Deepa Mehta's Midnight's Children to debut this fall
Anticipated Salman Rushdie adaptation could premiere at Venice or Toronto film festivals
Canadian director Deepa Mehta hopes to debut her long-anticipated adaptation of Midnight’s Children at the Toronto or Venice film festivals later this year.
Mehta is currently in the post-production and sound-editing stage of her film, which is based on Salman Rushdie’s Booker-winning novel. She anticipates it could be completed by May.
Speaking in Toronto Thursday, Mehta said she doesn’t yet know where it will debut, but that the decision could come in June.
"I have no idea where it’s going to premiere. I love [the Toronto International Film Festival] and I love Toronto. Maybe Venice — Venice is a possibility," she told CBC News.
Programmers for the Toronto International Film Festival, set for September, are likely keen to host the premiere of Mehta's high-profile Canadian film. In 2011, TIFF lost out on the debut of David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method to the Venice festival, which begins a week earlier.
Mehta said Rushdie’s novel, about a group of children born on the eve of India’s independence from Britain and endowed with magical powers, has been one of her favourites from the past 40 years. The book charts India’s transition from colonialism to partition and independence.
"It’s an epic from 1917 to 1977 in post-colonial India. At the centre of it, it’s the story of a man and identity and how we broker that. So it’s really about hope," Mehta said.
The Indo-Canadian filmmaker, known for her Oscar-nominated Water and films such as Bollywood/Hollywood, said Midnight’s Children was made from a Canadian perspective because it is her movie.
She shared the details of Midnight's Children on Thursday, after receiving an award for her outstanding contribution to film from Indo-Canadian actress Lisa Ray at ceremony to launch the Toronto South Asian International Film Festival. The new event is meant to shine a spotlight on South Asian film and will have its first edition in June 2013.
"I’ve often wondered why we don’t have [such a festival] in Toronto because we have a huge South Asian community and people who are not South Asians who are interested in the cinema. It’s an ideal opportunity to bring the two worlds together," Mehta said.