Toronto: Indian Title 'A Death in the Gunj' to Open Mumbai Film Festival

'A Death in the Gunj' Still - Publicity - H 2016
Courtesy of TIFF

The coming-of-age drama, the directorial debut of actress Konkona Sen Sharma, had its world premiere at Toronto.

The Mumbai Film Festival will once again throw the spotlight on India's evolving independent scene with opening film A Death in the Gunj.

The directorial debut of well-known actress Konkona Sen Sharma (Talvar), the film had its world premiere at Toronto on September 9 in the festival's Special Presentations section.

The film will also screen next month at Busan in that festival's Window on Asian cinema section.

The '70s-set coming-of-age story is based on true events and revolves around a family on holiday in the remote McCluskiegunj tourist area, in the eastern state of Jharkhand. Most of the film's dialogue is in English.

A Death in the Gunj stars actresses Kalki Koechlin (who toplined 2014's Margarita With a Straw, which also premiered at Toronto) and Tillotama Shome (Monsoon Wedding), along with actors Vikrant Massey (Lootera), Gulshan Devaiah (Peddlers) and Ranvir Shorey (Titli). Veteran actor Om Puri (The Hundred Foot Journey) and actress Tanuja complete the cast.

The film marks the producing debut of director Abhishek Chaubey (Udta Punjab) in partnership with Honey Trehan via the MacGuffin Pictures banner.

Last year's edition of the Mumbai festival also opened with a film based on real life, Hansal Mehta's Aligarh, which was set in the central Indian town of the same name and revolves around a professor who is suspended from his university after he is accused of being gay.

The Mumbai Film Festival is organized by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images with principal sponsor telecom major Reliance Jio and News Corp.'s Star India network. As in the past, the festival's lineup -- which will be announced later this month -- will feature the best of international, Hollywood and Indian cinema.

The 18th edition of the Mumbai festival runs from Oct. 20-27. A Death in the Gunj will screen on Oct. 21.