Festival Director's Overview
Welcome to the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne!

This is a double celebration of the world’s biggest film industry, in all its crazy diversity, and multicultural Melbourne.
Like Melbourne itself, Indian cinema is incredibly diverse. From Bengali art house to Hindi mass entertainment and South Indian action, there’s something for everyone. We’ll be screening a dazzling selection of 35 films from across India, celebrating her film industry’s dizzying breadth, from “masala” movies (lots of ingredients all cooked in the same pot) to regional art house and even straying across the subcontinent for rare Australian screenings of their cinema.

In honour of Melbourne’s vibrant production base, we’re holding a series of master classes with special guests from the Indian film industry, including costume designer Sabyasachi, writer Abhijat Joshi with Director and co-writer Raju Hirani, and the ten time national award winning Rituparno Ghosh.There’s also a sidebar on animation collaboration with Jugal Hansraj and much more!

Some of India’s biggest stars are coming too, with Tamil superstar Vijay, former Ms. World and Bollywood goddess Priyanka Chopra, superstar Shahid Kapoor, filmmakers Kunal Kohli and Vicky Bahri, all joining us to celebrate the arrival of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne.

In the multicultural spirit with which this festival is intended, we’re excited to share films from India’s subcontinental neighbours. Acclaimed director Onir, one of the most exciting voices creating India’s new wave, has specially curated films from India’s neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

We are also honoured to welcome the one and only Vidya Balan, one of India’s finest and boldest actors, as the festival’s official ambassador; flying the flag for our exciting film festival. As someone who has changed the way women are portrayed on screen in India, she is the true embodiment of a festival that endeavours to showcase the sheer breadth and evolution of Indian cinema.

Finally, as well as fostering broader cultural ties, we also hope to provide a platform for new voices and visions. Acclaimed young Melbourne illustrator Jessica Singh has designed our festival key art and, in collaboration with Western Union, we’re looking for the filmmakers who we hope to be screening at future Indian Film Festivals of Melbourne. The Western Union Short Film Competition is open to filmmakers from India, Australia and New Zealand and you can see some of the winning entries at Hoyts during the festival, and soon on SBS. The celebration continues in the twin locations of Hoyts Melbourne Central and Hoyts Chadstone as the home to the festival this year.

So come and celebrate the films and filmmakers of the world’s biggest cinema producer, right in the heart of Melbourne. Film lovers are in for a treat!

Mitu Bhowmick Lange
Copyright © IFFM 2012