Piers Handling, CEO and Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, and Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, announced the first round of titles premiering in the Galas and Special Presentations programmes of the 41st Toronto International Film Festival. Tucked in amongst all the announcements was the news that the film A Death in the Gunj, the directorial debut of Konkona Sen Sharma (daughter of acclaimed Bengali actor/writer/director Aparna Sen, and a fine actress in her own right), would be having its World Premiere at this year’s festival.
Sen Sharma describes her film as “… a human drama, a story of a family from Kolkata visiting retired parents settled in McCluskiegunj over a span of seven days.” She added that the film “revolves around the character Shyamal Chatterjee (Vikrant Massey), known as Shutu, a shy student who uses a road trip to the old Anglo-Indian town now in Jharkhand as an escape from his failed semester. In the week that follows, his quiet unraveling is initially overlooked by the family revelers, until the holiday ends with an implosion.” The film also stars Ranvir Shorey, Kalki Koechlin, Gulshan Devaiah, Tillotama Shome, Jim Sarbh, Tanuja Mukherjee, Om Puri, and Arya Sharma – an incredible cast that allowed the shoot to complete in just 31 days.
Sen Sharma was delighted at being selected to be part of this year’s TIFF: “It’s a great honour and I’m really excited. I was thrilled to get this beautiful email from Cameron Bailey (artistic director of the festival). It was like ‘OMG! Somebody understands my film.”
The 41st Toronto International Film Festival runs September 8 to 18, 2016. For more information, check out TIFF’s website.