By Nita Balani
MISSISSAUGA: The Punjabi International Film Festival (PIFF) is set to rock Canada again!
Famous Punjabi actor-singer Gippy Grewal, filmmaker Harry Baweja, Pakistani actress Meera and city mayor Hazel McCallion joined the organizers of the PIFF here on Friday in unveiling its second edition to be held from May 16 to May 20.
It was indeed a splendid and informative evening at the Living Arts Centre with not only actors and actresses but also TV personalities, directors, politicians and prominent community members coming out to support great talent and opportunity to view the artistic and modern films from the world of Punjabi cinema.
The highlight of the evening was when actor Gippy Grewal came out on stage with a bevy of beautiful dancers as the audience cheered him and flashbulbs popped.
Grewal is the rising star amongst stars of Punjabi cinema and was there to promote his new comedy Lucky Di Unlucky Story which was screened at the end of the evening.
The star of the film Ishq Khuda, Pakistani actress Meera fascinated the media and the audience. She is often referred to as the “Madhubala of Pakistan”. Ishq Khuda is one of the highly anticipated films that will make its world premiere here at the festival.
PIFF president Sunny Gill said, “This year’s festival will be filled with movies, cultural entertainment and fun for the whole family.”
The first PIFF was held last year and had a turnout of over 8,000 in attendance for the screenings. Canada has a population of over half a million Punjabi speaking people and is fast growing to be one of the most important international markets for the Punjabi film industry.
Harry Baweja, well-known Indian film director, said the festival plays an important role in encouraging younger generations of filmmakers to make films in their own language and helps give expression to common social issues affecting the communities.
Harry Baweja has produced Chaar Sahibzaade which is the first Punjabi photo realistic 3D animated feature film. Based on Guru Gobind Singhji’s four sons, the film has been well received as it is a part of Sikh history in animated form attracting the younger generation to learn more about their culture. His movies include many Bollywood films, including Love Story 2050 a Hindi sci-fi movie.
Mayor Hazel McCallion, local ward councillors, the CEO of Living Arts Centre and many prominent members of the Bank of Montreal joined to enjoy the evening extravaganza.
Apart from screening full-length and short films, this year’s film festival also features an open air screening and community event at Wildwood Park in Malton to allow fans to meet the stars. It is accessible to all community members with many free screenings with prior registrations.
For screening, timings and locations see www.pifftoronto.com