Our Indian Cinema Expert @Daniel_Pillai Breaks Down The #TIFF12 City to City Spotlight on Mumbai – Part II
Continuing our ongoing coverag, I present to you the second half of my preview of the films to be featured in the City to City programme spotlight on Mumbai at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. Be sure to catch the first part as there I break down some fantastic films and show you their trailers.
The selection of films chosen for this Spotlight on Mumbai are diverse in genre, and showcase a range of artistry coming from cutting edge, leading filmmakers in India. All the filmmakers selected for this special City to City programme have been chosen because of their talent in the telling of new and different stories within Indian Cinema – all representing this emerging voice coming from Mumbai. Generally, the thought is that India’s films are all Bollywood films. Wrong. As stated before, Bollywood is just one of the main different and diverse film industries that come together to create the very large Indian Film Industry.
dir – Hansal Mehta
Hansal Mehta‘s Shahid is the remarkable true story of a human rights activist and lawyer, Shahid Azmi who is murdered by unknown members of his office. Shahid, which stars Raj Kumar, Prabhleen Sandhu and Baljinder Kaur closely looks at the awe-inspiring story of the personal journey of a young boy who become an unlikely hero for human rights, especially for the Muslim minorities in India. Wrongfully accused and imprisoned under draconian anti-terrorism law, the film looks at the story of a struggling individual looking to come to terms with the injustice and inequality that surrounds him.
dir – Ashim Ahluwalia
North American Premiere
Sex has always been part of Bollywood cinema – it’s only now that more mainstream filmmakers are willing to explore its intensity on screen both in script and visually. Ashim Ahluwalia‘s film focuses on Mumbai’s sex film industry and stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Niharika Singh and Anil George. Miss Lovely, which also competed in the “Un Certain Regard” section at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and was also screened at the 2012 Melbourne International Film Festival. It looks at the devastating story of two brothers who created sex-horror films in the 1980′s. The film takes a look at the what’s terms “the Bollywood underground” and looks into an industry and its filmmakers that have a lot to face.
dir – Manjeet Singh
Manjeet Singh‘s Mumbai’s King stars Rahul Bairagi, Arbaaz Khan and Tejas Parvatkar. The film looks at the character of Rahul who roams the streets with Arbaaz who sells baloons. These two kids escape the grim realities of their lives by gambling, roasting stolen potatoes, stealing an auto rickshaw for a joyride, and chasing girls. Later, as the characters grow older, they are faced with difficult circumstances – Rahul is put into a situation where he must look after his father, whose violence and ill treatment forced Rahul into a life on the streets.
THE BRIGHT DAY
dir – Mohit Takalkar
We all ponder life and its significance at some point or another, and Mohit Takalkar‘s film explores just this. Pining away for the meaning in his life, The Bright Day tells the story of a young man named Shiv who leaves his current relationship, abandoning his girlfriend and family to embark on a spiritual journey across India – not know if he will return at all. Shiv yearns for meaning and looks for something that will provide important and significance to his existence, yet doesn’t know exactly what it is he is looking for. He faces his own insecurities, basks in adventure and freedom and learns about different philosophies about life that he finds exhilarating.