Festival Director's Overview
On May 3, 1913, the first Indian film Raja Harishchandra had its first public screening in Bombay. A hundred years later that very film will open our festival in Melbourne on May 3, 2013.

I cannot think of a more special way to open the second Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, a showcase of the biggest film industry in the world!
No matter what your taste in films, you’ll find something here to whet your appetite. Once again we have a huge selection of movies that span not only India but across the subcontinent, from West Indian arthouse fare to Mumbai’s multiplex fillers, South Indian thrillers and everything in between.

This year we celebrate the 100th birthday of Indian cinema with a selection of classics that birthed an industry. Kicking off with the silent 1913 feature that started it all, these are the landmark movies that pushed Indian cinema, and the country at large, forward.

In a special retrospective we will be honouring our dearly departed Festival Patron, Yash Chopra. His body of work spanned genres, created superstars and helped introduce Indian cinema to the world. As seems fitting for a man who always put the audience first, we’ll be screening a selection of his movies at the Yash Chopra Cinema at La Trobe University. We salute you, Mr Chopra.

It’s a huge honour for us to host India’s most iconic actor of all time, Amitabh Bachchan. No actor in the western world is held in such esteem, as untold millions consider him as a God amongst men. Now he graces Melbourne with his presence and we celebrate his huge contribution to cinema with a retrospective of his most celebrated films in Federation Square.

We are delighted to welcome back our beautiful ambassador, the recently married Vidya Balan. India’s leading actress, Vidya gives Indian women a new, relevant face on screen and we couldn’t be luckier to have her.

The Western Union Short Film Competition returns with another globetrotting battle of bite-sized beauties from India, Australia and New Zealand. Catch the winning entries here first and see how the three countries’ freshest filmmaking talent stacks up.

Victorian filmmakers, students and fans have a unique chance to learn how they do things in India with another round of Masterclasses; a must for anyone with an eye on the global film business, and the action will spill into Federation Square with the fiercely fought Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition, while special guests will grace Melbourne to introduce their films and answer your questions. So join us in celebrating 100 incredible years of Indian cinema, right in the heart of movie-loving, multicultural Melbourne. 

Mitu Bhowmick Lange
Copyright © IFFM 2013