New Delhi:The 45th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) will kick off today aiming to connect with the community and provide the much-needed support to the entertainment industry paralysed by an unprecedented pandemic.
With borders closed and travel restricted, TIFF is relying on screening of movies through online, drive-in venues and even an open-air cinema in the current edition to be held during September 10-20. The North American festival known for its large public audience and vast programming of films from around the world has substantially scaled down the number of movies this year.
"We are here today because of our commitment to great programming, to collaboration, to bringing audiences together through the love of film, and to celebrating the amazing audiences we have right here in our city of Toronto. We are truly proud and excited to share this news today," say TIFF Co-Heads Cameron Bailey and Joana Vicente.
India is represented at TIFF 2020 by the TV adaptation of Vikram Seth's 'A Suitable Boy' and award-winning director Chaitanya Tamhane's 'The Disciple'. The six-episode TV series, 'A Suitable Boy' directed by Mira Nair, will have its world premiere in Toronto. 'The Disciple', about the dilemma of a vocalist in a competition-driven world of music, had its premiere at the Venice festival last week.
"Storytelling with a global reach has never been more important, and Mira Nair is an absolute master of it," says TIFF programmer Geoff Macnaughton." ('A Suitable Boy') is among seven of the director's works to be selected by TIFF to date," he adds. The 349-minute series in English, Urdu and Hindi will air on BBC in the United Kingdom at the end of September before arriving in India later. The film cast include Tabu, Ishaan Khatter, Tanya Maniktala and Mahira Kakkar.
'The Disciple' is Tamhane's sophomore feature after the highly-acclaimed 'Court', which premiered at the Venice festival in 2014. "Chaitanya Tamhane's masterfully composed second feature examines a lifetime journey devoted to the art of Indian classical music," observes Bailey, also the TIFF artistic director. "...Tamhane meticulously dedicates every frame to observing and illuminating the relationship between student and master," he adds.
The Toronto festival, organised as a hybrid festival this year, will have reduced capacities at its physical screenings in view of precautionary measures. Besides physical screenings at two venues, the festival also has extended online screenings to the public. There are two drive-in screening venues and one open-air cinema for the benefit of the festival audience.
The festival will also present a Special Events lineup. "TIFF is often the platform for exciting conversations, new talent, and new voices," say Bailey and Vicente. "In the midst of a global health crisis, it is clear that stories do not stop. We are happy to be able to share these screenings and special events with audiences."
The Special Events include screening of the documentary 'I Am Greta' on the inspiring climate action by the 15-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg that has galvanised a global movement, and 'The Water Walker', a short film that documents the fight for clean water by another 15-year-old, American Autumn Peliter, to preserve the future of indigenous communities.
Other events this year include TIFF Reunions, and Planet Africa, a festival programme dedicated to cinema from Africa and the African diaspora. Among the festival lineup are directorial debuts by actors Halle Berry (martial arts drama 'Bruised') and 'Green Book' star Viggo Mortensen ('Falling', about a gay man caring for his homophobic father), and 'If Beale Street Could Talk' star Regina King ('One Night in Miami', a civil rights drama about the fictionalised account of a 1964 meeting between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X). (UNI)