Bollywood-style show jazzes up launch of North America's largest South Asian film fest IFFSA 2018 in Toronto

Bollywood-style show jazzes up launch of North America's largest South Asian film fest IFFSA 2018 in Toronto

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 17 Apr 2018

Toronto, Apri 17 (IBNS) With a splash of Bollywood dance and song numbers and a strong message of women empowerment, the International Film Festival of South Asia (IFFSA 2018) was flagged off at the Living Arts Centre, Mississauga on April 12, offering to the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) cine-lovers a choice of over 150 films and 50-plus events to feast on from May 10 to 21.

The BMO (Bank of Montreal) IFFSA Toronto 2018 Official Launch at the Living Arts Centre was colourful and musical with young local dancers performing to the popular Bollywood numbers and making a statement against violence towards women.

Women empowerment is indeed the theme of the festival which was inaugurated by Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey (above), Brampton councillors like Gurpreet Dhillon, Martin Medeiros and Jeff Bowman among others.

This year's opening film is The Song of Scorpions, made by the internationally renowned director and writer Anup Singh. Starring Irrfan Khan, Golshifteh Farahani and Waheeda Rehman, the film has been called one of the most poetic and inspirational of contemporary world cinema.

The film tenderly touches upon the fundamental motives behind human behaviour: love, vengeance and the sense of wonder. Anup Singh along with producer Shahaf Peled will be attending the North American premiere.

The full lineup of this year’s festival was unveiled at a colourful launch of the event, though the screenings will be from May 10 to 21 promising 12 days of continuous excitement and food for thought.

Widely recognized as the Voice of South Asian Cinema in Canada, IFFSA 2018’s impressive program reflects the rich diversity of South Asian cinema, as well as the future of South Asian filmmaking, with cutting-edge filmmakers bringing their acclaimed films.

One of the films chosen this year is Indian film made in Kurmali language titled 'Death Certificate ' directed by Rajaditya Banerjee and produced by Toronto based  Anuradha Chatterjee, Kamini Singh and Anju Malhotra.

"It is an absolute honour for us that our film has been chosen by IFFSA, the largest South Asian film festival in not just Canada but also North America," promoter of the fim Anuradha Chatterjee told IBNS Canada.

Image: Toronto based producers of Death Certificate- Anuradha Chatterjee, Kamini Singh and Anju Malhotra- at IFFSA 2018 launch

Sanal Kumar’s 2017 Hivos Tiger award winner Sexy Durga, an unpleasant impressionistic mood piece meant to draw attention to the degradation of women and man’s cruelty to man, will have its Special Premiere at a VIP screening in downtown Toronto.

Roya Sadat’s Afghan feminist drama A Letter To The President focuses on corrosive misogyny that pervades all levels of the social system. The film was selected as the Afghan entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards.

Devashish Makhija’s revenge saga AJJI bitterly and scathingly looks at the ongoing struggle with violence against women and turns a grim light on the institutional and cyclical poverty, inequality, indifference and entitlement.

Hansal Mehta’s biographical crime thriller OMERTA starring Rajkumar Rao, Bornila Chatterjee’s vengeance drama The Hungry starring Naseeruddin Shah and Dipesh Jain’s In The Shadows starring Manoj Bajpayee are the other thought-provoking films that are making their premiere at the festival.

Ere Gowda’s BALEKEMPA, a gentle tale of secret desires, has already made a splash around the world after winning the FIPRESCI Award at the 2018 IFFR. Mostofa Sarwar Farooki’s Bengali film DOOB – NO BED OF ROSES is second Irrfan Khan starrer premiering at the festival.

In collaboration with CAMH, the festival’s social impact segment will be showcasing a series of films depicting stories of survival, hope and courage around mental health. Besides the short films by young female survivors of mental health, feature presentation The Boy With Top Knot will be making its North American Premiere.

IFFSA 2018 line up also includes Shoojit Sarkar’s October, Pankaj Batra’s Sajjan Singh Rangroot and Vijay Kumar Arora’s Harjeeta which all are premiering at the festival before their worldwide release.

The festival will close with Rima Das’s internationally acclaimed feature Village Rockstars which depicts the rock ‘n’ roll dreams of a moppet which are motivated by larger issues, like rebellion and empowerment.

In addition, the festival also announced a series of glamorous galas, receptions, concerts and industry events. Titans of South Asian cinema including Anurag Kashyap, Hansal Mehta, Anup Singh and Mostofa Farooki will be present at the festival offering great learning opportunities through workshops, masterclasses and talks.

(Additional reporting and images by Sujoy Dhar)

Bollywood-style show jazzes up launch of North America's largest South Asian film fest IFFSA 2018 in Toronto

India Blooms News Service
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