The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) concludes on Sunday by presenting a TV series called ‘A Suitable Boy’ this year. The series is an adaptation by Indian-origin director Mira Nair from Vikram Seth’s classic novel. 

This is the first time that a TV project is closing TIFF in its 45-year-history, according to reports.

The series, which is produced for BBC has a screening span of six hours, with two intermissions of 20 minutes each. 

Talking about how “delighted” Nair is for the event, she said, “A Suitable Boy cannot be a two-and-a-half-hour film, it should not be. It should be at least six hours, in the way I’ve tried to do it but it could be even longer.”

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The novel was first published in 1993, with various themes including that of communal faultlines. Rather than sticking to the original story, Nair “brought a lot of politics back from the story of the novel”.

“I love that part of it, but it was important for me to see Lata almost as the new India. So, as the country moved towards its first election, Lata moves towards finding herself.”

The novel is set in the post-Independence period with diverse cultures being its foundation.

“I did really want to hold a mirror in a way to the young of today to see what we were, even though we had just come out of the trauma of Partition,” Nair said.

There was a “depth of relationships that today are really being threatened just by the politicisation of it all,” she added.

Nair has already received the Tribute Award at TIFF this year, along with actors Kate Winslet, Sir Anthony Hopkins, and director Chloe Zhao.

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Tanya Maniktala, who performed the character Lata in the series, is one of TIFF’s Rising Stars. The series also starred Tabu, Ishaan Khattra and Rasika Dugal in the lead.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, Nair could not make it to the closing night screening. The series has got a deal with Netflix and it will soon be available on the platform.