Toronto, April 12 – THE SONG OF SCORPIONS, by the internationally renowned director and writer Anup Singh, will open IFFSA Toronto 2018. Starring Irrfan Khan, Golshifteh Farahani and Waheeda Rehman, the film has been called one of the most poetic and inspirational of contemporary world cinema. The film tenderly touch upon the fundamental motives behind human behavior: love, vengeance and the sense of wonder. Anup Singh along with producer Shahaf Peled will be attending the North American premiere.
Full lineup of this year’s festival was unveiled at a colorful launch event organized at Living Arts Centre, Mississauga. 150+ films and 50+ events will take place from May 10 to 21 during 12 days of continuous excitement.
Widely recognized as the Voice of South Asian Cinema in Canada, IFFSA 2018’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.
Sanal Kumar’s 2017 Hivos Tiger award winner SEXY DURGA, an unpleasant impressionistic mood piece meant to draw attention to the degradation of women and man’s cruelty to man, will have its Special Premiere at a VIP screening in downtown Toronto.
Roya Sadat’s Afghan feminist drama A LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT focuses on corrosive misogyny that pervades all levels of social system. The film was selected as the Afghan entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards.
Devashish Makhija’s revenge saga AJJI bitterly and scathingly looks at the ongoing struggle with violence against women and turns a grim light on the institutional and cyclical poverty, inequality, indifference and entitlement.
Hansal Mehta’s biographical crime thriller OMERTA starring Rajkumar Rao, Bornila Chatterjee’s vengeance drama THE HUNGRY starring Naseeruddin Shah and Dipesh Jain’s IN THE SHADOWS starring Manoj Bajpayee are the other thought provoking films that are making their premiere at the festival.
Ere Gowda’s BALEKEMPA, a gentle tale of secret desires, has already made a splash around the world after winning the FIPRESCI Award at the 2018 IFFR. Mostofa Sarwar Farooki’s Bengali film DOOB – NO BED OF ROSES is second Irrfan Khan starrer premiering at the festival.
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. Besides the short films by young female survivors of mental health, feature presentation THE BOY WITH TOP KNOT will be making its North American Premiere.
IFFSA 2018 line up also includes Shoojit Sarkar’s OCTOBER, Pankaj Batra’s SAJJAN SINGH RANGROOT and Vijay Kumar Arora’s HARJEETA which all are premiering at the festival before their worldwide release.
The festival will close with Rima Das’s internationally acclaimed feature VILLAGE ROCKSTARS depicts the rock ‘n’ roll dreams of a moppet which are motivated by larger issues, like rebellion and empowerment.
In addition festival also announced a series of glamourous galas, receptions, concerts and industry events. Titans of South Asian cinema including Anurag Kashyap, Hansal Mehta, Anup Singh and Mostofa Farooki will be present at the festival offering great learning opportunities through workshops, masterclasses and talks.
IFFSA Toronto expressed gratefulness to all its sponsors, which include title sponsor Bank of Montreal, Turkish Airlines, Toronto Star, CBC, Sheridan, OMDC, The Beer Store, Multi Ethnic and Crown Group of Hotels. 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