Sunny Leone, Taapsee Pannu, Anurag Kashyap, to Headline IFFSA Toronto

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FESTIVAL

Anurag Kashyap, Sunny Leone, Taapsee Pannu, Rahul Bhat, Ranjan Singh, Anup Singh, Don Palathara, and Sami Khan are among the guest list at the 12th edition of BMO International Film Festival of South Asia (IFFSA), Toronto (Oct. 12-22).

With a lineup of some 120 films and more than 30 events, IFFSA is among the largest South Asian-themed festivals in the world. Selections include Cannes duo – Kashyap’s “Kennedy,” starring Leone and Bhat, and Kanu Behl’s “Agra,” Laetitia Colombani’s “The Braid” starring Kim Raver (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and Berlin selections “Ghaath” by Chhatrapal Ninawe and “Aatmapamphlet” by Ashish Bende. From Rotterdam, Palathara’s “Family,” starring Vinay Forrt and Devashish Makhija’s “Joram,” headlined by Manoj Bajpayee, feature alongside Jagath Manuwarna’s Sri Lankan film “Whispering Mountains.”

Acclaimed Bangladesh series “Pett Kata Shaw” will feature as will Canadian Bengali-language production “Meghna Konnya” by Fuad Chowdhury, Atul Sabharwal’s Hindi-language “Berlin” and Osman Rafiq’s “Daira: Rim of Life” from Pakistan.

Festival director Sunny Gill said: “IFFSA Toronto is not just a festival; it’s a cultural phenomenon that celebrates the rich tapestry of South Asian cinema. With an impressive lineup of films and events, we aim to create an unforgettable experience that resonates with cinephiles and creators alike.”

DISTRIBUTION

GRB Studios and Media Ranch have entered into a joint venture partnership to create independent distribution organization GRB Media Ranch. The new entity will have a portfolio that includes over 5,000 hours of factual, unscripted, and scripted programming as well as formats in all genres. Both companies will retain their separate production and creative businesses. Creative and original production for GRB Studios will remain solely with GRB under the management of Gary R. Benz while Media Ranch’s original IP and format development, including current paper formats, and incubator Horsepower will remain solely with Media Ranch, under the management of Sophie Ferron and with Philip Kalin-Hajdu, head of development and storytelling.

The team will include personnel from both partners handling distribution. From GRB:  Liz Levenson will cover Africa, Middle East, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe while Torquil Macneal will cover APAC; Janel Downing will cover Latin America;  and from Media Ranch:  Tanja van der Goes will cover Europe for formats; Alexa Jorizzo will cover Europe and Canada for finished programs.      

GRB’s roster includes “Intervention” and “Untold Stories of the E.R.,” while Media Ranch distributes over 150 formats, including “Round Table” from “Masked Singer” creator Wonwoo Park and “Comedy on the Edge.”

CHECKING OUT

Stephen Tate, head of entertainment & factual programming, is to depart Paramount Australia and New Zealand, at the end of the week. He has worked there, and its predecessor Network 10, for some 20 years. He has producing and executive production credits including “Australian Idol,” “Big Brother,” “Australian Survivor,” “The Bachelor Australia,” “The Masked Singer Australia,” “The Amazing Race Australia” and “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!”

“Not only is Stephen a brilliant executive producer but he has been critical in casting so many, now household, names in all our favorite shows. As he moves to the next chapter of his career, we all wish him the best and we will miss his infectious enthusiasm,” said Beverley McGarvey, executive VP, chief content officer and head of Paramount+, Paramount Australia & New Zealand.

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