'Paka', 'Dug Dug' to debut at Toronto International Film Festival
Debutant filmmaker Nithin Lukose's feature film Paka and Ritwik Pareek's Dug Dug are the two Indian films to have been selected for the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival. Paka, titled River of Blood in English and Pareek's Dug Dug touted as a musically infectious satire will be screened in the Discovery section, which showcases the first or second feature films of directors worldwide.
The official logline for Dug Dug reads, "In this striking and musically infectious satire, mysterious events in the wake of a freak motorcycle accident sow the seeds of a new religion." The film's cast includes Altaf Khan, Gaurav Soni, Yogendra Singh, and Durgalal Saini.
Set in Wayanad, Kerala, Paka presents a tale of a river that swells with the blood of two feuding families and a young couple that tries to overcome this hatred with their love. Produced by filmmakers Anurag Kashyap and Raj Rachakonda, the movie features an ensemble cast that includes Basil Paulose, Vinitha Koshy, Jose Kizhakkan, Athul John, Nithin George, Joseph Manickal.
Paka had earlier won the best WIP project in the Work-in-Progress Lab of NFDC Film Bazaar 2020. Lukose said he is delighted and honored that his first feature film has been selected for the TIFF program. "I was fascinated by the stories and myths my grandmother told me when I was young. Paka is a manifestation of that fascination," the filmmaker said.
Kashyap, who boarded the project as a producer during its post-production stage, hailed the quality of movies coming out of Malayalam cinema. "Paka is yet another powerful debut from a rooted new voice," he added. Rachakonda said he decided to back Lukose's movie as he was impressed by his work as a sound designer in the 2019 Telugu movie Mallesham.
Paka has been produced by Studio 99 Films in association with Alif Talkies Productions. Other titles in the Discovery section include A Banquet, Farha, Scarborough, To Kill the Beast, and The Game. The 46th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival will be held in a hybrid format with both in-person and digital screenings. It will run from September 9 to 18 this year.