Book your plane ticket and start planning your wardrobe, because this year’s TIFF film lineup and Mumbai City to City programme is something you won’t want to miss.

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) announced their special city spotlight today, and much to the excitement of Indian film lovers, Mumbai cinema will be featured front and centre at the film festival in September.

This year’s TIFF will offer festival goers a chance to view ten movies from the country’s growing, critical indie film scene, including some fringe offerings from Bollywood. These films will screen in addition to the previously announced gala screening of Bollywood actress Sridevi’s new film, English Vinglish.

Mumbai Spotlight Films for TIFF 2012

Gangs of Wasseypur – Part One + Part Two. From the director of Dev D and That Girl in the Yellow Boots, comes two epic films spanning a decade of turf wars, blood and crime from India’s independence to the era of industrialization. Stars Manoj Bajpayee, Richa Chadda and Reema Sen, and was screened at the Cannes Film Festival 2012.

Ishaqzaade. A sexy love story set amongst political and religious conflict in northern India, starring relative newcomers Parineeti Chopra and Arjun Kapoor, and produced by Yash Raj. Don’t let the sheen of Bollywood production values fool you – Ishaqzaade is more grit than gloss.

Miss Lovely. The devastating story of two brothers who produce sex-horror films in Bombay’s C-grade/blue/porn film industry during the mid-80s. Expect lurid art direction, wild cinematography, and gut-wrenching melodrama.

Shanghai. Politics and lovers seem like a recipe for political intrigue a la The Pelican Brief, and director Dibakar Banerjee doesn’t disappoint with this thriller starring indie film darlings, Abhay Deol and Kalki Koechlin. From the makers of Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! and Love, Sex aur Dhoka.

Mumbai’s King. This is not Slumdog. Mumbai’s King follows two young boys living on the streets who escape the devastating realities of their lives through gambling, taking an auto rickshaw on a joyride, and chasing girls.

The Bright Day. A reflection in personal filmmaking, The Bright Day follows a young man’s spiritual quest across India as he searches for the ever elusive meaning of life.

Peddlers. A powerhouse thriller definitive of India’s new indie cinema, this film features the collision of three seemingly separate lives in Mumbai’s drug underworld.

Shahid. Based on the true story of slain human rights activist and lawyer Shahid Azmi, this film follows his life from poverty to attempted terrorist and wrongful imprisonment, to champion for human rights and in particular, Muslim minorities in India.

Ship of Theseus. If the parts of a ship are replaced, bit-by-bit, is it still the same ship? The lives of an experimental photographer, celebrated for her intuitive excellence; a monk debating questions of violence and non-violence on his deathbed; a stockbroker confronted with an organ tourism racket, unfold within the paradigm of this paradox. The Ship of Theseus explores ideas of identity, beauty, meaning, existence and death in a story filed with more stories. A feature film by acclaimed Indian playwright, Anand Gandhi.

The Toronto International Film Festival runs September 6 – 16, 2012. For more information and tickets, visit


Photography: Toronto International Film Festival Press Office