Mehta’s Water to open Toronto Film Festival
Jun 30, 2005 by Ian Evans
Sushi, wine, and a roomful of journalists…it must be the first press conference leading up to September’s 30th Toronto International Film Festival.
The Royal York Hotel’s Imperial Room played host to Tuesday’s event, where we learned that the world premiere of Deepa Mehta’s Water would be the opening the festival on September 8th.
“We are extremely pleased to have Deepa Mehta open the Toronto International Film Festival for the first time with this extraordinary film,” said Noah Cowan, Festival Co-Director. “The Festival has been a long time supporter of her extraordinary career and she has been a wonderful partner for us in building this Festival and organization.”
“Canadian filmmakers are creating some of the world’s finest cinema,” added Piers Handling, Director and CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival Group. “The Festival is proud to provide a nuturing, supportive, and inclusive environment for this growth to continue into the future.”
Set against the backdrop of Mahatma Gandhi’s rise to power, eight-year old child-bride Chuyia hears of her husband’s death. Her father, following custom, exiles her to a widow’s ashram where she is meant to live out her days. Chuyia’s feisty presence starts to affect the lives of the other residents, in particular 20-year-old Kalyani (Lisa Ray), 35-year-old Shakuntala (Seema Biswas) and an 80-year-old whose days are waning. Encouraged by Chuyia, Kalyani (who serves as the ashram’s breadwinner) breaks tradition and falls for young upper-class Gandhian idealist Narayan (John Abraham), forcing the widows to question their future and faith. Even Chuyia is caught in the wind of change.