Festival Patron, Yash Chopra

No other director in Bollywood history has stayed at the top for as long as Yash Raj; over fifty years and counting. As a director he made Amitabh Bachchan an icon in the seminal 'Deewar' and his own name became synonymous with romance. As a producer he created a studio, Yash Raj Films, which is so successful he can fund his own movies. His untitled directorial comeback, following a break of eight years, is out later this year and stars Shahrukh Khan and Katrina Kaif. We’re honoured to have Indian cinema’s own King Midas as our Festival Patron.
Message from the Festival Patron
“Congratulations, Melbourne, on the launch of your own Indian Film Festival! It is a great delight to me that your wonderful, multicultural city now has a place to enjoy the very best of Indian cinema, the largest film industry in the world. In the hundred years since our first feature, we have reached an annual audience of over three billion people and globalisation is leading to greater ties between our filmmaking communities. I wish the festival, and all the short filmmakers in your global competition, every success! ”

Advisory Board
Ronnie Screwvala

Ronnie Screwvala is an Indian film producer and founder, CEO and chairman of UTV Group. From helping to introduce Indians to cable TV and daily soap operas, Ronnie has staked out a powerful position within the Indian broadcasting, internet and production industries.
He is credited with having transformed the Indian film business by establishing modern standards of studio efficiency and professionalizing the movie production business in India with the introduction of foreign investors and aggressively marketing films with novel plots. UTV recently partnered with Walt Disney, Fox Searchlight, Sony and Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment, expanding its reach globally.
Amit Khanna

Amit Khanna is the chairman of Reliance Entertainment, Director of Reliance BIG TV & Reliance MediaWorks Ltd. He started his film career with Dev Anand’s banner in 1971 and has written lyrics for 400 film and non-film songs. He was the President of All India Film Producers Council, Film & Television Producers Guild of India Ltd., for three terms and Vice President of The Association of Motion Picture & TV Program Producers for 17 years.
Amit Khanna has been involved with all aspects of media from theatre, radio, television, journalism, films and new media. He was the first Indian to serve on the International Emmy’s jury. Besides serving on various international, governmental and trade organizations and institutions he has won several awards including three National Ffilm Awards.
Simi Garewal

A highly respected and popular actress, director, writer, producer and television host, Simi Garewal has seen great success in many fields across film and television. Her first acting role was in the English language film ‘Tarzan Goes to India’ (1962). In the 1960s and ‘70s she acted for many Indian and international directors from Raj Kapoor to Satyajit Ray to Conrad Rook’s critically acclaimed ‘Siddhartha’.
In the early ‘80s Simi’s attention turned to writing and direction, forming her own production company under which she made documentaries and television commercials, for which she won the 1st Prize at the 1988 Paters Awards in Australia. She is most recently known for anchoring the talk show ‘Rendezvous with Simi Garewal’ which was a trend-setter in the genre.
Vikram Malhotra

A former marketing star, Malhotra has successfully created household names out of new brands . Now he heads two businesses; the Digital and Motion Picture divisions of Viacom 18 Media, the instant powerhouse created by America’s Viacom and India’s Network 18 in 2007. He’s guided Viacom 18 Motion Pictures to near-instant major player status by engaging with an increasingly connected “middle India” with fresh ideas from exciting creative talent.
Copyright © IFFM 2012