Reel growth in festival’s 7th year

This year’s Reel World Film Festival established by internationally known Canadian actress Tonya Lee Williams saw a growth to a total to 87 productions, plus panels and workshops.

Fate conspired to prevent me from seeing all but Shooting for Change in which I had some direct involvement, but from screeners, I have had access to Bolly Double and A Winter Tale. Since the former may be released later this month, here’s my take on it.

I’ll give you thoughts on A Winter Tale next month.

Bolly Double
movie_still_dancing_01.jpg The impact of South Asians — Canada’s fastest growing ethnocultural group — is becoming significant.

Two glossy women’s magazines — in English — have appeal far beyond the communities they speak to. The vogue or South Asian food is reflected in the growth of restaurants. And we’re told a large number of non South Asians watch Bollywood programs on television. The April celebrity wedding of two Indian superstars has wide coverage in mainstream media.

Premiered at the recent Reel World Film Festival was a Canadian film Bolly Double, produced by Daniel Hill, whose macabre comedy Rhinoceros Eyes scored such a success at the Toronto Festival a few years back. It’s directed with enthusiasm by Arun Bahali who divides his time between Bollywood and England where he works on a BBC show.

Bolly Double takes as its starting point the making of a Bollywood film in Canada with all the usual trimmings. A temperamental superstar (Koel Purie) imported from India hasn’t shown up for the shooting In fact, she’s been kidnapped by gangsters.

A timid, would-be actress who, when she doffs her glasses is a lookalike for the star is forced into the production with some amusing complications.

How the star’s rescue is achieved and the absurd situations arising from a plot that sounds convoluted but really isn’t make for some good comedy. As in the real Bollywood, coincidences play a big part. Bolly Double, a Canadian film, is just one more example of how we all benefit from our diversity.
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