Some of India’s biggest film stars have arrived as honoured guests of the 2019 Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM), the southern hemisphere’s largest celebration of Indian cinema.
Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley today joined superstar Bollywood director Shah Rukh Khan, known as “King Khan”, to open the 10th anniversary of the festival.
Over the next nine days, the program will feature 60 films in 21 languages exploring the theme of courage.
Bookending the festival will be films headed by acclaimed female directors, with Bulbul Can Sing screening on opening night with director Rima Das attending.
The multi award-winning film was selected for the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and centres on three teenagers in a coming to age story of societal expectations and identity.
Closing the festival is Blinded by the Light, a musical comedy-drama directed by Gurinder Chadha, best known for blockbuster hits Bend It Like Beckham and Bride and Prejudice. Premiering at Sundance Film Festival this year, the film follows a British Pakistani teenager whose life is changed when he discovers the music of Bruce Springsteen.
The program also includes a Bollywood dance competition, panels and a flag-raising ceremony as part of Indian Independence Day celebrations.
Tonight’s IFFM Awards sees Mr Khan nominated alongside high-profile actors including Karan Johar, Zoya Akhtar, Malaika Arora and Simi Garewal for their outstanding contribution to Indian cinema. Melbourne Symphony Orchestra will perform with top Bollywood playback singer and composer Amaal Mallik.
IFFM events will light up screens at select HOYTS cinemas, Federation Square, Palais Theatre and Arts Centre Melbourne.
The Andrews Labor Government is investing in Indian cinema with the Victorian Budget 2019/20 setting aside $3 million for the new Indian Cinema and Bollywood Investment Attraction Fund to improve our links with India and support local jobs.
Established in 2010 and re-branded as IFFM in 2012, the festival is supported by the Labor Government through Film Victoria.
IFFM runs from 8-17 August. For the full festival program visit iffm.com.au.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley
“IFFM is an incredible celebration of film, community and culture which continues to bring the best of Indian cinema to local audiences.”
“The fact that IFFM is marking a decade of running right here in Victoria proves our love of Indian film and shows why we are the creative and cultural capital of Australia.”