Italian stars Virginia Raffaele and Luca Barbareschi in Toronto for launch of ICFF 2019

The 2019 edition of the Italian Contemporary Film Festival kicked off yesterday with a sold-out screening of Dolceroma at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, where the film’s producer and lead actor Luca Barbareschi charmed the crowd, alongside Italian actress Virginia Raffaele, whose comedic antics entertained the audience. Following the Opening Film, a Dolceroma-themed cocktail party launched the official start of the eighth edition of the Festival; a massive celebration enhanced by the Raptors’ NBA Championship win. 

Some of the biggest stars and starlets of Italian cinema are descending on Toronto for the eighth edition of the Italian Contemporary Film Festival, launching nine days of films and special events across the country. Italian superstar producer, director and actor Luca Barbareschi presented his latest work Dolceroma at TIFF Bell Lightbox, ahead of the Opening Party at Ricarda’s. Barbareschi, who says he was most inspired by Steven Spielberg in his career, notes the film is set against the beauty and the tragedy of the eternal city, saying “Rome is condemned to never die. It’s slowly dying, but it will never die.”

As a tribute to Barbareschi’s extensive career, he will present two other films during this year’s festival, the comedy Airplane Mode/Modalita’ aereo, a hilarious commentary on the destructive power of social media in the age of celebrity, and the stunning biopic I Am Mia/Io sono Mia, the tragic true story of one of the greatest Italian singers of all time, Mia Martini. Barbareschi will be receiving the ICFF 2019 Best Producer Award.

In honour of the opening film, the ICFF Opening Party was a true celebration of Roman decadence and culture, held at one of the best and most beautiful Italian restaurants in Toronto, Ricarda’s at the Queen Richmond Centre. More than a thousand guests filled the stunning atrium with its 70-foot ceilings, Continue reading “Italian stars Virginia Raffaele and Luca Barbareschi in Toronto for launch of ICFF 2019”

A-Z Films has picked up ‘The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir’

Film stars renowned Indian Actor Dhanush in the lead 

A-Z Films has picked up The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir, a comedy adventure by Quebec director Ken Scott (Starbuck, Delivery Man, Unfinished Business, La Grande Séduction) and starring the well-known Indian actor Dhanush, and featuring Bérénice Béjo (The Artist) Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips) Erin Moriarty (Blood Father) and Abel Jafri (Timbuktu). Rounding out the cast is Gérard Jugnot, Ben Miller, Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse, Stefano Cassetti.

A co-production between France, India and Belgium, the English-language feature will be distributed in Canada by A-Z films, and released day and date with US, India and Canada on June 21.  

The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir most recently won the Audience Award for Best Comedy at the Barcelona Sant-Jordi International Film Festival, and was the opening night film at the International Film Festival of South Asia, in Toronto.

The screenplay was written by author Romain Puértolas, and Luc Bossi who also is producing through his Paris-based company Brio Films. Other co-producers include Vamonos Films, Little Red Car Films, Scope Pictures, M! Capital Ventures, Impact Films and Golden Ratio Films.

The film has been adapted from Puértolas’ novel “The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe,” which came out in 2014 and has been translated into 35 languages.

A hustler from Mumbai embarks on an extraordinary voyage across Europe in search of his estranged father. During his trip, he finds love in a Swedish furniture store in Paris, but danger with Somalian migrants ensues and he ends up in London, then more threats follow the young man until he finds himself in Rome, where an unlikely threat shadows the hustler on to a hot-air balloon that rides across the Med. Continue reading “A-Z Films has picked up ‘The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir’”

ICFF celebrates Italian Oscar winners from GreenBook and Life is Beautiful

— Highlights of the bold 2019 lineup!

Film lovers can expect another glamorous, star-studded Italian Contemporary Film Festival across Canada this June, with more movies and guest stars than ever, including writer and producer of the 2019 Best Picture Green Book, Nick Vallelonga, and renowned Italian composer, Nicola Piovani, winner of the 1999 Oscar for Best Original Score for Life is Beautiful.

Among the many stars arriving from Italy for this year’s festival are Ezio Greggio, Claudio Gubitosi, Luca Barbareschi, Fabio De Luigi and Piera Detassis.

The Italian Contemporary Film Festival, presented by IC Savings and in affiliation with Fare Cinema, announced the lineup for its 8th edition at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Toronto today. The 2019 program features 128 diverse and acclaimed films, including dozens of shorts and documentaries, totalling more than 190 screenings across the country – its largest and most ambitious program to date, which will see no shortage of star power.

