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Tanya Maniktala, ‘Lata’ in director Mira Nair’s ‘A Suitable Boy’ talks to acv about her selection as Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) 2020 Rising Star, as fest get under way…

LESS than two months ago, Tanya Maniktala was relatively unknown – even in her native India.

Her role as Lata in the Mira Nair BBC TV series, ‘A Suitable Boy’ adapted from the original novel of the same name by author, Vikram Seth, has catapulted her to near global fame.

And as if to illustrate the change – it was announced that she had been selected as a – Women on the Rise Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) 2020 Rising Star.

She was named alongside Brit Sheila Atim who features in Halle Berry’s first directorial film, ‘Bruised’, Rainbow Dickerson who is in ‘Beans’ and Madeline Sims Fewer who features in ‘Violation’.

The festival opens today (September 10) and will close with ‘A Suitable Boy’ being screened, both in its near six-hour entirety and a two-episode instalment on September 19.

Maniktala will feature in a panel discussion with her fellow TIFF Rising Stars on Monday (September 14) – see below for link.

In our interview, she revealed that it all still feels like a dream, and that she had more or less given up on acting and was set to pursue higher studies in Melbourne, Australia.

She simply responded to a friend’s nudge to attend an audition – she had enjoyed her acting stints at university, had won awards and was cast as a lead in a successful Indian web drama, called ‘Flames’, but she didn’t really want to pursue acting as a career.

Her family were keen to see her gainfully employed and making the most of her English Literature degree and she put acting behind her – or she thought…

A Suitable Boy’ screened on BBC One last month and is likely to hit Netflix and India next month.

Elsewhere at TIFF, Nair is set to receive a TIFF Tribute Award on Tuesday (September 15).

She is being presented with a Jeff Skoll Award in Impact Media, alongside other honourees – Kate Winslet (TIFF Tribute Actor Award), Anthony Hopkins (ditto), Chloé Zhao (TIFF Ebert Director Award), Terence Blanchard (TIFF Variety Artisan Award) and Tracey Deer (TIFF Emerging Talent Award).

British feature ‘After Love’ by director Aleem Khan (see our London Film Festival preview), and Chaitanya Tamhane’s ‘The Disciple’, will screen at TIFF.

Last year, acv was in Toronto and covered both world premieres of Dev Patel starring in ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’ and Riz Ahmed’s ‘The Sound of Metal’ and went onto cover other world premieres, including Priyanka Chopra in ‘The Sky is Pink’ and interview co-star Farhan Akhtar), as well Hollywood stars Adam Sandler, and Natalie Portman, who were also presenting new work to the world for the first time at TIFF – subscribe to our Youtube Channel and do not miss! 🙏🏾

Women on the Rise: 2020 TIFF Rising Stars, a panel presented by OLG

Previously (TIFF 2019)

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Written by Asian Culture Vulture