The grand Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) will take place from Thursday 10 – Tuesday 22 August, 2017 with special guests, events, and screenings of over 60 films.
This year, IFFM has diversity as its central theme. It will showcase over 60 films — indie and short included — in 20 different languages. The films from India will include 30 Australian premieres.
Actress Vidya Balan is returning as ambassador of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) and she is happy about women representation at the gala.
“I am excited by the work of female directors and writers who have their work showing at the festival. Over the past few years, a new generation of Indian filmmakers has begun to shine on the global stage,” Vidya said in a statement.
“To see women behind the camera and creating powerful pieces of art is reflective of the positive steps that the film industry in India and the subcontinent is taking,” added the actress, who has shown her versatility in films like “The Dirty Picture” and “Kahaani”.
Opening this year’s festival is the award winning and thought-provoking Lipstick Under My Burkha which is an acclaimed drama exploring social taboos and personal struggles of four Indian women from diverse backgrounds. The film was initially denied classification in January for being too “lady orientated” by the Central Board Film Certification (CBFC) of India, a decision director Alankrita Shrivastava described as “an assault on women’s rights”. Shrivastava and the film’s star Konkona Sen Sharma are special guests of the festival and will attend opening night. “Independent films are telling important stories, challenging the status quo and are important artistic expressions,” said Alankrita Shrivastava. She further said, “I’m delighted to participate in the Festival with Lipstick Under My Burkha and looking forward to the reaction of Australian audiences.”
Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley said, “The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne promotes the cross cultural exchange of ideas between Indian and Australian audiences through its unique and diverse selection of films and events. The Victorian Government is proud to support the festival and welcome it back to Victoria for another year. This film is just our first look at what promises to be another exciting program.”
Festival Director Mitu Bhowmick-Lange said, “This August the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne will present films that explore diversity and the endless potential of humanity. Audiences will immerse themselves in 13 days of film, including Bollywood blockbusters, powerful indie films and stunning documentaries from India and the subcontinent. These films were curated to entertain, inspire, enrage, engage and challenge viewers. We look forward to welcoming a fantastic lineup of guests and welcoming audiences to our screenings and special events.”
IFFM continues to grow and increase its accessibility, responding to the huge appetite for Indian film from Melbourne audiences and will this year screen a number of brilliant Bollywood favourites at Federation Square as well as adding three new screening locations at HOYTS Chadstone,Broadmeadows, and Forest Hill alongside Melbourne Central and Highpoint.
Celebrating diversity, the IFFM program features films of over 20 different languages from India and the subcontinent. The star studded Westpac Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Awards (IFFM Awards), will take place on Friday 11 August at Melbourne’s Recital Centre.
IFFM’s opening week coincides with the Indian Independence Day celebrations and the festival is thrilled to commemorate this event through ceremony, dance and the recognition of excellence in India’s film culture. Celebrations will include the raising of the Indian flag on Saturday 12 August at Federation Square, followed by the Telstra Bollywood Dance competition.
A not to be missed highlight of this year’s festival will be a series of In Conversation and Masterclass events with Festival Guests at Federation Square’s Deakin Edge as well as Q&As at a number of the screening venues.
Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2017:
Dates: Thursday 10 August – Tuesday 22 August
Venues: Melbourne Recital Centre • Federation Square • Deakin Edge •
Hoyts Melbourne Central • Hoyts Chadstone • Hoyts Broadmeadows • Hoyts Forest Hill • Hoyts
Highpoint: The full IFFM program will be released in the first week of July. In the lead up, there’s a fantastic opportunity for film lovers to win tickets to IFFM events by showing their social conscience with the very exciting IFFM Hero campaign. #IFFMHERO