From Raja Har­ishchan­dra to Miss Lovely

The Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val cel­e­brates the best of In­dian cin­ema

India Today - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Indira Kan­nan

The ticket price is rather steep, but it does of­fer ac­cess to more than just a movie, a hun­dred years’worth, in fact. On the side­lines of the Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val ( TIFF), which runs be­tween Septem­ber 5 and 15, the sec­ond an­nual gala fundraiser for TIFF is cel­e­brat­ing 100 years of In­dian cin­ema. Donors are ex­pected to pay $ 25,000 for a ta­ble at the event on Septem­ber 7 in the Cana­dian city. It’s an event be­fit­ting this year’s theme, ac­cord­ing to Indo- Cana­dian film di­rec­tor Deepa Me­hta, who is putting the show to­gether.“The East Asian di­as­pora has brought a lot to cin­ema, and to Toronto and TIFF as well. I think hav­ing recog­ni­tion for that is im­por­tant,” said the Toronto- based Me­hta, who is also a TIFF board mem­ber. The film­maker, who has been work­ing on the pro­gram for a year, has planned an evening of film, theatre, din­ner and dance for the gala. She has cho­sen clips from 20 films, from Raja Har­ishchan­dra, In­dia’s first full- length fea­ture, to last year’s Miss Lovely, to trace the evo­lu­tion of In­dian cin­ema.“It is a list that is en­tirely based on per­sonal choice and on land­mark films that, in my opin­ion, have con­trib­uted to the way we think and feel. Films that have bro­ken new ground tech­ni­cally and, more im­por­tantly, emo­tion­ally,” says Me­hta of her list, which has 13 Hindi, three Ben­gali, two Tamil, one Malay­alam, and one silent film. At TIFF this year, In­dia is the only coun­try with non- English cin­ema to have two films in the high- pro­file Gala Pre­sen­ta­tion sec­tion— The Lunch­box and Shuddh Desi Ro­mance.

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