A still from Tora’s Husband

< Swati Sharan >

After two years of being low-key and with lots of restrictions, TIFF 2022 was back to being real. Though it lacked the bang of some earlier years, there were many areas which we feel were greatly improved upon to help the press and industry navigate the festival. One also felt the eagerness on the part of film festival staff and volunteers to be meeting other people in real time after what has been a time of seclusion for many. On the Indian front, two documentaries won festival awards.

A still from To Kill A Tiger

To Kill A Tiger and While We Watched both won the Amplify Voices Award by Canada Goose. To Kill A Tiger was also hailed best Canadian feature film and is directed by Nisha Pahuja and is the story of a rape victim from Jharkhand and her father’s quest for justice. While We Watched is directed by Vinay Shukla and is about journalist Ravish Kumar and his battles with challenging establishment and popular media lore.

A still from While We Watched

Both directors have been part of the film festival in the past. A Toronto native, some of Pahuja’s work includes The World Before Her and Bollywood Bound.  Some may even consider her films launchpads for Neeru Bajwa, Ruby Bhatia, Vikeana Dhillon and Pooja Chopra. Shukla’s work with Khushboo Ranka titled An Insignificant Man featured at the festival in 2016. The documentary was on Arvind Kejriwal and the beginnings of the Aam Aadmi Party as it was happening.

A still from Kacchey Limbu

Other Indian-based films at TIFF 2022 included Kachey Limbu by Shubham Yogi, Zwigato by Nandita Das, Tora’s Husband by Rima Das and What’s Love Got To Do With It by Shekhar Kapur. Kachey Limbu is about the sport of underarm cricket while Zwigato and Tora’s Husband are about Indians struggles in the post-pandemic era. What’s Love Got To Do With It is a rom-com based in London and an exploration of arranged marriages.

(Watch our Red Carpet Interviews for What’s Love Got To Do With It)

A still from Zwigato

The Baahubali series director SS Rajamouli was also honoured as a keynote speaker as part the TIFF Visionaries Programme. At the event, the Telegu legend spoke about his upcoming film with Mahesh Babu as being an Indian Indiana Jones kind of adventure film. After his talk, fans broke out in rip-roaring applause.

Composer extraordinaire Ilaiyaraja’s musical Music School made it to TIFF Industry Select. In this case, it was given a limited screening so the film could pick up distributors. The film is in Hindi and stars Sharman Joshi and Shriya Saran. The filmmakers have promised us interviews with the talent when it releases next year.  So stay tuned!


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