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The Asian Age (Mumbai), January 19th 2005, page 15

If at the Pune fest, hold on to your hats

Mumbai, Jan. 18: "I love it when investors hate my film. Their face is a sight to behold when my film is a hit," says independent filmmaker Denis Boivin, director of the film Attache Ta Tuque (Hold On To Your Hat), which is competing with 19 other films in the International Competition category at the Pune International Film Festival 2005. The road film puts together a young Algonquin man and a young Russian woman, who have lived under the Communist regime. Their contrasting civilizations with surprising similarities, are brought to the fore.

"This is probably the first film that puts Quebec's native people in another light. My plan was to show the various facets of Canada's First People and the differences among themselves: Hurons, Algonquins, Montagnais and Attikameqs. Not many are aware that the natives speak 50 different languages, but must speak in French or English to communicate among themselves. I tried to break the stereotypical image people had of them," says the ponytailed Canadian, who is in Pune for the ongoing fest. Boivin started his film career with an animation film at the age of 16. Since then, he has broken many myths surrounding various communities in the world with award-winning films like Le Pelerin (The Pilgrim), Le Pardon (Forgiveness) and a poignant documentary on Pope John Paul II. His Masters in Theology helped Boivin to gain access where only few filmmakers had dared step forth, in Rome.

The soft-spoken, rebellious director derives inspiration from his travels. "I just noticed that Indian cobblers have the same tools as those in Canada," he informs as he picks out a copy of the National Geographic to show you Shah Rukh Khan's face adorning the front cover. "When I stepped out of the airport, I saw at least 300 posters of this man. He is really big here," he remarks. On the inside pages, he points to a picture of Aishwarya Rai and asks, "Who is this actress? She is really beautiful."

Boivin plans to make an IndoCanadian film, preferably with Rai in the lead, and another film called Blindsight about a blind healer, who is enabled to see through the eyes of the man she loves. Hold On To Your Hat will be screened at the E-Square Multiplex on January 19.

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