You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Toronto: Deepa Mehta’s ‘Beeba Boys’ Explores Grimy Side of Immigrant Experience

Deepa Mehta is Toronto fest veteran, which is as it should be for a director who has made the city home since 1973. Her latest film, “Beeba Boys,” premieres as a Gala Presentation on Sept. 13. Cinetic’s John Sloss will screen the film for U.S. buyers at Toronto.

The filmmaker, who as a board member held a fundraising gala in 2013, feels it’s natural to have her films premiere at TIFF. “It’s my home town, you have an affinity with your home town, your baseball team, your film festival.”

Beeba Boys” is a Canadian story, too. Set in Vancouver, the story is based on news reports about youthful gangs of Indian descent engaged in a turf war.

“The tragedy of lives wasted, and the breaking of the stereotype of the meek brown immigrant also caught my imagination,” she said. “The more I delved into these gangs and their very particular cultural roots the more intrigued I was.”

She talked to many gang members, cops and reporters. “This particular crime scene has been covered extensively by the newspaper Vancouver Sun,” she said. “Journalist Kim Bolan has been following them for years. Her articles and a couple of documentaries by the National Board of Canada were my primary source.”

She noted that “thematically, ‘Beeba Boys’ shares the concerns of all my other films — gender, identity, immigration. It’s the story, Indian gangsters in the West — in this case Vancouver — that is different.”

And while her other films ran into trouble during the shoot — “Water” had to shut down production and move from India to Sri Lanka where it shot under a different title — Mehta said each location comes with a different set of challenges. “I shot ‘Heaven on Earth’ in Toronto, and that was a tough one. It was in the middle of winter, (and the) minus-40 (degrees temperatures) made me long for balmy Sri Lanka.”

While some compared her movie to a Johnnie To film, Mehta mused, “I’ll take that as a compliment but I am partial to Seijun Suzuki, the Japanese director of quirky gangster films. And of course ‘GoodFellas’ became a silent mantra as well.”

More Film

  • ABA_062_DAU_0060_v0409.87501 – Rosa Salazar stars as

    Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel' Wins Dismal President's Day Weekend

    Fox’s sci-fi adventure “Alita: Battle Angel” dominated in North America, but its opening weekend win isn’t leaving the box office with much to celebrate. Tracking services estimate that this will be one of the lowest grossing President’s Day weekends in years. Ticket sales are on pace to be the smallest bounty for the holiday frame [...]

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Among Cinema Audio Society Winners

    Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” won the Cinema Audio Society’s top prize for sound mixing at Saturday night’s 55th annual CAS Awards. The film is Oscar-nominated for sound mixing this year along with “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star Is Born.” In a surprise over heavy-hitters “Incredibles 2” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Wes [...]

  • Oscars Placeholder

    Make-Up and Hair Stylist Guild Applauds Academy's Stance on Airing Every Oscar Winner

    Rowdy boos were followed by triumphant cheers at the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards on Saturday in Los Angeles, as the Hollywood union touched on a week of controversy over a reversed decision to hand out four Oscars during the show’s commercial breaks. Hair and makeup was one of the four categories that would [...]

  • Marvelous Mrs Maisel Vice

    'Vice,' 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Lead Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Winners

    Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” starring Oscar nominees Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Sam Rockwell, won two awards at the sixth annual Make-Up and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Saturday night. The film won for best period and/or character makeup as well as special makeup effects. “Mary Queen of Scots” received the prize for period [...]

  • Bette Midler

    Bette Midler to Perform on the Oscars (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bette Midler will perform “The Place Where Lost Things Go” at the Oscar ceremonies on Feb. 24, Variety has learned. Midler, a longtime friend of composer-lyricist Marc Shaiman, will sing the song originally performed by Emily Blunt in “Mary Poppins Returns.” The song, by Shaiman and his lyricist partner Scott Wittman, is one of five [...]

  • Olmo Teodoro Cuaron, Alfonso Cuaron and

    Alfonso Cuarón Tells Why His Scoreless 'Roma' Prompted an 'Inspired' Companion Album

    Back around the ‘90s, “music inspired by the film” albums got a bad name, as buyers tired of collections full of random recordings that clearly were inspired by nothing but the desire to use movie branding to launch a hit song. But Alfonso Cuarón, the director of “Roma,” is determined to find some artistic validity [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content