Guests of the 2019 festival will include Nick Vallelonga, writer and producer of the 2019 Academy Award-winning film for Best Picture and Best Screenplay, Green Book; world-renowned Italian composer Nicola Piovani, winner of the 1999 Oscar for Best Original Score for Life is Beautiful (La vita è bella); Continue reading “ICFF celebrates Italian Oscar winners from GreenBook and Life is Beautiful”

IFFSA: Voice of South Asian Cinema in Canada

On April 18th, IFFSA Toronto unveiled an exciting lineup of films and events for this year’s festival, which runs from May 9th to May 20th. As a film festival, every year IFFSA’s attempt has been to surprise the film lovers, to take us on new adventures.

To begin with,   IFFSA, is over the moon to have the opportunity and honour to share some very special films, with their audiences, as part of our celebration of the ‘Hundred Years of Bengali Cinema’,

IFFSA Toronto is THE LARGEST SOUTH ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL IN NORTH AMERICA. In its 8th year now, the festival has become an international icon and the voice of South Asian cinema in Canada.

This 12+ day extravaganza showcases a diverse, language independent, selection of the best feature films, featurette films, short films, documentaries and music films from around the world, on themes of South Asian cultures and identities. In the spirit of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – the world is one family”, a select number of foreign films are considered under Beyond South Asia segment.

In addition, the festival also features gala dinners, red carpet premiers, concerts, lounge parties, exhibitions, seminars, workshops and networking opportunities with government representatives, business leaders, local organizations that support film development, film stars, producers, directors, members of the media and more. Continue reading “IFFSA: Voice of South Asian Cinema in Canada”

Andhadhun to release in China as ‘Piano Player’

Andhadhun, a film that got the audiences, industry and even the critics raving, can easily be called the ‘Best Film of the year 2018. After winning accolades in India, the film is now set for a big opening in China soon. Produced by Viacom18 Motion PicturesMatchbox Pictures, Andhadhun is directed by India’s king of neo noir cinema, Sriram Raghavan. The film has been distributed internationally by Eros International.

Ajit Andhare, COO, Viacom18 Studios, says, “I am happy to announce that Viacom18 Studios has secured its maiden release in China and that too with our favourite film Andhadhun. I am very excited about our film’s prospect at the China box office and celebrating what is a major first for the studio.”

The film titled ‘Piano Player’ for the Chinese audiences is also the first China release for maverick director, Sriram Raghavan. He says, “I am super thrilled that Andhadhun is releasing in China. Ten years back, on a visit to China, I walked into a Beijing Cafe and was zapped to see Nasir Husain’s CARAVAN playing on a big screen. Dubbed in Chinese except for the songs. I was told the film was the favourite Indian film of that generation. I am curious how the Chinese audience responds to our musical thriller.”

Viacom18 Studios along with Eros International has now partnered with Tang Media Partners to release this quirky thriller in China.

Andhadhun starring Tabu, Ayushmann Khurrana and Radhika Apte opened to rave reviews in India on October 5th, 2019.

Continue reading “Andhadhun to release in China as ‘Piano Player’”

The 2019 ICFF Youth program offers a variety of youth films in multiple languages!

The 2019 ICFF Youth program will feature 12 films, burgeoning from an Italian film festival to a marvellous multicultural celebration of film, which includes 2 Canadian-made movies: La Légende de Sarila (The Legend of Sarila) and Nelly et Simon: Mission Yéti (Nelly and Simon: Mission Yeti).

The International Contemporary Film Festival Youth returns with another fantastic program from April 8th to the 13th. Presented by IC Savings, ICFF Youth continues to grow, now featuring more international films than ever. Screenings will take place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, Cineplex Yorkdale, Cineplex Cinemas in Vaughan and SilverCity Richmond Hill.

The 2019 line-up features movies in Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin and Cantonese with English subtitles.

La Légende de Sarila (French)(The Legend of Sarila) is a Canadian animated movie based on Inuit culture and tradition. Set in northern Canada in 1910, it tells the story of three young Inuits, who head for the legendary land of Sarila in search of food for their clan.

Leo Da Vinci: Missione Monna Lisa (Italian) (Leo Da Vinci: Mission Mona Lisa) is a North American premiere and a co-production between Italy and Poland. It tells the tale of a brilliant inventor who finds himself on an adventure to find a hidden treasure to help his friend Lisa, who has lost everything. Continue reading “The 2019 ICFF Youth program offers a variety of youth films in multiple languages!”

Kesari trailer out now. Megastar Akshay Kumar Starrer Showcases ‘The Story Of The Bravest Battle Ever Fought’

The much awaited trailer for Kesari is out and has left audiences enthralled. After sharing glimpses of the battle of Saragarhi in three teasers that were released last week, the trailer, which is packed with action, drama and emotion gives audiences an insight into the bravest battle ever fought. 

The Kesari trailer begins with Akshay Kumar saying, “A Britisher, once told me, I am a slave and only cowards are born in India. Today is the day to give him a reply.” Just a few seconds later, the viewers can see thousands of Afghan soldiers running towards Akshay’s character Havildar Ishar Singh, the leader of the Sikh regiment. The trailer then takes the audience into the middle of the epic battle of Saragarhi. All who experience the trailer for ‘Kesari’ will be left with the urge to find out how these 21 brave Sikh soldiers fought against 10,000 Afghan soldiers to safeguard their land from invasion.

