Indo-Canadian director’s short movie Strong Son has lasting have an effect on at TIFF – world news


It can be the shortest movie at this year’s Toronto International Movie Festival (TIFF), spanning less than four minutes, but Strong Son is clearly leaving an eternal impression on audiences, critics and organisers.

The movie, made by 34-year-old Indian-origin Sikh filmmaker Ian Bawa who is based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, has made it to the top-ten lists of publications such as Now Toronto and the New York-based Movie Stage. It has also been featured by national broadcaster CBC.

Ian Bawa’s movie is approximately the relationship between a weightlifter and his father. Bodybuilder Mandeep Sodhi was once cast as the weightlifter, while the father’s role was once played by the director’s parent, Jagdeep Singh Bawa.

The filmmaker said he managed to submit his work for this year’s Short Cuts section at the TIFF only because pandemic-related shutdowns gave him the time he needed “to take a seat down, edit it and shape it”.

The uncooked footage, Ian Bawa said, had been mendacity with him since final year. “I just needed a project and I threw all my energy into this,” he said.

He called his movie “super personal” and born of “pure ardour”, as it is based on his personal equation with his father, who had immigrated to Canada from India in the 1970s.

TIFF programmer Lisa Haller described the short movie as “an endearing portrait” of the father-son bond.

The a story of the movie includes humour and thought-provoking elements, which come out prominently through the father’s voiceover, providing the cultural backdrop of the characters portrayed. In one scene, for example, the father ruminates aloud, “My son is getting older and I’m worried that he’s spent too much time getting strong and not enough time settling down.”

Ian Bawa insists that despite highlighting typical Indian circle of relatives riffs, the theme of the movie is universal and the work has stemmed partly from his own personal “insecurities”.

This isn’t the first time Ian Bawa has been a part of a work that premiered at the TIFF. He worked with three colleagues, who call themselves the Winnipeg Collective, on the 2016 movie, Imitations.

“This can be a year everyone is going to keep in mind and I’m a part of the new world of movie festivals,” the filmmaker said, underlining the novelty factor at this year’s Toronto event that was once compelled to be conducted in large part online because of coronavirus-related restrictions.

Top stories/ News / India


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