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TIFF 2022: Nandita Das’s Zwigato to be premiered in Contemporary World Cinema section

The documentary While We Watched on Ravish Kumar and the short film The Chase by Gurjeet Kaur Bassi will also have their world premieres at the Canadian film festival.

Our Correspondent

Zwigato, presented by Applause Entertainment and Nandita Das Initiatives, will have its world premiere at the 47th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) which is being held from 8 - 18 September next month.

The film, written and directed by Nandita Das, stars Kapil Sharma and Shahana Goswami. It will be screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section as an official selection.

Set in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, the Hindi film features Sharma who becomes a food delivery rider and struggles in the world of gig economy. Shahana Goswani plays his wife, a homemaker, who takes up a job to support the family as well.  Zwigato looks at an ‘ordinary’ family in the post-pandemic world and their relentless struggle of life.

Applause Entertainment CEO Sameer Nair said, “Zwigato depicts the lives of the often unseen people who are the heart and soul of this nation and its economy. Whilst the film is set in urban India, we believe that the themes of this film transcend geographical boundaries and will resonate with the global audience. It has been a pleasure to collaborate with Nandita, and we are delighted that Zwigato will have its world premiere at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival.”

Das shared that she was thrilled to present her third film as director at TIFF. She said, “A story about new urban India that is not just about the gig economy, but also about everything that we normalise around us. I found the perfect producing partner in Sameer Nair to tell this simple yet complex slice-of-life film.”

She continued, “This means a lot to me personally as I have debuted there both as an actor and director, with Fire (1996) and Firaaq (2009) respectively. Over the years, several other films have taken me to TIFF. I hope the universality of the theme of the film will resonate with the amazing audiences that the festival attracts from all over the world.”

Vinay Shukla’s Hindi documentary While We Watched on Ravish Kumar will also have its world premiere in the TIFF Docs section. According to the festival website, the feature “examines how independent news reporting in India and beyond is increasingly under threat by budgetary cuts and, especially, extremists leveraging alternative platforms to spread misinformation”.

Canadian documentary filmmaker Nisha Pahuja's To Kill A Tiger is also premiering in the same section. The Hindi feature follows "an Indian family’s arduous quest for justice after a teenage girl is brutally assaulted".

Finally, Gurjeet Kaur Bassi's short film, The Chase, will be premiered in the Short Cuts section. Starring Sukhman Gill and Sonia Mangat, the English-Punjabi short looks at a working-class Punjabi immigrant couple "get the chance to turn the tables on those who’ve wronged and harassed them".

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Toronto International Film Festival