out the desi films screening at Toronto International Film
Festival in 2007.
AMAL Richie Mehta (Canada First!)
Humble New Delhi autorickshaw driver Amal’s (Rupinder
Nagra) sense of purpose is tested when he inherits the
estate of an eccentric billionare. A young, injured
beggar, a store merchant, and the billionaire’s friends
want to claim their share of the riches, complicating
Amal’s struggle between duty and unlikely dreams.
BEFORE THE RAINS Santosh Sivan (Special
The English language debut of Indian director Santosh
Sivan (The Terrorist, Asoka), set in 1930s India. When
a married British colonialist (Linus Roache) is caught
having an affair with his beautiful housemaid (Nandita
Das), he convinces his trusted farmhand (Rahul Bose)
— a member of the housemaid's tribe — to help find a
solution to the potentially deadly situation.
BRICK LANE Sarah Gavron
Beautiful 18-year-old Nazneen (Tannishtha Chatterjee) struggles
to accept her life in 1980s London, having left her family
and home in Bangladesh for an arranged, loveless marriage.
But when she meets the spirited Karim (Christopher Simpson),
she’s forced out of her shell. Based on the 2003 book of the
ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE Shekhar Kapur (Gala Presentation)
While Queen Elizabeth I (Cate Blanchett) prepares to defend
England from the powerful armada of Spanish King Philip II
(Jordi Molla), she must also contend with a manipulative advisor,
an assassination plot hatched by her own cousin, Mary Stuart
(Samantha Morton) and her inconvenient love for adventurer
Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen).
FOUR WOMEN Adoor Gopalakrishnan, (Masters)
The lives of a prostitute, a virgin, a housewife and a spinster
form stories from four different stratums of society. Starring:
Nandita Das, Geetu Mohandas, Padmapriya and Manju Pillai.
FROZEN Shivajee Chandrabhushan (Discovery)
Teenager Lasya (Gauri) lives with her father Karma (Danny
Denzongpa) and brother Chomo (Angchuk) in a remote village
in the northern Himalayas. Then the army moves into the village,
which proves unsettling for the peaceful family. The army
is searching for an enemy, but instead finds a frozen body.
THE LAST LEAR Rituparno Ghosh (Bollywood
Shakespeare meets Bollywood in this film adaptation of a play
by actor Utpal Dutt. Amitabh Bachchan stars as a veteran theatre
actor whose lifelong ambition is to play King Lear. Preity
Zinta plays opposite Bachchan as a bad actor.
ON THE WINGS OF DREAMS Golam Rabbany Biplob
(Contemporary World Cinema)
When Fazlu (Mahmuduzzaman Babu) gives his son a pair of second-hand
trousers, his wife (Rokeya Prachi) finds foreign money in
the pocket, a discovery she hopes will change their lives.
The couple enlist villager Siraj (Fazlur Rahman Babu) to help
them exchange the cash. But the greed overcomes the men, and
desire and deception begins to alter relationships and family
THE VOYEURS Buddhadeb Dasgupta (Masters)
A small-town actress (Sameera Reddy) tries to make it in the
big city but soon discovers that in a modern world, nothing
is private, and web cams and closed circuit TVs are constant
witnesses to love, obsession, exploitation and human folly.
THE WORLD UNSEEN Shamim Sarif
Amina (Sheetal Sheth) isn’t afraid to break the rules of1950s
apartheid South Africa. She breaches the traditions of her
Indian community and runs a café with a black man. But when
she and Miriam (Lisa Ray), a married woman, fall in love,
they set in motion a chain of events that changes both women
forever. Based on the novel by director Shamim Sarif.
A JIHAD FOR LOVE Parvez Sharma (Real to Reel)
Parvez Sharma’s feature-length directorial debut explores
the complex intersections of Islam and homosexuality by following
gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Muslims in 12 countries
struggling to reconcile a faith they love with their being.
DINNER WITH THE PRESIDENT: A NATION'S JOURNEY
Sabiha Sumar and Sachithanandam Sathananthan (Real to Reel)
In October 1999, Pervez Musharraf assumed power in Pakistan
through a bloodless military coup. Over dinner with the filmmakers,
Musharraf’s explains his vision for Pakistan. Sumar and Sathananthan
ponder the irony of a president in army fatigues delivering
democracy to the masses, and ask the people of Pakistan (tribal
chiefs, rural women, teenagers, religious party leaders and
the president’s mother) what democracy means to them.
AIDS JAAGO Mira Nair (Mavericks)
Four short films by renowned Indian directors Mira Nair, Vishal
Bhardwaj, Santosh Sivan and Farhan Akhtar aim to dismantle
myths and misconceptions about HIV/AIDS. During Mavericks,
leading industry personalities give audiences inside scoop,
revealing anecdotes, secrets of their success and previews
of their next projects.
This film, a remake of the Malayalam hit Varavelpu, tells
the story of a retired headmaster fighting the government
when his pension is tied up in red tape. Will he get his dues?
Director: Rajiv Kumar
Cast: Govinda, Rajpal Yadav, Raima Sen, Om
Four small-time hoodlums think they've struck gold after a
dying man tells them about his hidden millions. Before they
can reach the treasure, they have to contend with an inspector
who has chased the dead man for 10 years.
Director: Indra Kumar
Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi, Javed Jaffrey,
Ritesh Deshmukh, Ashish Chowdhry
DHOL - KISKA BAJEGA
Four friends want to make it big, but have no motivation.
So when a rich girl enters their lives, each one tries to
woo her. Will the four learn the spine-chilling truth about
the object of their affection?
Cast: Tusshar Kapoor, Sharman Joshi, Rajpal
Yadav, Kunal Khemu, Tanushree Dutta
A plan to make millions from a drug deal goes sour when one
of the five plotting gang members dies, and the remaining
men believe the killer is among them.
Director: Sriram Raghavan
Cast: Dharmendra, Neil Mukesh
RAM GOPAL VARMA KI AAG
This remake places 1975 hit Sholay in Mumbai. Underworld don
Babban Singh rules the city - but he may not last long as
two thugs, under direction from an inspector, plan to kill
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Mohanlal, Ajay Devgan,
Compiled by Rakshande Italia for DesiLife,