizza.