The world premiere of ace cameraman and film maker Santosh Sivan's first Hollywood film 'Before the Rains' will be held at the 32nd Toronto International Film Festival in September this year. Sivan told IANS that his film would be screened along with eight other films as part of two gala presentations and six special presentations at the festival, to be held from September 6 to 15. 'I am extremely delighted. More so because my film has Malayalam actors in it and will be screened on a world platform,' he said. 'Before the Rains' is a period film set in 1937 and has a cast that includes actors from the US, Britain and India. Malayalam actors Thilakan, Lal and Indrajit are in the movie. The film has been shot in the picturesque Munnar hill station of Idukki district and focuses on the dilemma of people who straddle two worlds. The US-based Echo Lake Productions, Adirondack Pictures and Santosh Sivan have produced the movie jointly. 'It is about a British planter (Linus Roache), who wants to commercially tap the produce of Kerala's high ranges, mainly spices, and he is assisted by an Indian (Rahul Bose). It also delves into relationships of his wife (Jennifer Ehle), his lover (Nandita Das) and his aide,' said Sivan. British actor Linus Roache who attracted media attention in the BBC television series 'Seaforth' (1994) has gone on record saying that his work in 'Before the Rains' is his best ever in his two decades in the film industry.
The Hollywood Reporter has a bit more information about the other films that will be shown at the festival. Note that Michael Clayton is among them; it will be making its North American debut there. The Star has a short article about George Clooney's role in Michael Clayton, and the Variety.com blog has a preview of the movie (courtesy of YouTube) and a description of all the films that will be taking part in the festival. Here is how they describe Before the Rains:
[...] The English language debut of acclaimed Indian director Santosh Sivan (THE TERRORIST, ASOKA), set in 1930s India. When a married British colonialist (Linus Roache) is caught having an affair with his beautiful housemaid (Nandita Das), he convinces his trusted farmhand (Rahul Bose) - a member of the housemaid's tribe - to help find a solution to the potentially deadly situation. [...]
The Indian Express also has an article about A. Streekar Prasad, the film editor of Before the Rains. He has this to say about director Santosh Sivan:
[...] “Santosh, high on energy and bursting with ideas, has a penchant for experimentation,” says Sreekar. “He comes up with six different ideas in one go and lets the editor play around.” [...]
In other news, the Drama Desk winners, which were announced last May, will be receiving their trophies at a cocktail reception on July 17th. Tom Stoppard, Jack O'Brien, Martha Plimpton and many other members of the Utopian gang will be among them. See Playbill for a list of the nominees and winners.
The New York Sun has an article about the potential the internet has for building theater audiences. It makes mention of The Coast of Utopia website and blog that were created by Lincoln Center Theater:
[...] The nonprofit theater world is looking closely at the possibilities the Web offers, too. The director of marketing at Lincoln Center Theater, Linda Mason Ross, said that to attract young audiences to Christopher Shinn's "Dying City," which played in the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater earlier this year, LCT experimented with advertising on Web sites such as theonion.com, thelmagazine.com, and hopstop.com. LCT also created a custom Web site for Tom Stoppard's "Coast of Utopia," which included a blog by a theater critic. Ms. Ross said the company would also be redeveloping its main site in the coming year, in order to offer more information about its productions, with video and other multimedia features.
(What? No mention of our wee blog?!)
And, one more little tidbit: According to the New York Social Diary, Rosemary Harris was part of a starry crowd that attended the premiere of Away From Her at a Cinema Society screening. Scroll down towards the bottom of the article to see a photo of her.