Deepa Mehta’s film, two other works from India to feature at Toronto film festival

Toronto: The latest project from acclaimed Indo-Canadian director Deepa Mehta, as well as two mainstream productions from India, will be among the films featured at the 2023 edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

A still from the film, Thank You For Coming, which will have its world premiere at the 2023 edition of the Toronto International Film Festival. (Courtesy: TIFF)

In a release issued on Thursday, North America’s largest film festival announced the addition of the documentary, I Am Sirat, a collaboration between Mehta and film’s subject Sirat Taneja.

According to the description provided by TIFF, it follows Sirat, “a transgender woman who must act as her mother’s son when at home in New Delhi, but can be the woman she really is with her friends and at work with the Government of India”.

Shot on smartphones, the narrative is constructed around Sirat’s life, one caught between duty and self-determination.

Toronto-based Mehta has featured regularly at TIFF, including with the 2012 world premiere of her adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Booker Prize-winning Midnight’s Children. She also has the unique distinction of having her films entered in the Best Foreign Language Film for the Academy Awards, with Earth, 1998, as India’s official entry and Water, 2005, as Canada’s.

TIFF also announced that the Indian film, Thank You For Coming, directed by Karan Boolani, will makes its world premiere as part of its high-profile Gala section. The film, according to a release from its producers, “follows the story of Kanika Kapoor, a single girl in her thirties, and her quest for true love and pleasure”.

“I am genuinely thrilled to announce that our film is set to grace the esteemed TIFF platform. This project holds a special place in my heart, and I am eagerly anticipating the moment when I can present it to a discerning global audience. The opportunity to be part of such a prestigious festival is an absolute honour, and I am awaiting the feedback and reception it garners,” Ektaa R Kapoor of the production company, Balaji Telefilms Ltd, said.

In its description of the film, TIFF said that it was about Kanika Kapoor, 32, who “has never had an orgasm… until last night. Now she needs to find out who got her there”.

As TIFF re-brands its Contemporary World Cinema programme as Centrepiece, the inaugural slate of features will include Indian director Kiran Rao’s Lost Ladies, which is set in rural India of 2001 and “finds two young brides hilariously entwined in a riot of mistaken identities”.

“We are very excited to present the new Centrepiece programme, a cinematic journey that transcends boundaries and embraces the art of human experience,” TIFF’s chief programming officer Anita Lee said.

The festival will run from September 7-17.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Deepa Mehta’s film, two other works from India to feature at Toronto film festival

Anirudh Bhattacharya is a Toronto-based commentator on North American issues, and an author. He has also worked as a journalist in New Delhi and New York spanning print, television and digital media. He tweets as @anirudhb. …view detail

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