Award-winning composer, producer, and singer-songwriter A.R. Rahman can also add director to his list of credits thanks to Canada's newest film and music production company, Toronto-based Ideal Entertainment.
Rahman is best known for scoring Slumdog Millionaire for which he earned two Academy Awards and two Grammy Awards. He has also scored 127 Hours, The Hundred Foot Journey, and Pelé: Birth of a Legend.
Rahman was in Toronto on Thursday for Ideal Entertainment's media launch. He told host George Stroumboulopoulos it was his dream to produce quality movies based on music. And after writing his first script, he wanted to find financiers that believed in his vision.
He said Ideal Entertainment was the right partner to produce his directorial debut, Le Musk, a virtual reality short. "Ideal Entertainment has the same vision, international sensibilities, and they still understand the core value of where I come from."
Rahman added that Canada is a "very friendly place" and that he has been to the country many times. He has worked with Canadian director Deepa Mehta and helped launch The Lord of the Rings musical in Toronto in 2006.
"People have been so open. With open arms, they accept you."
Toronto as a 'global capital' for entertainment
Mayor John Tory says Rahman's visit is just one more indication that Toronto is an important cultural and entertainment centre.
"We'd like to think we're a global capital for all kinds of production of music, film, and television including Bollywood," he said. "What an incredible part the creative industry plays in the life of our city."