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Toronto film festival to host director SS Rajamouli as keynote speaker

Director Rajamouli will discuss Telugu cinema and the notion of art versus commerce in his address at the event.

Indian film director S S Rajamouli. Source: Twitter

S S Rajamouli, director of blockbuster movies such as Baahubali, its sequel Baahubali 2 and RRR this year, is joining elite company as a featured keynote speaker at the Toronto International Film Festival’s Visionaries programme this year.

According to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the section showcases “inspirational keynotes from distinguished industry leaders who are forging innovative new paths creatively and in business”.

Geoff Macnaughton, TIFF’s senior director, Industry & Theatrical, said, “Rajamouli’s inventive style, epic scale, mythological and historical reference points, and films that evade genre-specificity make him a distinct voice within the contemporary world cinema landscape. We are thrilled that he will be one of our four visionaries speakers this year at TIFF, especially in light of the recent global success of RRR.”

According to TIFF’s release he will “discuss Telugu cinema, the notion of art versus commerce, and his reputation of “pushing the limits of industrialised pop cinema, as articulated by (noted critic) Roger Ebert”.

Rajamouli will be the first Indian to figure in the visionaries slate at North America’s largest film festival. Others attending the programme this year include former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and her daughter Chelsea Clinton who will participate in an “in-depth conversation” to discuss their new documentary series ‘Gutsy’. The documentary based on ‘The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience’ and produced by their production company HiddenLight.

Also appearing at the event are Efe Çakarel, founder and CEO of the streaming service MUBI, and American filmmaker Tyler Perry.

The 2022 edition of the festival will be in the form of in-person screenings and industry interactions. The event had been fully digital in 2021 due to restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The festival will be held from September 8 to 18.

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