<Swati Sharan>

The screening of Learning To Drive by director Isabel Coixet was held at TIFF 2014 and we were there for the intro and the film. It’s a story about a Sikh driver (Ben Kingsley) teaching an American woman (Patricia Clarkson) how to drive in New York after her husband leaves her. Clarkson spent almost 9 years trying to convince people to make this film.

(Ben Kingsley was not present for this screening)

You mentioned Ben Kingsley’s character to be from Queens in New York. That’s a place with a largely South Asian population. How did you decide to zone in on Queens?

Patricia: The original article on which this story is based actually had a Filipino driver.

Daniel Hammond (Producer): The script writer, Sarah Kernochan, was associated with Harpreet Singh Toor who is a politician and was from that area.  They worked with the script. He gave us tremendous access. The wedding scene is actually filmed at a gurudwara. They allowed us to come and see and observe a wedding as we were doing preps so we wanted to make sure all the details were absolutely right.

Actor Patricia Clarkson (Right) answers questions

Patricia: That’s right. Everything was exactly right.

Daniel: It was a tremendous outreach from their community. We’re so grateful they allowed us to see come into their lives, their neighbourhood and gave us so much for this wonderful work.


For more TIFF 2014 event coverage click here.

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