After the success of the James Bond inspired inaugural gala for the Toronto International Film Festival our team was excited to produce the second annual fundraiser in 2013.
The goal was to design an elegant experience “Celebrating 100 Years of Indian Cinema.” From Bond to Bollywood!
James Bond and a helicopter stunt can be a hard act to follow however the second fundraising gala for tiff, “Celebrating 100 Years of Indian Cinema” was the perfect second act. We were proud to work alongside tiff board member and Academy Award Nominated Canadian Film Director, Deepa Mehta, and together we transported guests along an authentic cultural journey through a century of Indian cinematic treasures.
Held at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto guests were greeted by sari clad hostesses showering guests with rose petals, adorning the ladies with bindis and the men with silk stoles… all setting the stage for the official tiff red carpet.
Once inside, guests were guided through a gauntlet of tiered baby grand pianos, playing musical selections from Indian films through the ages. A total of 6 pianos, draped with classically costumed women, gold urns and lush palms flanked the walkway which drew guests eyes up the grand staircase to clips from 100 years of Indian Cinema. The call to dinner was a dynamic urban Bollywood “flash mob” dance number performed within the guests and on the stairs, dancers aged from 6 to 12.
We ushered guests into the theatre and through the house where a large muslin screen featured cinematic imagery. Up and on to the stage guests encountered the elegance of mid century India and a beautiful dining room. Simple white linens, gold enhancements, bursts of red roses (2700 blooms!), hand selected china and elegant crystal chandeliers. Three prominent Indian Cinema movie images were projected proudly on the back stage wall and opposite to that the focal point of the space – the featured projection wall and stage where action would play out for the evening.
Famed Chef, Vikram Vij of Vij’s in Vancouver, created the dining experience for the evening which included delicious flavours from four cinematic regions in India, served traditionally and elegantly to guests during the reception and through four courses at dinner.
Hosted by accomplished actors Zaib Shaikh and Anita Majumdar the event engaged guests in a cinematic revival and entertaining history lesson of Indian Cinema. Performances on stage included the captivating Rekha Bhardwaj, renowned Indian singer from Mumbai and musical interludes united with cinematic projection.
To conclude dinner Anita Majumdar, suspended high above the guests via a theatrical swing, shockingly descended on the centre table in the room! Simultaneously 20 Bollywood dancers created a spectacle and ushered guests back to through the house and to the after party! Sounds like a move James Bond would appreciate.
On behalf of our entire committee, I just wanted to take a moment to say how much we appreciate your amazing efforts on our Gala, you all demonstrated tremendous tenacity and commitment. We really are grateful for how you threw yourselves into the project and also how you respected our goals and mandate.
September 07, 2013