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Priyanka Chopra guest of honour at Toronto film festival gala in support of female filmmakers


The Quantico actress will be in conversation with Cameron Bailey, the festival’s artistic director, a day before it begins on 7 September.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Sonal Pandya

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) will kick off its festival run from 7 to 17 September with an annual gala which will champion female storytellers. They have invited Priyanka Chopra to be their guest of honour on 6 September where the actress and UNICEF goodwill ambassador will be in conversation with the artistic director Cameron Bailey on her career in India and now in Hollywood. The amount raised at the gala will go towards funding talent development programmes.

The annual international festival has a five-year goal to prioritise gender parity in the industry with its fundraising gala. Titled ‘Share Her Journey’, the movement has signed on filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal, Deepa Mehta, Carol Nguyen, Omoni Oboli and Ann Marie Fleming as the ambassadors.

The festival notes that of the top 250 films of 2016, only 7% were directed by women while only 29% of the protagonists were female. TIFF is hoping to improve that. In 2016, 29% of the films selected at the festival were directed by female filmmakers.

Chopra’s films What’s Your Raashee? (2009) and Mary Kom (2014) had previously been screened in Toronto. Last year, she was part of a jury choosing the best digital short film from aspiring filmmakers around the world along with fellow jurors Ava DuVernay, Xavier Dolan and James Franco.