The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne now in its 13th year this morning has officially been flagged off by an array of stars of Indian cinema at an iconic landmark venue in Melbourne, Australia. The festival is back in person after two-year programming of the festival is only online, with the physical festival starting today and summing up on 20th August. Present at the official launch were Abhishek Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, Vaani Kapoor, Tamannaah Bhatia, Shefali Shah, singer Sona Mohapatra and filmmakers Anurag Kashyap, Kabir Khan, Aparna Sen, Nikkhil Advani and Shoojit Sircar.
The actors took to the podium in presence of a special audience to announce this year’s program schedule with Taapsee Pannu’s Dobaaraa being the opening night film. Other exciting events lined up apart from the screening of over 120 films are the Independence Day Celebrations, an array of panel discussions amongst other specially curated events.
Abhishek Bachchan said, “I’m finally here in Melbourne and I’m absolutely loving it. I’m looking forward to watching Dobaaraa. My almost entire family has represented India here and I’m very proud of it. I’m looking forward to being part of all the celebrations and I thank the government and Mitu for having me here. It feels great to be given the Leadership in Cinema award”.
Tamannaah commented when asked about the South and Hindi film debate at the festival. She said, “I think this conversation is only unique to India, whenever I travel abroad I never hear people distinguish, they simply call it Indian cinema. And such is the case even here at IFFM. I think what the audiences want is to see pan India films and more of such content is being made and being admired by all”.