Akshay Kumar looks convincing as a leader of the Sikh soldiers, who can be seen roaring like lions in the midst of combat with weapons in their hands and rage in their eyes. The trailer captivates and fascinates with fearsome action scenes, spectacular sword fighting techniques, and intense dialogues. The trailer also introduces the female lead of the film Parineeti Chopra, who is filled with pride as Akshay Kumar heads for the battle.

The background score, action scenes and rugged avatar of megastar Akshay Kumar will surely leave movie lovers wanting more. Continue reading “Kesari trailer out now. Megastar Akshay Kumar Starrer Showcases ‘The Story Of The Bravest Battle Ever Fought’”

Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt visit India Pavilion at Berlinale 2019

International Festival Heads keen to attend the 50th Anniversary of IFFI

The team behind the upcoming movie‘Gully Boy’including Mr. Ranveer Singh, Ms. Alia Bhatt, Ms. Zoya Akhtar &Mr. RiteshSidhwani visited the India Pavilion at Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) 2019. They released the IFFI 2019 Brochure and were apprised by the Indian delegation about activities planned for the Golden Jubilee anniversary of IFFI to be held later this year.

The Indian Delegation members at Berlinale met with over half a dozen Film Festival Heads & Key Senior Executives of the film industry. Ms Nadia Dresti, Deputy Artistic Director and Head of Locarno Film Festival was apprised about several policy initiatives of the Government of India to promote ease of filming and curb piracy. Her help was sought by the delegation to reach out to Locarno Film Festival for IFFI 2019.Ms Dresti expressed that she had visited IFFI Goa last year and emphasized her proactive participation for the 2019 Edition as well.

Indian Delegation also interacted with Mr Stephan Ottenbruch, Head of Indo-German Films, wherein they discussed about a larger German presence at IFFI 2019 andexplored possibilities ofcollaboration. Continue reading “Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt visit India Pavilion at Berlinale 2019”

AKSHAY KUMAR & ROHIT SHETTY TO COME TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ‘SOORYAVANSHI’

Akshay Kumar and Rohit Shetty are teaming up for the first time. Another cop franchise from the Singham and Simmba director, the new film, titled Sooryavanshi, will feature the megastar Akshay Kumar as an ATS (Anti-Terrorist Squad) officer.

Glimpses of his character have already been seen in the end credits of the Ranveer Singh-starrer Simmba and the blockbuster director also announced that the action drama will release later this year. Perfect way to get the fans excited!

Before starting filming for Sooryavanshi, the Gold actor has pending shoot for two films — Mission Mangal and Good News. Filming for the super cop action-drama Sooryavanshi is likely to commence this year.

Both Rohit Shettyand Akshay Kumar are known to finish their projects in record time. So, it won’t be surprising if their maiden collaboration is also ready in time for a release this year.

 Akshay Kumar will be next seen in Kesari in March. He also has the fourth installment of comedy franchise Housefull in the pipeline.

Rohit Shetty’s Simmba, which stars Ranveer Singh in the title role, has a special appearance by Ajay Devgn in his Bajirao Singham avatar. In addition, there was another guest appearance, just when it seemed like the end credits will start rolling, Akshay Kumar’s voice boomed. Continue reading “AKSHAY KUMAR & ROHIT SHETTY TO COME TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ‘SOORYAVANSHI’”

TIFF TOP FIVE: SPARKLE, SIZZLE & SHINE

TIFF stands with women in front of and behind the camera. In the film industry, like any other, women play different roles as actresses, film directors, film producers cinematographers, and other film industry professionals. Due to cinegoers, film lovers and the movies they champion, these past years have been incredible for women.
Some of the top films that were screened at TIFF this year, were women centric, either in lead roles or in the creative aspect.

Presenting the ‘Top 5’ films in my opinion, based on screenplay, acting, and theme.

A STAR IS BORN

Hollywood’s most enduring story of love and ambition gets a glorious reinvention in Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born. Drawing deep on the pleasures audiences previously discovered in the 1937, 1954, and 1976 versions, Cooper brings the narrative right up to the present. He takes on the role of the fame-weary star himself and, for the ingénue with megawatt potential, he crafts a perfect big-screen role for Lady Gaga.
As an actor, Cooper has worked with Clint Eastwood and David O. Russell; here he shows both Eastwood’s unfussy economy and Russell’s emotional intensity. But the style is entirely his, finding its biggest moments in scenes between just two people, and stripping away any excess to showcase Gaga’s confident, honest performance. Both intimate and epic, this is a love story that hovers between the shadow of tragedy and the bright light of artists at their peak. Continue reading “TIFF TOP FIVE: SPARKLE, SIZZLE & SHINE”