The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne has already provided many great memories as it closed after 3 weeks of films, music , events, fun and magical memories..Like Indian cinema itself, for which the festival is celebrating the 100th anniversary, there has been plenty of drama.

On the magical Opening Night we watched the 1913 milestone Raja Harishchandra with a live score alongside Vidya Balan, Prabhudeva, Pamela Chopra, Kabir Khan, Farah Khan, Simi Garewal and Girish Kumar, who also made the opening press conference one to remember.

Audiences at Hoyts were treated to a huge run of Australian premieres, including Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist, attended by cricketing star Greg Chapel, Gangoobai, I.D., Anhey Ghorhey, Kai Po Che, Lessons in Forgetting, and many more. There was even a World Premiere, with Jimmy Sheirgill arriving to introduce his latest movie, Rangeelay. Meanwhile, over at Federation Square's ACMI cinema, the 100 Years of Indian Cinema season played classic after classic, featuring unforgettable moments and legendary performances.

With an eye always on fostering creative and cultural links between India and Australia, the Western Union Short Film Competition returned. The theme this year was Freedom, and filmmakers from India, Australia and New Zealand did battle for judges Kabir Khan, Paul Cox and Mick Molloy, with the winning Indian film screening on Opening Night in front of Indian film royalty.

The weather held off, just, for the Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition in Federation Square, where Prabhudeva and Farah Khan joined winners onstage and even shared a few moves of their own. It was as if Bollywood had well and truly landed in Melbourne.

The requisite sad moment came when Amitabh Bachchan reluctantly cancelled his visit to the festival due to an illness in his family. Fingers crossed, the beloved screen icon can make it another year in happier times.

Of course, every cloud has a silver lining, and IFFM scored a coup by announcing their new Closing Night film, on May 22nd, would be the hugely anticipated Bombay Talkies, only three days after its gala screening in Cannes. An ode to Indian cinema's 100th birthday, this star-studded anthology was the perfect way to wrap up the festival..

Copyright © IFFM 2013