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DuVernay to launch Array 360 Film Series
TORONTO, Sept 14, (RTRS): Walking the red carpet ahead of the world premiere of “The Sky is Pink” at the Toronto International Film Festival on Friday, actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas contrasted her life while filming with the experiences of the characters in the movie.
The Hindi-language film tells the true story of the Chaudhury family, narrated by their deceased teenaged daughter, Aisha, played by Zaira Wasim.
It chronicles the practical, emotional and relationship struggles faced by Aisha’s parents Aditi and Niren, portrayed by Chopra Jonas and Farhan Akthar, as she fights, and ultimately succumbs to, a rare genetic terminal illness that took her older sister’s life decades earlier.
“It was a really hard juxtaposition of real life for me,” Chopra Jonas told Reuters. “Especially because I was getting married and at the same time this film deals with loss, loss of a child, which is such an unnatural way of being.”
She added that, although the experience “was very trying,” the support of husband, Nick Jonas, whom she married in December, helped.
The real-life Aisha Chaudhury died on Jan 24, 2015, at 18, the day after her book, “My Little Epiphanies”, was published. “The Sky is Pink” ends with photographs and video clips of the real Chaudhury family living the moments depicted in the film, including a TEDx talk Aisha gave in India in 2014.
“You … have to be very strong as partners to go through what they went through,” Akhtar said on the red carpet. He added he tried to “approach this part with a lot of … respect, and make sure that the dignity and grace that they’ve shown in real life comes through in the performance in the film.”
“The Sky is Pink” was directed by Shonali Bose, who herself lost her 16-year-old son suddenly in an accident at the family’s Los Angeles home in 2010.
The film will debut in theatres on Oct 11.
LOS ANGELES: Ava DuVernay is starting an Array 360 Film Series, aimed at bringing together filmmakers and emerging artists for six weekends from Sept 27 to Nov 2 in Los Angeles.
The events will take place at the new Amanda Theater on the Array Creative Campus in Filipinotown. The series will include the work of filmmakers Agnes Varda, Euzhan Palcy, Barbara Loden, Suzana Amaral, Kathleen Collins, Shirin Neshat, Garrett Bradley and Mati Diop. Highlights include a weekend of screenings devoted to the work of John Singleton, a showcase of Filipinx cinema and a conversation between Michael Mann and DuVernay.
“As a model, Array does steep itself in inclusion models to correct long-held absences,” she said. “We believe in balance from the beginning. Our Array Creative Campus was built with this belonging in mind from the first day and Array 360 is a reflection of our mantra that everyone has a place in true cinema,” said DuVernay.
Opening weekend will showcase “A Woman’s Work”, a two-day program highlighting work by trailblazers Euzhan Palcy, Barbara Loden, Kathleen Collins, Marilou Diaz-Araya and Suzana Amaral. Closing weekend will feature the first and last film of the late Agnes Varda with her debut feature “La Pointe Courte” and “Faces Places”.
DuVernay directed “Selma”, the Oscar-nominated criminal justice documentary “13th” and Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time”. Her most recent project is the multi Emmy-nominated “When They See Us”. Currently, DuVernay is overseeing production on her TV series “Queen Sugar” and her upcoming OWN series “Cherish the Day”.
“In addition to paying tribute to exquisite filmmakers, some of whose work has gone underappreciated, our Array 360 series strives to connect with audiences that don’t always see themselves reflected on screen,” said Mercedes Cooper, director of programming and curator of the series. “Our mission is to amplify varied voices and visions, to prioritize them and to center them.”