Toronto desis continue Diwali celebrations and more in Nov. 2016

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diwali_festival

Friday, Nov. 4

Event: Deepawali Milan
Details: Head to Hilldale Public School, 100 Hilldale Cres. for a satvik Diwali celebration at 6 p.m. Proceeds will go to Seva Canada International in support of educating the girl child.
Contact: Here

Saturday, Nov. 5

Event: Diwali Celebrations
Details: Telugu Alliance of Canada (TACA) is celebrating its 2016 Diwali at Port Credit Secondary School, 70 Mineola Rd. E. Mississauga at 5 p.m.
Contact: Here

el-poster-image-e1476906009779Event: Enchanted Loom
Details: Factory and Cahoots will present The Enchanted Loom, a play written by Suvendrini Lena and directed by Marjorie Chan at Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst St. Play runs from Nov. 5 to 27.
Contact: Here

Saturday, Nov. 12

Event: Himachali Night
Details: people attending this gala at Parivar Banquet Hall, 237 Advance Blvd. in Brampton at 5:30 p.m. will likely spend the evening reminiscing about life in the hills. This function hosted by Himachali Association in Canada will celebrate the spirit of Dev Bhoomi – Himachal Pradesh.
Contact: Here

Event: Miss India Canada 2016
Details: The 26th Annual Miss India Canada will crown a winner at the International Plaza Hotel, 655 Dixon Rd. Event starts at 6 p.m. . Dr. Zeus is the celebrity guest.
Contact: Here

Friday, Nov. 18

Event: Taal 2016
Details: The Indian Students’ Society, Pakistan Development Foundation, Bangladeshi Students’ Association and Tamil Students’ Association are inviting residents to sample a taste of South Asia at their event – Taal 2016. The event will take place at William Doo Auditorium, 45 Willcocks St. Toronto from 5 to 10 p.m.
Contact: Here

Saturday, Nov. 19

Event: Scarborough South Asian Film Festival
Details: The Scarborough South Asian Film Festival (SSAFF): Through a Social Justice Lens kicks off at Woodside Cinemas, 1571 Sandhurst Circ., from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Festival hosted by The Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA) in partnership with Woodside Cinemas.
Contact: Here

Saturday, Nov. 26

Event: Asia Wedding Lounge
Details: Vendors – which includes wedding designers and brands – are bringing their stuff to Toronto in this first-ever fair. Event taking place Nov. 26 to 27 at Rose Garden Banquet Hall, 6638 Finch Ave. W. Etobicoke.
Contact: Here

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Brinda Muralidhar explores tangled ties in her debut film Knot Not!

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Clash of values

Dilip Krishnamurthy (Mohan) and Jessica Seigner (Patricia) filming a scene of Knot Not! in Mississauga. The film recently made its Canadian debut.

The making of a movie

Theatre, acting, stage and spotlights are entrenched in Brinda Muralidhar’s DNA.

So, having her debut film, Knot Not! premiered recently to a packed house, was Brinda’s ultimate homage to her Indo-Canadian roots.

The 1 hour 44-minute film about values, parental pressures and seeking ones identity, boasts an impressive line-up of local artists, most of who are relatively unknown, but bursting with potential.

Knot Not! is about what happens to your family when the parents are not on the same page,” Brinda explains. “In so many cases, one parent is tied down to the rules while the other doesn’t give a damn.”

And that’s how the film’s title came about: one parent is committed to preserving the knot of the marriage, while the other is not.

The premiere in Brampton was a sold-out one. This shows there may be a yet-to-be captured market for entertaining stories told from a hyper-local perspective

Shot in the GTA, Knot Not! has original music scored by Vinayak Hegde and Deepak Sant. It’s produced by Brinda’s soul mate/husband – Gunny, who’s also the cinematographer. Incidentally, it was Gunny, who came up with the idea for the film. Since communication at the Muralidhar home is unconventional, Gunny enacted his idea in a short one-minute narrative. Brinda was sold. She took on multiple responsibilities: director/screenplay/dialogues/editor and watched the idea grow and grow.

Clash of values

Suniti Santosh (L) and Dilip Krishnamurthy in Brinda Muralidhar’s Indo-Canadian film Knot Not!

What’s Canadian film without a winter scene filled with snow, eh? Jessica Siegner told me one blustery winter day, Gunny and Brinda showed up at her Mississauga home after Ma Nature deposited some significant quantity of white stuff. They shot a particularly beautiful scene, framed against the beautiful backdrop of the Marilyn Monroe towers in Mississauga. I guess, it can’t get more Canadian than that.

The film showcases among other things, the stark contrast of family values from a desi’s perspective versus a Caucasian’s way of thinking.

Before this final version of Knot Not! there was an earlier one that was nearly 80 per cent ready, but Brinda and Gunny had to shelve the earlier version and re-shoot it all over again. Talk about teething troubles.

Initially, Knot Not! was supposed to be a 30-minute short film, but it took on a life of its own. This meant, the Muralidhars’ budget was shot to hell.

Brinda jokes the film’s finances are courtesy, “Bank of Muralidhar.”

The credentials

Brinda’s father­— Ramachandra Rao— was playwright and director, while her uncle (father’s older brother) M.V. Narayan Rao was a well-known stage and cinema artist/producer.

Canada however proved to be a fertile soil for Brinda’s artistic mindset because since she moved here, she has kept busy with more than a dozen stage productions in Kannada, English and Hindi. Brinda launched her film production company 1CanMedia Creations in 2013.

When the Muralidhars invited talent to audition for their film, they received dozens of responses. Brinda says she hated rejecting anyone because of a philosophy she inherited from her dad.

Her dad apparently would pluck an unknown, but eager artist from the neighbourhood to polish their rough edges and turn them into a brilliant theatrical gem.

Brinda says while shortlisting her actors to play Patricia’s role, Mississauga’s Jessica didn’t almost make it, but she had second thoughts and invited her to audition.

“As soon as Jessica walked into the room and said ‘hello’ to me, I knew that was the girl…” Brinda said.

Brinda said she started fleshing out the characters based on her actors as opposed to asking them to slipping into her vision. Dialogues and backstories were carefully crafted to include the artist’s mannerisms.

Clash of values

Jessica Seigner (Patricia) and Dilip Krishnamurthy (Mohan) in Brinda Muralidhar’s debut film Knot Not!

Knot Not! Who’s there?

The film is about Mohan (Dilip Krishnamurthy), a South India arrives in Canada as an international student. In school, he befriends Patricia Smith (Jessica Siegner) a Canadian who guides him through his search for his identity.  Mohan’s parents Srinivas and Padma want their son to wed Lakshmi (Suniti Santosh), the beautiful daughter of their friend Bhaskar (Nat Pennathur).

Mohan does not want to meekly follow the path paved by his father, instead with Lakshmi and Patricia’s help Mohan discovers himself.

The film journeys through many plots and subplots and through comedy, drama and insightful scenes unties the tangled web of human relationships.