Our TIFF Insider, Daniel Pillai, has his hands full with film premieres, hanging out with his famous client, and filming segments for his regular TV gig. Here’s his diary from Day 2 +3 at the Toronto International Film Festival.
5:45 am wake up call: After a late night, there’s no time to sleep! I turn on my laptop to find over 100+ emails appeared overnight, and they’re not notes from my secret admirer – they’re press inquiries. With a coffee in hand, I spend the next couple of hours responding to emails and media requests for interviews with Indian actor Abhay Deol and Mumbai Cha Raja director, Manjeet Singh.
12:00 – 5:00 pm: Clearly, there is no time for lunch! I eat and drink whatever I can, head downtown and get ready to meet the ever charismatic Abhay Deol and head to an afternoon of media interviews.
Quel surprise! Outside the OMNI TV studios, I have a wonderful opportunity to snap a photo of Abhay and Canadian actress Anita Majumdar (who is part of Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children film), before accompanying Abhay to his interviews with OMNI’s South Asian News and Bollywood Boulevard. Of course, I have to mention that before Abhay arrived at the studios, I squeezed in the time to record my Bollywood Insider segment with Veronica Chail for Bollywood Boulevard, which is always fun!
6:00 pm: Accompany Abhay to the first screening of his film, Shanghai. We meet up with director Dibakar Banerjee and after taking a few press photos, we lead the creative actor-director duo (they previously worked together on Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!) to the screening where they introduce the film and interact with the audience.
Late evening: Have a nice dinner with Abhay Deol and girlfriend Preeti Desai, and their friend Pooja. Preeti is gorgeous, and Abhay and her make a beautiful couple! We relax and chill out over a few drinks – cocktails are a life saver after a long and hectic day! Despite the crazy schedules, I’ve had such a great time really getting to know this iconic actor from the industry, but also learning about him and Preeti as people.
Later that night: Actress Shahana Goswami, who is in town for Midnight’s Children, stops by with Anita Majumdar to say hello to Abhay and our group and take a few pictures. A great time! She’s gorgeous in person and getting rave reviews for her performance in Midnight’s Children.
5:45 am: Up early again. Wondering what it will feel like to actually sleep 8 hours… but a publicist’s job is never done!
Later that morning: I meet Abhay and Preeti and take them for his portrait shoot and video interview for the Doha Film Institute, taking place at the Hilton Hotel. A wonderful experience to see an actor pose for what will be a very classic, natural and candid shot.
Afternoon: We all take a little break from the flashing lights, video cameras and red carpets, and I show Abhay and Preeti the beauty of the Queen St West village and take them shopping!
9:00 pm: Arrive for the red carpet world premiere of Mumbai’s King! After spending weeks promoting this film and it’s prolific director, Manjeet Singh, it’s an amazing experience to see everything come together. The dhol players and children holding red balloons who accompany Manjeet make this a red carpet we’ll never forget. The film is amazing, and if you get a chance to see it at TIFF or any other film festival, you must watch it!
Even later that night: Heading to the Hello Canada Classic Hollywood soirée at the Ritz Carlton. Toronto’s beautiful people are out tonight!
Our Toronto International Film Festival insider, Daniel Pillai, has a behind-the-scenes look at what celebrities request before their interviews and who’s partying with who at VIP TIFF parties. Between shooting red carpet interviews for OMNI’s Bollywood Boulevard, attending invite-only parties, and working as a publicist with Karma Pro for an indie film and A-list celebrity (is there anything he can’t do?), Daniel gives us a peek into the fabulous life of a journalist and society guy.
Story By: Daniel Pillai | Photography: Daniel Pillai and Zimbio.com