Mumbai, The forthcoming Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), starting Sep 10, will have a strong Indian presence — while two mainstream Bollywood films “Dil Bole Hadippa” and “What’s Your Rashee?” will have their world premieres, Dilip Mehta’s “Cooking With Stella” has been selected for a screening in the prestigious Gala section.
Jon Amiel’s “Creation”, a bio-pic on Charles Darwin, is also being premiered in the same section where Dilip’s film is being screened and he says he is thrilled by the honour.
“The Toronto International Film Festival is, after Cannes, undoubtedly the most significant festival worldwide. To have one’s film participate in it is glory enough, but to have a gala screening and a world premiere is mind-blowing,” Dilip, brother of Canada-based Indian filmmaker Deepa Mehta, told IANS.
“For me, as first-time feature director this was such a tremendous high to have our film in the company of such an amazing film. ‘Creation’ nipped us all in the post but we were right up there. TIFF selected ‘Cooking With Stella’ for a gala screening for our world premiere on September 16th.
“The numbers are daunting. Approximately 3,000 plus films are submitted for the festival. Of these about 350 are selected of which 15 or so have the distinction of a gala screening at the amazing Roy Thomson Hall,” he added.
This was the very section where Deepa’s elegiac “Water” that had Lisa Ray, John Abraham and Seema Biswas in lead roles had been premiered. While “Water” focussed on the difficult lives of widows in the 1930s, Dilip’s film is in a different mood space.
“For 34 years, I have covered death, misfortune, war, plagues and other human tragedies for Time, Newsweek, National Geographic and other such major journals. I entered the world of cinema with ‘The Forgotten Woman’, a hard documentary to portray the reality of the widows of India.
“Similarly ‘Cooking With Stella’ also looks at a classic Indian tragedy, that of servants and employers but without wanting to give a lecture on morality.”
While filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker’s “What’s Your Raashee?” stars Priyanka Chopra and Hurman Baweja, “Dil Bole Hadippa” is Anurag Singh’s directorial debut. Produced by Yash Raj Films, it stars Rani Mukerji and Shahid Kapoor. Both the films are female-centric.
Apart from screenings, Indian actresses Seema Biswas and Shriya Saran will walk the red carpet.