Film Victoria hosted its annual Screen Leader Awards with representatives from across Victoria’s screen sector to honour four Victorian industry leaders on their outstanding achievements.
Writer, Producer and Director Robert Connolly received the 2017 John Howie Award and Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Festival Director Mitu Bhowmick Lange was awarded the 2017 Jill Robb Award in recognition of their outstanding leadership, mentorship and service they have given to the industry.
Film Victoria CEO Jenni Tosi congratulated the award recipients saying ‘these awards are our way of acknowledging four highly talented creatives who have all played a significant role in enhancing Victoria’s reputation as a vibrant creative and cultural hub, where great content is made. We’re incredibly lucky to have such a huge pool of talent working here in Victoria and we look forward to a bumper year in 2018.”
The event also recognised Film Victoria’s outgoing CEO Jenni Tosi who departed Film Victoria on 15 December after 10 years with the agency.
IFFM Director and 2017 Jill Robb Awardee Mitu Bhowmick Lange said, “I feel very humbled and honoured at receiving this amazing recognition. I think I am the first Indian to receive it which makes me feel very proud not only for myself but for my community as well. Thank you Film Victoria for this wonderful honour.”
When asked about a piece of advice that has stayed with her, Mitu said, “Something that has stayed with me and that I remain very true to has been the advice that ‘people are the same everywhere.’ Yes there can be cultural differences at work, but at the end of the day you get what you give. So you give respect, you get respect. You give warmth and good will, and you get the same. It might sound naive and simple, but it has been very true for me.”
Talking about her inspirations, the ever smiling Mitu added, “There are so many people who inspire me and move me constantly. The first one is of course my mother. Another amazing woman is Cate Sayers who runs E.Motion21 – a dance school for children and young adults with Down Syndrome. She has created this wonderful community of love and support for children with Down Syndrome and their families in such a seamless way. Also everyone who works at the Royal Children’s Hospital … they are all heroes!”
On her plans for next twelve months the IFFM Director said,
“Too many things! We are very excited to be taking our small documentary Raising the Bar to India and creating awareness and positivity towards a more inclusive society. We have over 30 Indian films and four Australian films that we will be distributing in Australia and New Zealand. We have just opened our offices in Fiji and looking forward to doing more there … and also planning for another spectacular Indian Film Festival of Melbourne in 2018!”.