2016 INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL OF MELBOURNE

2016 INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL OF MELBOURNE

Thursday 11 August – Sunday 21 August

IFFM ProgramsHurrah Beyond Bollywood Subcontinent Film India World Master Stroke

Festival LocationsHoyts Melbourne Central Hoyts HighpointFederation Square Melbourne Recital CentreIFFM Opening Night Thursday 11 August, 7.30pm Hoyts Melbourne Central

IFFM Awards Nightand Empowerment Concert Friday 12 August, 7.30pmMelbourne Recital Centre

Indian Independence Day Raising of the FlagSaturday 13 August, 11amFederation Square

Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition Saturday 13 August, 12pm,Federation Square

Bookings and program information www.iffm.com.au

The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM),the southern hemisphere’s greatest annual celebration of Indian cinema,today unveiled details of the 2016 program Taking place from 11-21 August with “Women’s Empowerment” as its unifying theme, this year’s festival explores the richness of contemporary cinema from India and the sub-continent, featuring films spanning Bollywood box-office hits to documentaries andarthouse festival favourites, as well ashosting the third edition of the annual Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Awards.

Festival Director Mitu Bhowmick- Lange said,This year’s festival presents aworld-class program overflowing with gala events, master classes with India’s leading film figures, and over 50films screenings in 17 languages across multipleMelbourne venues.We invite audiences to join us for a eleven day journey into India and the sub continent’s extraordinary worlds.”

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley said,“IFFM celebrates Victoria’s long-standing relationship with India, honours our vibrant local Indian community, and illustrates how the voices of all communities help to build Victoria’s reputation as the creative state. Last year, over 35,000 people took part in the festival and this year’s program is shaping up to be the best yet. The Victorian Government is proud to support IFFM as part of Creative State, our $115 million strategy to strengthen

Victoria’s creative industries and cultural offering.”

The festival is delighted to announce a number of India’s biggest stars as special guests for 2016. The stellar list featuresBollywood legend Rishi Kapoor, who over the last forty years has played the romantic lead in over 90 films, from thesuper-hit Bobby in 1973 to his most recent turn in Kapoor and Sons. Other VIPs includeLeenaYadav, director of the internationally acclaimed Parched, the IFFM opening night film;Bollywood’s new “it girl” RadhikaApte; bold BollywoodactressRichaChadda;award-winning director of Autograph and Rajkahini, Srijit Mukherjee;National Award-winningactressRituparnaSengupta;ShakunBatra, director of Kapoor & Sons; dancer and actress MalaikaArora Khan,and IFFM Ambassador VidyaBalan.

OPENING AND CLOSING NIGHTS

IFFM kicks off on 11 AugustwithParched,a contemporary melodrama set in an isolated north Indian village where long upheld customs are slowly evolving. Parchedpremiered at TIFF and has taken the international film festival circuit by storm, winning the prestigious IMPACT Award at Stockholm, Audience and Best Actress award at The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles and more. “Parched is my reaction to a misogynistic society that treats women as objects of sex, where their greatest role is to serve men. Giving my women characters a voice that observes, absorbs and reacts was what drove me to write this drama about ordinary women who are driven to extraordinary ends,” said directorLeenaYadav, who is an IFFM Festival Guest. Lead actress RadhikaApte is also in attendance.

The opening week coincides with the Indian Independence Day celebrations and the Festival is thrilled to commemorate this eventthrough ceremony, dance and the recognition of excellence in India’s film culture. Celebrations will include the raising of the Indian flag on Saturday 13 August at Federation Square by Bollywood veteran Rishi Kapoor, followed by the Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition judged byactressesRichaChadda, ShakunBatra and MalaikaArora Khan.

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As its closing film on Aug 21, IFFM is delighted to host the Victorian premiere of Angry Indian Goddesseswith key cast in attendance. Directed by Pan Nalin, the film follows a riotous weekend in Goa experienced by a bride-to-be and her best female friends.

