With the screening of several films and shows; the 10-days Toronto International Film Festival came to an end today. However, we find India’s presence in the celebrated event but not with that much hype. This is because several filmmakers and talents were not able to make it to Canada this year as all the direct flights between the two countries are halted. Most of the Indian filmmakers did not arrive at the festival; due to COVID-19 protocols.
India’s Presence at the Toronto International Film Festival
Out of three Indian filmmakers; whose debut films were screened at the Toronto International Film Festival; only Mumbai-based Ritwik Pareek was able to make it. However, Pareek was unfortunate enough; to miss the screening of his own film because he got stuck at one of the airports.
Ritwik Pareek is the director of the Indian feature film; Dug Dug whose film was screened at the international event. As there is no direct flight between India and Canada, the debut director; had to visit three countries before reaching Toronto. Moreover, he got stuck with his RT-PCR tests at one of the countries; and couldn’t make it to the screening of his own film.
Other Directors Who Couldn’t Make it to the Festival
Besides Pareek, Payal Kapadia, director of the documentary, “A Night of Knowing Nothing”; also didn’t visit the Toronto International Film Festival. Moreover, Nithin Lukose, director of Paka; couldn’t even think of going to Canada; as he is vaccinated with Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin which is not yet recognized in Canada. Anurag Kashyap, who is a regular visitor at the TIFF; also didn’t make it to the event this year. Everything happened due to the COVID-19 restrictions. However, this isn’t it. India’s press contingent was missing from the event and an industry event; [email protected], which represents the country as a film destination, got canceled without any explanation.
How did the Debut Directors Feel?
Ritwik Pareek said that the trouble he went through; was totally worth it. He was very happy just to know; that his film is screening at the Toronto International Film Festival. Pareek’s Dug Dug came right after the presentation of the science-fiction epic, Dune. Besides that, Nithin Lukose couldn’t attend the festival in person; but he witnessed it virtually. He said that it’s a matter of immense pride for him; and the entire Indian community.