A lively launch reveals epic lineup at BMO IFFSA 2019

Toronto, April 18 – BMO IFFSA Toronto 2019 opens with an amazing performance by the extraordinary actress, Tillotama Shome in the film ‘SIR’. The film, set in contemporary Mumbai, carries a delicate, but insightful look into class conflict — and not in the usual clichés of power-struggle and exploitation. 

Full lineup of the films, events, concerts & workshops is being shared at a colorful launch event organized at Courtyard by Marriott, Brampton. This year, IFFSA features 250+ films, 16+ languages and 80+ events, which will take place from May 9 to May 20 over 12 days of continuous excitement. 

Teaching & expanding the mind are just one of the few yet major roles that films play in our everyday lives. Widely recognized as the Voice of South Asian Cinema in Canada, IFFSA 2019’s impressive program reflects the rich diversity of South Asian cinema, as well as the future of South Asian filmmaking, with cutting-edge filmmakers bringing their acclaimed films.

True to IFFSA’s mission of entertaining, educating and engaging, this year’s lineup does exactly that.  

In addition, this year IFFSA, celebrates ‘Hundred Years of Bengali Cinema’, & brings masterworks by two legendary filmmakers. These films, TITAS – EKTI NADAR NAAM by Ritwik Ghatak and PATHER PANCHALI by Satyajit Ray are masterpieces not to be missed. 

Ritwik Ghatak, traumatized, outraged by the 1947 Partition of India, through his work, constantly asks, “Who is not a refugee?”, ‘Who is an Outsider”? and does not leave us comfortable in any space that we would like to call “home”. 

Another IFFSA 2019 opening film which is slated to be this summer’s blockbuster worldwide, is Gurinder Chadha’s BLINDED BY THE LIGHT. Said to carry the magic of Gurinder’s earlier film, Bend It Like Beckam, this film presents a second-generation Muslim immigrant in London who finds a balance between his father’s fierce demands and his own sense of independence and dignity in the larger world through the music of Bruce Springsteen. 

In collaboration with CAMH, the festival’s social impact segment will be showcasing a series of films depicting stories of survival, hope and courage around mental health. ‘HANERI’, ‘ALWAYS BE’, ‘MAIN THEEK HOON’ amongst many others.

In addition, festival also announced a series of glamourous galas, receptions, concerts and industry events. Titans of South Asian cinema including Manoj Bajpayee, Anamika Haksar, Gurinder Chadha, Abhay Deol & Anup Singh and will be present at the festival offering great learning opportunities through workshops, masterclasses and talks.

Sunny Gill, Founder & President of IFFSA says that the festival provides a platform for those using the medium of film to convey their message. 

IFFSA Toronto expressed gratefulness to all its sponsors, including title sponsor Bank of Montreal, which has been supporting the festival by not just sponsoring but also engaging from the ground level up with the executives participating in most events. IFFSA also expressed a very heartfelt thanks to its other main sponsors such as IBC, Turkish Airlines, Toronto Star, CBC, Sheridan College, Ontario Creates, The Beer Store, Multi Ethnic and Crown Group of Hotels.

“The International Film Festival of South Asia represents the growing richness and diversity of Canada’s film industry,” says Kim Donaldson, Vice-President, Ontario, Insurance Bureau of Canada. “We are pleased to be a sponsor of this world-class celebration of South Asian arts and culture.”

All these partners have contributed immensely to make IFFSA Toronto the largest South Asian film festival in North America.

Festival details and full schedule is available at www.iffsatoronto.com