Thousands throng 'Guru' premiere in Toronto

Jan 12, 2007 IANS

Vancouver, Jan 12 (IANS) The South Asian community in Toronto was out in full force for the premiere of Bollywood film "Guru" and to catch a glimpse of stars Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai.

An estimated 1,200 Hindi cinema fans - some clad in vibrant saris, ghagra cholis (skirt-blouse) and flashy salwar kameezes - were seen outside the historic Elgin Theatre Thursday evening.

"They're the Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie of the Indian community," an excited Indian teenager was heard saying after seeing Abhishek and Aishwarya, who arrived a little late owing to a flight delay.

"The South Asian community is very important to our city and so is the film industry. Bollywood brings them together," said Mayor David Miller as he walked into the screening, the Canada Post reported.

According to the 2001 Canadian census, 917,000 individuals identified themselves as South Asians, accounting for 23 percent of the total population.

Bobby Bedi, producer of "Guru", said he chose Toronto for his premiere because it "by far is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world".

The film is about the life of a young man who rose from poverty in a small Indian village in the 1950s to defy the odds and become a major textile merchant. "Guru" is loosely based on late business tycoon Dhirubhai Ambani.

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