Toronto Plans Film Spotlight on Mumbai Directors

The 2012 edition of TIFF's City-to-City sidebar will focus on local directors whose work distinguishes itself from dazzling Bollywood fare.

TORONTO – The Toronto International Film Festival is to shine a light on filmmakers based in Mumbai, and not necessarily their local surroundings, as part of its City-to-City sidebar in September.

After all, Mumbai, known to Bollywood fans the world over as the home of India's film industry, hardly needs a spotlight on its city landscape.

“This year we'll shift the scope of the program to showcase filmmakers living and working in Mumbai, regardless of where their films are set," TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey said from the FICCI Frames convention in Mumbai Thursday.

There's no word yet on which Mumbai directors will see their latest films booked into Toronto.

Adding Mumbai to its City-to-City program after earlier spotlights on Tel Aviv, Istanbul and Buenos Aires will also help the Toronto festival get closer to the city’s growing Indo-Canadian community, which has become a rich source of patronage in recent years.

“There's been an exciting evolution recently that's seen local independent films emerge to contrast with Bollywood's dazzling commercial movies,” Bailey said.

“Whether you call it Mumbai or Bombay, this city is a massive player in the global film world, and a place I've grown to love in all its diversity,” he added.

The 37th Toronto International Film Festival is set to run from September 6 to 16, 2012.