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Toronto Film Festival Dailies

TIFF 2022: September 8–18

The 476th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 8–18, 2021. in Canada's most vibrant and exciting metropolis, it has become one of the most important film events on the festival calendar.

Showcasing more than 300 films and hosting industryites from around the world, Toronto can "make or break" films looking for international distribution and a chance at Oscar gold. From glitzy red carpet premieres to challenging art films to cutting edge new media, the Festival offers something for every taste.

Past Coverage 2014 2015 - Coverage 2016 in French   English


TIFF Interview with the director of To Kill a Tiger



TIFF 2022


With director: Nisha Pahuja

By Emmanuel Itier

“To kill a tiger” is to kill the inequality that still exist in most parts of India for young girls. Talented director Nisha Pahuja takes us on a journey of acceptance, of resilience and of deep change. Such is the power of documentaries to become the political voice of the injustice still enslaving a too large population around the world and in India as it’s so beautifully and so movingly painted in “To kill a tiger”. Let’s hope change is on the horizon and that the liberation of women and children is on the next political priorities of Indian elected officials.


Q: Tell us about the motivation to do such a poignant documentary?


Nisha: This film took me eight years to make. Initially I was looking at making a film about masculinity in India, especially toxic masculinity. And so, I followed the work of some of the activists you meet in my film, “To kill a tiger”. Especially the work they were doing with men and boys. They had a three and a half years program to re-program some of these young men regarding their attitude towards women. The initial idea was to document the possible change within these men, these young boys. Ranjit who is the protagonist of our film was part of this program. The story of this brutal gang rape happened to his 13 years old daughter. I started to also film this horrible event. I thought it was just going to be part of a larger film about toxic masculinity. But her voice and her story became so poignant, so much more important that I refocused the whole film on her and on her father. This vision for this new movie came together when we edited the footage, I had film all along. It could have been a series, or it could have been two films, one on toxic masculinity and one on this young girl dramatic ordeal and her father. We let the old thing go and this new film, “To kill a tiger” was born. This film is about trying to get men to start taking responsibility for this inequality in India. It’s about changing the mind set of Indian men. I hope this film will help with that necessary change.



Q: Tell me about the various obstacles you faced making this film?


Nisha: Well, because I’m from Indian and I speak the language I can navigate the culture and the county quite easily. But of course, because I was dealing with a particular social group, people were quite hesitant and shy. It wasn’t easy to make them come forward and talk to me at first. It was hard for the family to open to me. There was an issue to gain their trust, but within a few months we had a strong bond with them. Even with the villager and for them not to see me as an outsider. At first everyone blamed me and the NGO helping the father. This was a challenge to get a wide support. We tried very hard to engage with the villagers and to show them we were not judging them. We had to make them understand that everyone needs to be part of the necessary change. It was hard because they were not buying it at first.


Q: What are the messages this film conveys to the audience?


Nisha: For me there three things. The fact Nanjit, the father, stood up for himself and his daughter is a huge victory. It’s so rare in India that a father stands behind his daughter. This was extraordinary. He is exceptional and I hope his inspires other father, other men to do the same thing. It’s amazing also that his child demands justice for herself and for her country. I hope this film inspires other victims to come forward and to demand justice as well. The other thing is that the recognition about such events will take a long time to happen in a country like India. In any case it’s important not to judge people who have different viewpoints like yours. You must understand how some people operate and within what system they live. The time is not the same everywhere in the world. The progress we have made came over many years of fighting and reflecting and demanding equality. The change will happen in India, but it will take time.


Q: Tell me about being at TIFF?


Nisha: The premiere at Tiff was so wonderful. It was my dream to be here. It was incredible to share it with an audience which is part of my home: Toronto. I hope it’s the beginning of the long journey for my film.




Q: What was the response of people who saw the film already in India?


Nisha: It was a beautiful response. Everyone who saw the film was very moved. Especially, lots of men came forward and were very emotional about what they saw. Clearly, it’s hitting a nerve and that’s what you want. Change always comes from reflection, from looking inside. So, it gives me hope.

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About Toronto Film Festival Dailies

The Dailies from Toronto

Contributing editors: Bruno Chatelin 

Laurie Gordon Animaze International Film Festival Le Miaff!
Leopoldo Soto Huatulco Food and Film Festival Director
Gary Lucas Guitar hero Performing artist live score to classic and horror film
Mike Rabehl Programmer and Buyer Cinequest Film Festival San Jose Tiwtter: @cqmike
Vanessa McMahon  




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