WESTPAC IFFM AWARDS & NOMINEES

IFFM is proud to once again host the Westpac Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Awards (IFFM Awards), the first Indian cinema awards of their kind in Australia. A jury panelof leading Indian and Australian film industry figures including director

Paul Ireland, producer Sue Maslin, screenwriter Andrew Anastasios, editor Jill Bilcock, and Indian critic Rajeev Masand, and

the timeless “lady in white”, Simi Garewal,will honour winners in five categories: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Film, and Best Independent Film.

The winners will be announced at a red carpet gala event on 12 August at the Melbourne Recital Centre with a host of Indian stars and industry leaders in attendance. The awards will feature the Empowerment Concert, a performance of song and dance featuring renowned Pakistani singer-songwriter SaraHaider, award-winning Indian singer ShalmaliKholgade, the multi- talentedAnushkaManchandaand other notable local performers in an unforgettable night of glamour, song and dance.

WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT

With a special focusonthis year’s theme of “Women’s Empowerment”, IFFM presents new and classic films from India and the subcontinent, with a special selection of films, panels and roundtable discussions based around the theme. Festival director Mitu Bhowmick Lange said, “This theme was an obvious choice for us with so many of this year’s films portraying strong and vibrant female characters, while female directors turn the focus on inequality and liberation. We are delighted to have some really inspiring pioneers including VidyaBalanand LeenaYadav as special guests.’

The ‘Women’s Empowerment’ theme is explored in a number of critically lauded features and documentaries across six program streams, including the opening and closing night films Parched and Angry Indian Goddesses,as well as a roundtable discussion with critic Rajeev Masand exploring ‘Wild Women in Cinema’ (Sat 13 Aug), and two‘In Conversation’ events:RichaChadda on ‘Bollywood and Body Positivity’ (Sat 13 Aug) andRajeev Masand In Conversation With Rishi Kapoor’

(Sun 14 Aug).

Academy Award-winning Pakistani director SharmeenObaidChinoy’s films are honoured with a special Festival focus in the Masterstroke section. The Festival will present a full retrospective of her documentaries, including the Victorian premiere of A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers, which follows 160 predominantly Muslim Bangladeshi policewomen on a difficult mission overseas, and her Oscar-winning short films about issues facing Pakistani women: A Girl In The River: The Price Of Forgiveness, exploring contemporary honour killings, and Saving Face, about the horrendous practice of acid attacks.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

Further program highlights include the world premiere of AshutoshGowariker’sepic adventure- romanceMohenjoDarostarringHrithikRoshan and Pooja Hedge in the lead roles, set in the ancient city of Mohenjo-daro in the era of the Indus Valley civilisation; and the Australian premiere of AnuMenon’s comedy drama Waiting, about the relationship between two people from very different walks of life who befriend one another in hospital.

The ‘Hurrah Bollywood’program features the best mainstream Hindi cinema from the last twelve months includingIFFM Award Best Film nominees, Neerjaby Ram Madhvani,and Kapoor and Sons starring Rishi Kapoor; ‘Beyond Bollywood’ presents art house and cinema in regional Indian languages, with programme highlights including the Pakistani biographicaldramaManto, about the life of Indo-Pakistani writer SaadatHasanManto; and the box office and critical hit Aligarh, directed by Hansel Mehta and described by the BFI as “Probably the best film yet on the Indian gay male experience,” inspired by the life of Dr ShrinivasRamchandraSiras.‘The Subcontinent’features films from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal, includingthe banned Bangladeshi featureUnder Construction, which revolves around a woman’s struggle to reclaim her identity and sexuality; Pakistani drama Moorwritten and directed by Jami, about a troubled station master, andAmong the Believers, a documentary that examines the increasing political and religious turmoil in Pakistan since the War on Terror.‘Film India World’ presentsAmrita Dasgupta’s award-winning The New Girl in Class, which looks at the possibility of mainstream education for Indian children with autism; while the IFFM Documentary stream featuresFor The Love of A Man, exploring the madness of South Indian fandom as a former bus driver becomes a living legend. ‘Master Stroke’ showcases some of the greatest classics from India’s rich cinematic history. IFFM is an11day feast for the eyes, ears and mind.

The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne was established in 2012 as an initiative of the Victorian Government.

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