Mehta's take on 'Midnight's Children' hitting theatres
Canadian director Deepa Mehta says the Bollywood spectacle that will take over Toronto later this week does not represent Indian culture. The Oscar-nominated filmmaker says the three-day festival -- put on by the International Indian Film Academy -- is more like 'Indian kitsch.' Mehta poses for a photo following an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Friday, Sept. 5, 2008. (Jonathan Hayward / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Tuesday, May 1, 2012 9:10PM EDT
TORONTO - Deepa Mehta's long-awaited film adaptation "Midnight's Children" will hit Canadian theatres in October.
Producer David Hamilton says the movie is slated to screen for Canadian audiences Oct. 26 and he's hoping for a debut at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.
Mehta, the film's Toronto-based director, co-wrote the script with author Salman Rushdie, who published his acclaimed novel "Midnight's Children" in 1981.
The film centres on a pair of children born within moments of India gaining independence from England.
Hamilton said the feature has been sold in 60 territories so far but he didn't know the release plan in other countries.
He hoped Canadian audiences would be the first to lay eyes on the film, which he called ambitious "in every single way."
"It's a rich cinematic experience, there's no question about that," said Hamilton, who also produced Mehta's Oscar-nominated "Water," "Heaven on Earth" and "Bollywood/Hollywood."
"Whether they like the film or not, I don't think anyone will leave the theatre feeling, 'Oh that wasn't a cinematic experience.' Everyone will leave knowing that they'd seen something that's quite special, unique."
Hamilton said shooting "Midnight's Children" involved more than 60 locations, featured more than 100 different roles, and boasted a wild mix of production challenges.
"We had everything happening in it -- we had snakes, cobras, live cobras, we had tanks, military equipment, bombers, things blowing up, people dying, people being born," he said of the film's myriad stunts, visual effects and plot points.
But one of the toughest days on set was a hospital scene that showed the hero's birth. Hamilton said that shoot involved more than a dozen babies less than two weeks old.
"There was no 'Quiet on the set,"' Hamilton said laughing.
"We could have just had the one baby in focus but to make it real, we wanted to actually have the babies there and they have to be within that two-week (age span). They change. A month-old baby doesn't look like a newborn. So we had to have them under two weeks old and so we had this holding room for the ... mothers and some of the fathers and all their babies. It was quite extraordinary, it was beautiful, actually."