Rani, Priyanka join Playboy founder as Toronto film fest guests

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By Gurmukh Singh

Toronto, Aug 21 (IANS) Bollywood directors Ashutosh Gowariker and Anurag Singh and stars Rani Mukherjee, Priyanka Chopra, Lisa Ray and Harman Baweja will rub shoulders with George Clooney, Demi Moore, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and talk show queen Oprah Winfrey at this year's Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) next month.

The 34th annual mega-film show will run here from Sep 10-19.

Anurag Singh's "Dil Bole Hadippa" and Ashutosh Gowariker's "What's Your Rashee?" will make their world premiere at the festival.

Announcing the names of 500 guests, including directors, producers, and actors, the organizers also included daytime TV talk show queen Oprah Winfrey, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson in the final list.

Other big names are Nicolas Cage, Sir Ridley Scott, Drew Barrymore, Kevin Spacey, Michael Douglas, Penelope Cruz and Keanu Reeves.

Apart from Gowariker, Anurag Singh, Priyanka Chopra, Baweja, Rani Mukherjee, and Lisa Ray, the guest list also includes actor Abhay Deol, filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Deepa Mehta's brother Dilip Mehta, and documentary maker Vikram Jayanti.

Set for release September 18 in India, "Dil Bole Hadippa" is a hilarious drama-comedy with Shahid Kapoor (Rohan) and Rani Mukherjee (Veera Kaur) in lead roles. It also features Anupam Kher, Dalip Tahil, Rakhee Sawant and Sherlyn Chopra.

"What's Your Rashee?", based on Gujarati novel Kimball Ravenswood by Madhu Arya, is a romantic comedy starring Priyanka Chopra and Harman Baweja.

These two Bollywood films are among 335 from 64 countries to be screened at the festival. These include 271 feature-length films.

About 72 per cent of the films to be screened here will make their world or North American premieres.

According to the organizers, 71 directors will make their debut at the film festival, including Drew Barrymore with her comedy film "Whip It!"

Deepa Mehta's "Heaven on Earth" had its world premiere at the festival last year. Anees Bazmee's hit "Singh is Kingg" and Nandita Das's directorial debut "Firaaq" also had their gala premiere last year.

(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at gurmukh.s@ians.in)

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