The Toronto International Film Festival is over but the impressions continue to linger. As of Sept. 15, approximately 40 films have been sold to distributors. In fact, participation from Asian delegates made all the difference according to a press release from TIFF:
The Festival’s Sales and Industry Office accredited 4,280 industry delegates this year – a 9% growth over 2011 – and worked closely with delegates to facilitate information sharing and foster relationships between accredited buyers, sales agents, producers and filmmakers. Industry delegates represented 2,563 companies and came to Toronto from 81 countries (up from 77 in 2011). Notably, attendance from Asia increased by 40% across the following countries: Japan, China, India and South Korea.
“With the Festival’s inaugural Asian Film Summit and Mumbai as the focus of the City to City programme, our goal was to attract more interest from delegates in Asia this year and we’re very happy with the results,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival.
Bailey and director Hansal Mehta were quoted by the Hindustan Times as well on this moment for independent films from India:
“This is a watershed moment for Indian cinema,” said Cameron Bailey, festival’s artistic director. Bailey, who has championed Hindi cinema, added: If bringing these films to Toronto does only one thing, I want it to show that India’s filmmakers can do a lot more than make formula musicals. We don’t have to renounce our love for Bollywood’s best but we should feel free to take on a new lover: Indian independent cinema.
The makers of Indian independent cinema couldn’t have asked for a better audience. Director Hansal Mehta who premiered his film Shahid, said that he was moved by the response.
“The applause and the fact that Shahid is provoking debate is the real objective behind its making,” he said.