BY Saibal Chatterjee
India watchers have much to look forward to among the first slate of titles that the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) announced on Tuesday (July 24). Anurag Kashyap’s Manmarziyan, a romantic drama featuring Abhishek Bachchan, Vicky Kaushal and Taapsee Pannu, will be accorded a Gala world premiere, while Nandita Das’ Manto, which premiered in the Un certain regard section in Cannes earlier in the year, is in the Special Presentations lineup of 30 titles.
North America’s premier film festival (September 6 to 16) will also host the world premieres of three films with an India connect — British director Michael Winterbottom’s The Wedding Guest, Australian Anthony Maras’s first feature Hotel Mumbai and French filmmaker Mia Hansen-Love’s Maya.
Confederation of Indian Industry is taking a high level media and entertainment industry delegation to TIFF from 8-10 September 2018, led by Mr Sudhanshu Vats, Chairman, CII National Committee on Media & Entertainment and Group CEO, Viacom 18 Media Pvt Ltd. CII has taken space at the market to promote cinemas of India, film locales and services. A breakfast session with global producers is slated for September 10.
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 Phantom Films, Eros International 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, Das’ second directorial outing, Manto, an Indo-French co-production that brings to the screen the final tumultuous years of the legendary Urdu writer’s life, earned critical acclaim in Cannes in May.
Both the Wedding Guest, which “follows a mysterious British Muslim man” who travels across Pakistan and India, and Hotel Mumbai, centred on the 2008 terror attack on Taj Mahal Hotel, feature Dev Patel in a stellar role. The two films will screen in TIFF’s Special Presentations section.
Maya, also in Special Presentations, is about a French war correspondent who returns from Syria and travels to India in order to recover from the trauma. The cast of the film has India newbie Aarshi Banerjee alongside Roman Kolinka and Cedric Kahn. Maya has been line produced by Mumbai-based La Fabrique Films.