Toronto International Film Festival 2012: Opening Press Conference – Galas and Special Presentations

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Today the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) began unveiling the films that will feature as part of this year’s festival line-up.  Piers Handling, CEO and Director of TIFF, and Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the festival revealed the films that will be screened as Galas and Special Presentations at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival.

Fans of South Asian and diaspora cinema will, no doubt, be delighted to learn that there are several films to be featured this year.  Probably one of the most anticipated films for South Asian film fans is Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children, the film adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s award-winning novel, which will have its World Premiere at TIFF2012. Mehta’s film stars Satya Bhabha (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) as the protagonist Saleem Sinai, and features a cast well known to fans of South Asian cinema, including Shriya Saran, Darsheel Safary (Taare Zameen Paar), Anupam Kher, Shabana Azmi, Seema Biswas, Samrat Chakrabarti, Rajat Kapoor, Soha Ali Khan, Rahul Bose, Siddarth Narayan, Vinay Pathak, Ranvir Shorey, and Canadian actress Anita Majumdar.

The festival will also see the North American premiere of Mira Nair’s political thriller The Reluctant Fundamentalist, also an adaptation, and starring Riz Ahmed (who was in last year’s Trishna) as well as Shabana Azmi and Om Puri.

Perhaps most exciting for fans of Bollywood is the news that Gauri Shinde’s English Vinglish will have its World Premiere as a TIFF2012 Gala Presentation. The film is the highly anticipated comeback film of the irrepressible Sridevi who plays Shashi, a housewife who decides to overcome her insecurities and learn to speak English, transforming herself along the way.

There has been much anticipation over the selections for this year’s City to City programme, with Mumbai being the featured city in 2012, but Cameron Bailey wasn’t giving away any secrets at today’s press conference, noting that the ten films that form the City to City programme would be announced next Tuesday, July 31st.  He did, however, promise that there would be a good representation of South Asian films at this year’s festival, probably the best in years, with further announcements about films beyond the City to City programme to be made.

TIFF 2012 promises to be a great year for fans of South Asian cinema!

The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6th – 16th, 2012.

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