Sharing the same passion for cinematic excellence, the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) and Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) today announced their collaboration to host a tribute to the legend of Indian Cinema, Raj Kapoor, on the 26th of June in Toronto, post the 12th IIFA celebrations in Canada. The tribute will be followed by a retrospective film series called Raj Kapoor and the Golden Age of Indian Cinema, which will run for six weeks at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, TIFF’s permanent home. The Gala opening on June 26 will be hosted by acclaimed director Karan Johar. This year the IIFA Weekend and Awards will be held in Toronto, Ontario from 23rd -25th June 2011.
Several members of the first family of Indian cinema, the Kapoor family attended the media interaction to lend their support to the tribute and retrospective. The legacy of Prithviraj Kapoor has been succeeded by three generations starting with Shammi, Shashi and Raj Kapoor. Raj’s sons Randhir, Rishi and Rajiv Kapoor enjoyed success in the industry and his grandchildren Ranbir, Kareena and Karishma Kapoor have subsequently carried on the Kapoor tradition of brilliant artistry and super stardom. The family shared sentiments regarding the retrospective and pledged to be a part of the tribute event in Canada, come June 2011.
Speaking on behalf of the family Randhir Kapoor said, “I am very touched by this gesture and would like to thank IIFA and TIFF for honouring the legacy of our father who lived for his work and who lives on through his work. He is a true legend and I believe that this retrospective is a great way to honour his memory.”
Rishi Kapoor added, “Our father was a great man both in his personal and professional life. His passion and love for cinema shines through in all his movies and he has made a place for himself in the hearts of cinema lovers all over India. I’m thrilled about this retrospective of his work and cannot wait to see it. He has always been a true inspiration for me.”
With a career spanning over five decades, Raj Kapoor achieved phenomenal success and became the youngest director of his time at age 24 when he opened his own studio, RK Films. Aptly called ‘The Showman of the Millenium’, Raj Kapoor won several awards and was nominated for the ‘Palme D’or’ at the Cannes Film Festival which is the highest honour awarded to competing films at the festival. He was also awarded the ‘Padma Bhushan’ and the ‘Dadasaheb Phalke Award’ for his contributions to Indian Cinema. It is the magnitude of his accomplishments and the impact that he’s had on the world of cinema that this tribute aims to portray.
Sabbas Joseph, Director- Wizcraft said, “Through IIFA we have strived over the years to bring Indian Cinema to its fans across the world while simultaneously giving Indian films an international platform. It is an honour to have the opportunity to pay tribute to one of the greatest luminaries of Indian Cinema. The retrospective promises to be a brilliant showcase of Raj Kapoor and the magic he brought to the cinema screen.”
TIFF’s Artistic Director, Noah Cowan addressed the press to share how honoured TIFF was to play a part in showcasing this Festival. “We’re thrilled to be hosting a Raj Kapoor Tribute event at TIFF Bell Lightbox this June. TIFF offers a wide variety of year-round programming that allows audiences to engage with film, its history and its connection to contemporary culture. Kapoor fans are in for a treat with our retrospective film series which spans the career of this pioneer of Indian cinema.”
Cinema lovers will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to relive the magic of the legend’s films during this tribute and retrospective that will begin on the 26th June at TIFF Bell Lightbox, a state-of-the-art complex devoted to the appreciation of cinema in Toronto. Raj Kapoor and the Golden Age of Indian Cinema will feature 15 iconic Raj Kapoor classics including Aag, Barsaat, Awara, Aah, Boot Polish, Shree 420, Jagte Raho, Jis Des Mein Ganga Behti Hai, Sangam, Mera Naam Joker, Kal Aaj Aur Kal, Bobby, Satyam Shivam Sundaram and others.
Several pieces of memorabilia from Raj Kapoor films like costumes, cut-outs and props used during the films will be displayed in the TIFF Bell Lightbox atrium beginning early June. A series of paintings inspired by Raj Kapoor films by acclaimed Goa-based artist Seema Sardesai will also be showcased in the building.
The Toronto International Film Festival was initiated in 1976 and was known as the “Festival of Festivals". With a mandate to bring together the best films from around the world and showcase them to eager audiences in Toronto, TIFF has grown over the last 35 years into a year-round charitable cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, major exhibitions, and learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. For more information, visit TIFF.net.
The International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) which has become the most awaited award ceremony in the industry over the last twelve years is dedicated to taking Indian Cinema to greater and more glorious heights by promoting it on a global scale. The IIFA celebrations held in different global cities, annually, inculcate a symbiotic relationship between India and the host countries in terms of trade, tourism and cinema engagements.