Regional Indian Film Goes to Toronto

The Punjabi family comedy, 'Breakaway' made by Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar, will premiere internationally
Regional Indian Film Goes to Toronto
Akshay Kumar

One of Bollywood’s leading actors Akshay Kumar’s co-production "Breakaway", a hilarious Punjabi family comedy on the lines of "Bend It Like Beckham", will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

A cross-cultural hockey comedy-drama set in the Indo-Canadian community in the Toronto suburb of Brampton, "Breakaway" features Indian and international actors such as Anupam Kher, Vinay Virmani, Russell Peters, Camilla Belle, and Rob Lowe.

The script has been written by Vinay Virmani, a writer from Toronto, who also plays the lead role in the film that has been directed by Canadian Robert Lieberman. The story revolves around a Punjabi immigrant family which goes through turmoil in trying to come to terms with social mores of Canadian society. Adjustment problems in an alien culture is a subject that has been tackled in many “crossover” films with ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ and ‘Bride and Prejudice’ being the more prominent ones.

Breakaway, however, is set in the background of ice-hockey which is Canada's national sport. Rajveer Singh, played by Vinay Virmani, dreams of becoming a pro hockey player but he is caught between expectations of his traditional Indo-Canadian family ruled by his religiously devout father (Anupam Kher) and his own ambition.

As the film producers said, it is "both a fun-filled sports comedy bringing a dash of Bollywood to Canada's favourite sport and the heartfelt journey of a young immigrant man's quest to find himself in his new country.''

Frank Siracusa of Whizbang Films which has produced the film, "We are absolutely thrilled that Breakaway will have its world premiere at TIFF.  We know this film will resonate with festival audiences, with its diverse Canadian, American and South Asian cast, its Toronto backdrop and its irresistible cross-cultural clash within a family and a son's passion for the game of hockey.''  

Breakaway has been co-produced by Bollywood star Akshay Kumar who is known for his close ties with Canada. It is the first India-themed film to join the list of over 300 films coming from around the world to TIFF.

The 36th annual film festival runs from 8 to 18 September.