In The Waiting City, the latest offering by Australian director Claire McCarthy, Samrat Chakrabarti portrays Krishna, a hotel worker that an outwardly happy Australian couple, played by Radha Mitchell (Finding Neverland, Pitch Black) and Joel Edgerton (The Square, Star Wars: Episode II & III), befriend when they travel to Kolkata, India, to collect their adopted baby. Upon their arrival, they discover their arrangements have yet to be finalized, and must wait in this chaotic and foreign place. The vulnerability of their marriage begins to reveal itself as the intoxicating powers of the Indian city pull them in separate and unexpected directions.
Best know for his roles in Kissing Cousins, Shut Up and Sing and She Hate Me, I first encountered Chakrabarti on the silver screen at the Asian American International Film Festival in New York this summer, where he was featured in Sarba Das’ Karma Calling .
In Karma Calling, he is utterly charming as Rohit Rao, a call center employee in India (he calls himself Rob Roy when calling Americans) who dreams of visiting New York. When he develops a “You’ve Got Mail” friendship with Sonal Raj (played by Barnali Das), the daughter of Indian immigrants living a lonely life in New Jersey, the outcome is hopelessly romantic.
During filming, director McCarthy described The Waiting City as, “An intimate, complex love story, set against the exhilarating, epic backdrop of Calcutta – a place that I’ve filmed in before and have a deep connection with. It’s impossible not to be affected by this place and certainly, the characters in The Waiting City are totally transformed by the people here and their powerful homeland.”
McCarthy’s previous credits include the documentary, Sisters (which screened on ABC Television this year and follows the experiences of her strong-willed real life sister, Helena, who naively nose-dives into volunteer work in Calcutta) and the feature film, Cross Life which screened at the 2007 Sydney Film Festival and Pusan International Film Festival in Korea.
Thursday September 17 6:00PM VISA SCREENING ROOM (ELGIN)
Friday September 18 1:45PM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 1
Saturday September 19 6:15PM VARSITY 8
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The Waiting City at TIFF
Lia Chang is an actor, performance and fine art botanical photographer and an award-winning multimedia journalist. Lia’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, VIBE, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle, Timeout.com, Villagevoice.com, Playbill.com, Theatermania.com, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for AsianConnections.com. She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog. As a photographer and videographer, Lia is frequently tapped to collaborate with artists, organizations and companies in establishing their documentary photo archive. She has been documenting her colleagues and contemporaries in the arts, fashion and journalism since making her stage debut as Liat in the National Tour of South Pacific, with Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden.
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