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The Hungry to be premiered at the Toronto film festival

Bornila Chatterjee's The Hungry is among the three Indian films set to be premiered at the 42nd edition of the festival.

A still from The Hungry

Shriram Iyengar

The announcement of Bornila Chatterjee's The Hungry being selected for a premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) later this year has spread cheer among Indian cinema lovers.

The film, an adaptation of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, joins Hansal Mehta's Omerta, Anurag Kashyap's Mukkabaaz, and the Ali Fazal-Judi Dench-starrer Victoria & Abdul on the list of films being screened at the festival.

The Hungry is a rare Indo-UK venture, co-produced by the Cinestaan Film Company (a sister company of Cinestaan Digital which runs this website) and Film London, and tells the story of a vengeful mother at the lavish wedding of two wealthy families. The film keeps with the classic play, taking on themes of corruption, greed, and revenge, while updating it for a global audience.

The film's cast of Naseeruddin Shah, Tisca Chopra, Neeraj Kabi and Sayani Gupta adds to its quality.

As part of the three projects picked up by Amazon Prime Video in collaboration with CFC, The Hungry will be streamed exclusively on the over-the-top service along with Dev Bhoomi and A Death In The Gunj (2017).

Speaking of the project, CFC chairman Rohit Khattar said, "The Hungry being selected for a premiere at TIFF, a festival dedicated to presenting the best of international cinema, is a very fulfilling moment for us. I congratulate Bornila and the entire cast and crew and thank Film London as well as my amazing team at Cinestaan Film Company and C International Sales. We do hope our wonderful experience with The Hungry shall encourage others to explore such international collaborations as this is what makes storytelling a universal process."

Adrian Wootton, chief executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, added, "Film London is very proud and pleased alongside Cinestaan to have been part of the commission and creation of The Hungry and to see this talented group of filmmakers realize their unique vision of Shakespeare. Toronto is one of the most prestigious and influential film festivals in the world, so it is a terrific achievement that The Hungry has been invited to premiere there and we are very excited to see the audience's reaction in such a great cinematic environment."

Actress Sayani Gupta expressed joy, saying, "I'm ecstatic that The Hungry has been selected for TIFF. It's an absolute honour being selected for TIFF and extremely rewarding that this is the third year that my film is premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival after Margarita With A Straw (2015) and Parched (2016). So it's a hat-trick for me!"

Speaking about director Chatterjee, the actress said, "She is so young but incredibly sorted, brilliant, and completely in control of the craft. It was also a fantastic star cast including Naseer, Tisca, Neeraj Kabi, Suraj Sharma, Antonio, Arjun, Karan Pandit, Savita. But the cherry on the cake has to be working with Naseer on this film. I play his daughter in the film and he really made the coolest father there could be! We are all excited with the TIFF premiere and looking forward to it also cause this year its focus is women."

Apart from The Hungry, CFC is producing the upcoming Saif Ali Khan-starrer Kaalakaandi, directed by Akshat Verma.The film is expected to be released on 8 September.

Meanwhile, Ali Fazal is another actor excited about the festival. Fazal plays Abdul, the young Indian assistant to queen Victoria in Stephen Frears's drama Victoria & Abdul.

Ecstatic about the film's selection, the actor said, "This is totally grand. TIFF is always known for its select films and that is very interesting to know that we have been selected for that and we are having our world premiere there. The film team is really amazing, with Stephen Frears I think people are always looking forward to his movies."

The 42nd edition of the festival will be held from 7 September through 17 September 2017.

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