'Kabhi Alvida...' selected for Toronto Film Festival

Jul 25, 2006 Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, July 26 (IANS) The decision to screen "Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna" (KANK) in the Gala Section of Toronto Film Festival didn't exactly come as a surprise to Karan Johar.

"I had met the head of the Toronto Film Festival, Cameron Bailey, at the Cannes Film Festival in May. He had shown interest in KANK. This is the benefit of attending intentional cinema events. It is not just your vision as a cinema person that broadens. Prospects of Indian cinema also get bettered," Johar told IANS.

"I'm especially glad about KANK being selected for Toronto because it might open up a new market for our cinema in North America. I don't think any mainstream Hindi film before has been selected for Gala Presentation at Toronto."

The festival, being held Sep 7-16, generally selects unreleased films. But with KANK, which will hit the Indian screens Aug 11, they have made an exception.

"Though my film is releasing in India in August they are nonetheless taking the film for their festival. A part of the credit must go to Times of India's Meenakshi Shedde. She really pushed for the film.

"The Toronto Festival directorate invited the film for a trial screening. Apparently all 14 members of the jury loved my KANK. They immediately selected the film."

The Gala Presentation section of the festival is reserved for big spectacular films. Johar plans to take his entire cast-Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukerji and Preity Zinta-to Toronto.

"Our film will be screened there on Sep 10. And I hope to be there with the entire cast. It is very gratifying to know that it is already being given such an honour abroad when, in fact, the film hasn't been seen by anyone in India yet."

Johar hopes to have the first full-length screening of the film for the cast and crew at the end of this month when Amitabh returns from London.

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Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna


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