IFFM Guests
Pamela Chopra

Producer, writer, designer, wife and mother to a filmmaking dynasty, Pamela Chopra has lived a life steeped in India’s rich cinema history. As a mother she has raised two successful filmmakers in sons Aditya and Uday. As an artist she has had a hand in several of the most treasured movies in modern cinema like Kabhi Kabhie, Noorie, Khazana, Aaina, Mohabbatein and many more.

Simi Garewal
A highly respected actress, director, writer, producer and television host, Simi Garewal has conquered film and television. She first appeared in the English language 1962 film Tarzan Goes to India and went on to work with Satyajit Ray and Yash Chopra in Kabhi Kabhie. In the early 1980s Simi’s attention turned to writing and direction, forming her own successful production company for award-winning documentaries and commercials. In recent years she has transformed the Indian television landscape as a respected interviewer, director and producer.

Vidya Balan

Currently India’s most successful actress, Vidya Balan has reshaped the way women are represented on screen with a series of often daring roles. She is now one of the few actresses who can open a movie and is loved by critics and audiences alike, thanks to acclaimed performances in movies including Parineeta, Paa, The Dirty Picture and Kahaani. Vidya recently married UTV Motion Pictures CEO Siddharth Roy Kapur. We are thrilled to welcome our much loved Festival Ambassador back in Melbourne to open the second Indian Film Festival of Melbourne. 


While most people are lucky to succeed in one career, Prabhudeva – aka The Indian Michael Jackson - has thrived in four... so far. He was first spotted as a dancer in Tamil movies before following in his father’s footsteps as a choreographer. Having revolutionized dancing in Indian films he became a lead actor and is now one of India’s most successful directors having guided big hits including Wanted and Rowdy Rathore.

Farah Khan

As a sociology student in Mumbai, Farah was so inspired by Michael Jackson’s Thriller video she taught herself to dance, eventually becoming one of Bollywood’s most famous choreographers. She has choreographed over one hundred songs in eighty movies, worked with Shakira and Kylie Minogue and is now a successful director having steered Main Hoon Na, Om Shanti Om, Tees Maar Khan and the upcoming Happy New Year. We’re thrilled to welcome one of the most powerful, and fun, filmmakers who also happens to be a film actress, TV personality and a super-mum to triplets.

Kabir Khan

Like Paul Greengrass in Hollywood, Kabir successfully parlayed an award-winning career directing documentaries into helming big-budget features. His first movie, Kabul Express, traded on his experiences investigating the Taliban, and since then he has conquered the box office with New York starring John Abraham and the action packed Ek Tha Tiger starring Salman Khan, playing at the festival.

Jimmy Shergill

A highly respected actor, Jimmy won plaudits for his debut in the critically acclaimed Maachis. From there he scored a huge break opposite Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Aditya Chopra’s Mohabbatein, and went on to earn rave reviews for Munna Bhai M.B.B.S., Lage Raho Munnabhai, My Name is Khan, and many other roles. Maintaining deep ties to his Punjabi roots, he has committed to producing and acting in one Punjabi film every year. Catch him in Special 26 and Rangeelay, that premieres during the festival. 


Born in Bhutan to Bengali parents, Onir is one of Indian cinema’s freshest voices. A writer, editor and director, he tackles sensitive subjects head on and was inspired by filmmakers including Ray, Ghatak, Bunuel and Tarkovsky. One of the few directors who refuses to conform, he has helped revolutionise Indian filmmaking by pioneering crowd sourced fundraising for films on taboo subjects including AIDS, incest and homosexuality. His last film, I Am, scored him a National Film Award and as the founder of Anticlock Films he promotes groundbreaking young directors.

Penny Vozniak

Penny’s first film, Despite the Gods, has been nominated for three Best Documentary Feature awards. For the past four years she has collaborated with pop artist Appleonia (Jessica Chapnik Kahn), co-creating a string of dream-themed music videos. In 2011 she was awarded Best Music Video at Sandfly Film Festival for her music video Precious, and shortlisted for Shots Magazine’s Asia/Pacific New Director Award. She is currently directing and co-producing Ordinary Wonderlands, a stranger-than-fiction documentary filmed over eight years.

Girish Kumar

As the photogenic son of Kumar Taurani, owner of one of India’s big movie studios, Tips Pvt Ltd, Girish was probably destined to be a Bollywood star. Now, after several years of training and on-set experience, he’s ready to make his debut opposite Shruti Hassan in the upcoming musical Ramaiya Vastavaiya, directed by festival guest Prabhudeva. A definite one to watch, here’s your chance to meet a hot property while you still can! 
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