Five Indian Films in Toronto International Film Selections 2018

Vasan Bala’s Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota

Indian cinema fans have much to look forward to at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) this year with five Indian films making it to the list of titles selected to be premiered at the North America’s premier film festival to be held from September 6 to 16.

Vasan Bala’s Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota, Rima Das’ Bulbul Can Sing, Ritu Sarian & Tenzing Sonam’s The Sweet Requiem, Nadita Das’ Manto and Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarzian are among the films lined up in various categories at the gala show. Besides these, there are two short films from India — Circle and Field – which will be premiered at TIFF.

Bulbul can sing

Vasan Bala’s Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota is a Bollywood-infused action film that tells the story of a young man – quite literally born with the ability to feel no pain – who strikes out on a quest to vanquish 100 foes.

The film will be screened in the Midnight Madness section of the festival where movies in action, horror, shock and fantasy genre are placed. It will be joined by other movies such as David Gordon Green’s Halloween, Shane Black’s The Predator and Peter Strickland’s In Fabric.

Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota is the second film from Bala, whose directorial debut was Peddlers.

After winning hearts with the internationally acclaimed and National Award winner feature, ‘Village Rockstars’, the writer-director-producer, Rima Das will return to the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) with her next Assamese film ‘Bulbul Can Sing’.

The sweet requiem

Das’ third independent feature in Assamese language will make its World Premiere at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) 2018 in the competition segment, “Contemporary World Cinema.”


“It’s a huge honour to return to TIFF after Village Rockstars and start the journey of my next feature, Bulbul Can Sing, which will have its world premiere in the competition category – Contemporary World Cinema. It’s like homecoming for me,” says Das.

In a follow-up to 2005’s Dreaming Lhasa, Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam return with a story of a young Tibetan woman grappling with living in exile, revealing a side of the refugee crisis we rarely get to see.

Husband Material

Producer & Co-Director Ritu Sarin and Writer & Co-Director Tenzing Sonam have been making films for over thirty years. Their films are mostly documentaries but also include a number of video installations and two narrative features – Dreaming Lhasa (2006) and now, The Sweet Requiem.

The majority of their work has focused on the subject of Tibet and has attempted to document, question and reflect on the issues of exile, identity, culture and politics that confront the Tibetan people. As artists and filmmakers closely connected to Tibet, they believe strongly that they have a responsibility to give voice to the Tibetan freedom struggle. Their films, many of which are in the Tibetan language, have been at the forefront of developing a new cinematic culture among the exile Tibetan community.


This is the second year running that Kashyap makes the trip to Toronto. He was in TIFF last year with Mukkabaaz. Manmarziyan, jointly produced by Eros International, Phantom Films and Aanand L Rai’s Colour Yellow Productions, centres on “a spirited girl” who “finds herself caught in a complicated love triangle while burdened with societal and familial pressures”.

Manto, Nandita Das’ second directorial outing, is an Indo-French co-production that brings to the screen the final tumultuous years of the legendary Urdu writer’s life. It earned critical acclaim in Cannes in May this year.


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