'The Torch' to close Chicago International Film Festival

Radhika Sharma

Chicago, Oct 10 (PTI) 'The Torch', a documentary on American blues musician Buddy Guy, is set to have its world premiere as the closing film at the Chicago International Film Festival, the makers announced on Thursday.

The movie, directed by Jim Farrell, is Cinestaan Film Company's co-production with IFC Films.

The film celebrates the legendary talent of the eight-time Grammy winner, his rise to fame from humble beginnings, his quest to not let the blues die by handing on the torch, to his protege Quinn Sullivan who first appeared on stage with him at age six.

Producer Anand Mahindra said 'The Torch' was one of the very first films commissioned by Cinestaan Film Company and carried a special place in his heart.

'It is particularly special because we made the decision to back this film after seeing Buddy introduce and perform with Quinn live at the Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai,' Mahindra said in a statement.

Arianna Bocco, EVP of Acquisitions and Productions of IFC Films, said the spirit of this film is the importance of legacy.

'In the instance of 'The Torch', it's about a musical legacy and homespun tradition being carried on through younger generations, which as an ethos, IFC cares about deeply. We're thrilled to have been on board with this film from the early stages, and Cinestaan has been incredible partners throughout the process,' Bocco said.

Director Farrell said he couldn’t have asked for better partners than Cinestaan and IFC.

'Their dedication over the life of this project went far beyond what I could have imagined. Buddy’s relentless crusade to keep Blues music alive for future generations needs to be shared with the world, and I can’t think of a better place to premiere this film than the 55th Chicago International Film Festival 2019,” he added.

Another Cinestaan production, 'Bombay Rose' will have its US Premiere at the festival where it will participate in the New Directors Competition. The Gitanjali Rao-directed animated film had its world premiere at International Critics Week at the 2019 Venice Film Festival.

The 55th edition of the Chicago International Film Festival will run from October 16-27. PTI RDS