Multiple National Award-winning filmmaker Rima Das says her film Tora's Husband, which was shot during the pandemic, has been the most challenging movie of her career.
The Assamese film received its world premiere at the 47th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on Sunday. It is Das' third feature to be screened at the prestigious film gala in a row after Village Rockstars and Bulbul Can Sing.
Rima Das, who is happy with the response to her film at the festival, said working on the movie took a toll on the team. “’Tora’s Husband’ was my most challenging film. It is also different from my other films, longer as well. Shooting during the pandemic took a toll on the cast and crew emotionally.”
"Even at the edit table, I was struggling because the film reflected the same restless state of mind," the filmmaker said in a statement.
Tora's Husband premiered in the 'Platform' section of the TIFF, making it the first Indian title to be showcased in the category.
Named after Jia Zhang-ke's ground-breaking film 'Platform', this section aims to shine a brighter light on some of the most original films and distinct voices at the TIFF. The festival is being held from September 8-18.
Featuring Abhijit Das and Tarali Kalita Das, Tora's Husband is the story of a loving father and a kind neighbour, who struggles to keep his small-town business afloat while his relationships deteriorate, amidst loss and lockdowns.
The director also said she is excited to be back at film festivals in person after a gap of two years, post the coronavirus pandemic-induced lockdowns. “It gives me immense joy to see such a large and diverse audience, distinguished artists, journalists, buyers and sellers gather to celebrate cinema.”
"It's a grand event with the same community feeling as watching a sport or a concert. How much I missed the echo of laughter, the silent tears, the goosebumps – knowing that you're in it together," Rima Das added.
Ravi Srinivasan, Senior Manager, TIFF Festival Programming; South and South East Asia Canada, said Rima Das carefully paid attention to the pressure faced by small-business owners. "Das' purview extends beyond the middle class, capturing the crisis with impressive scope and documentary-like attentiveness, pointing to the societal fragilities that preceded - and will follow - the effects of the pandemic itself.
"With remarkable authenticity, Das illuminates both the dignity and vulnerability of ordinary people in one of the defining films of our historical moment," Srinivasan said.
Tora's Husband will have its Asia premiere at the 27th Busan International Film Festival in the 'Window to Asian Cinema' section, which will run from October 5 to 14.