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South Asian Film: Taking Over TIFF 2012

By Sijal Rehmane Canadian-Indian filmmaker Deepa Mehta will be in Toronto in September for the TIFF premier of the highly anticipated Midnight’s Children. The visually arresting film is an adaptation Salman Rushdie’s Booker Prize winning novel of the same name. The book has also won the “Best of the Booker” prize award- twice! While this makes for a decidedly weighty task as far as adaptations go, we are certain that Ms. Mehta has risen gloriously to the task. Her past directorial works, including the elemental trilogy Fire, Earth, and Water, have all dealt with the less-discussed aspects of Indian culture, stirred up an abundance of controversy, and never failed to achieve critical acclaim. Also among the South Asian talent to watch for at the festival this year is Mira Nair with her adaptation of Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist- a story that looks at the aftermath of 9-11 from a personal level. TIFF 2012 is set to offer a lot this year in terms of a look into the subcontinent: the City to City programme for 2012 has its spotlight on the city of Mumbai, meaning a handful of films screened at the festival will be exploring tales of the entertainment capital of India. Films from that segment that we’re particularly excited about at SHE include Miss Lovely— a look into the underbelly of the Bombay film industry— and Mumbai’s King— which follows a young man’s coming-of-age in a charmingly neorealist filmmaking tradition.

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