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Deepa Mehta

'Water' to open Toronto Film Festival

01st July 2005  11.13 IST
By Agencies  


India-born director Deepa Mehta 's film 'Water', which triggered violent protests while being shot in Varanasi five years ago, will open the Toronto International Film Festival.

The opening-night gala at the Toronto festival is traditionally reserved for a Canadian film.




'Water', which will be premiered at the festival, beat movies by Canadian filmmakers Atom Egoyan and David Cronenberg for the prestigious opening slot, the organisers said here yesterday.

The international festival kicks off on September 8 and will run till September 17.

The film is the final instalment of Mehta's element trilogy and follows in the footsteps of 'Fire' made in 1996 and 'Earth' in 1998, they said.

'Water' stars Lisa Ray , Seema Biswas and John Abraham , and is set in pre-independent India around the time of Mahatma Gandhi's rise to power. It recounts the saga of eight-year-old child-bride Chuyia, who is exiled to an ashram after her husband dies.

Filming of the movie in India was abandoned five years ago after Hindu protesters burned its sets, claiming it distorted Indian culture. Mehta, a Canadian citizen, received death threats while shooting it in Varanasi. It was later completed in Sri Lanka.

Mehta was at the festival in 2003 with her adaptation of the Carol Shields novel 'The Republic of Love.'

Cronenberg's 'A History Of Violence', a big-screen adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name, will have its North American premiere at the festival. Director Egoyan's 'Where the Truth Lies' will also have its debut.

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Deepa Mehta
Lisa Ray
Seema Biswas
John Abraham





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