Mumbai: The power house of excellence, legendary actor-filmmaker Raj Kapoor was adored by everyone not only in India but in other parts of the world too. Now the organisers of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) want North Americans to acknowledge the work of the genius.

TIFF, in association with the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA), is organising a Raj Kapoor retrospective where a total of 15 of his iconic films will be screened including "Aag", "Awara", "Shree 420" and "Sangam".

Noah Cowan, TIFF's artistic director said, "Many reasons drove us to request IIFA about the possibility of doing a Raj Kapoor retrospective. We have long believed at TIFF that Raj Kapoor is one of the most under recognised filmmakers in North America. His contributions have been essential to Indian cinema and seeing his films is essential to understanding Indian cinema, particularly Hindi cinema."

"So for us there is an enormous educational mandate. We really want people to see these films, not only the South Asian community here but everyone as a whole,” added the great fan of Raj Kapoor.

Also, several pieces of memorabilia like costumes, cut-outs and props used during his films will be displayed.

"We believe that it will shed new lights for a lot of people on Indian cinema as a whole and the films themselves individually contain so many master works which haven't been fully respected yet by the international community. We want to ensure that Raj Kapoor's legacy is understood in North America," Cowan added.

The show is slated to begin June 26, a day after the IIFA awards ceremony in Toronto, and many members of the Kapoor family, including his sons Rishi Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor, Rajiv Kapoor, grandson Ranbir Kapoor and granddaughter Kareena Kapoor among others, are expected to attend the occasion.

Raj Kapoor was one of his kinds - he was only 24 when he launched his own studio, R. K. Films, and became the youngest director of his time after directing "Aag" in 1948.

There was no looking back for the genius storyteller after that and he went on to climb the success ladder by producing, directing and acting in successful movies like "Barsaat" (1949), "Awaara" (1951), "Shree 420" (1955), "Chori Chori" (1956).

In 1985, he madethe controversial movie "Ram Teri Ganga Maili"  and three years after directing the  movie, he died at the age of 64.

Raj Kapoor's popularity transcended borders and moviegoers were crazy about his films in the erstwhile Soviet Union. His films established him as the Charlie Chaplin of Indian cinema and he also had a huge fan following in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

"As the lead programmer of the event I saw all his films. I saw most of them long before now because I'm a fan of films and my mentor encouraged me to see Raj Kapoor films as a kind of instruction manual for understanding Hindi cinema,” he said.

(Agencies)