Festival Guests
Amitabh Bachchan
When it comes to the icons of Indian cinema they don't come any bigger than Amitabh Bachchan. Regarded amongst Indians as more of a god of cinema than a mere star,he is the undisputed godfather of modern Indian cinema. From the moment he first appeared as the 'angry young man' in the seventies, with his confident swagger and rich baritone voice, he practically defined Indian cinema as we know it today. The winner of three National Film Awards, four doctorates, fourteen Filmfare Awards, and France's Legion of Honour among countless other awards and honours from around the world, his influence stretches far and wide in India, where his work for UNICEF has helped to rid the country of polio.

But it took an Australianto persuade the man described by Truffaut as a "one man industry" to make his Hollywood debut in Baz Lurhmann's The Great Gatsby last year. Now Amitabh Bachchan's second 3D outing arrives in the newly restored Sholay. We are truly honoured to welcome this titan of cinema to Melbourne.
Konkona Sen Sharma
The daughter of filmmaker and actress Aparna Sen, Konkona is one of India's leading stars of arthouse and parallel (independent) cinema. She made her screen debut at the age of three and has since appeared in almost forty Hindi, Bengali and English language films. Noted for her naturalism, especially playing ambitious and independent women, she has won two National Film Awards and starred in the late, great Rituparno Ghosh's last film.
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
A National and Filmfare award winning writer, director and producer, he's one of India's most successful and exciting filmmakers. With Rang De Basanti (Colour of Sacrifice), Delhi-6 and now Bhaag Milkha Bhaag under his belt, he has attracted the attention of audiences and red carpets alike, while helping to redefine Indian cinema on the world stage. A former commercials director for clients including Coke, Pepsi and Toyota, Mehra is easily one of India's most prolific film makers today.
Malaika Arora Khan
She is without doubt one of the most famous and enduring Bollywood sirens to light up a screen. A dancer since the age of four, Arora Khan's love of film led her from a successful modelling career to one of India's most unforgettable big screen debuts, as the lead dancer in Dil Se's iconic 'Chaiyya Chaiyya' number on a moving train. A star was born and, eschewing acting, she went on to produce both Dabaang movies with her husband Arbaaz Khan and is currently a judge on the massive India's Got Talent.
Vijay Krishna Acharya
He may have written dialogue, dreamt up stories, penned lyrics and contributed complete screenplays for the movies but even he might not have dreamt that his sophomore directorial outing, Dhoom 3, would end up breaking so many box-office records. A favourite of Yash Raj Films, he made his name in TV before segueing into movies and eventually directing Akshay Kumar in Tashan. With the mind-boggling success of Dhoom 3 behind him, this impressively moustached fan of Tarantino and Woody Allen has become a force to reckon with in the Indian film industry.
Avatar Panesar
An Entertainment Executive for over 25 years, in the International markets for Indian music and films. In the 16 years with YRF Studios, has set up and developed the International distribution business starting with the first overseas YRF office out of the UK in 1997. Now overseeing the entire overseas territory outside of India and based out of the Mumbai Head Quarters of YRF, Avatar Panesar has been sucessfully taking big movies like Dhoom 3 to wider audience across the globe.
Nilendra Deshapriya
Nilendra Deshapriya embarked on his journey of filmmaking as an assistant director alongside acclaimed film directors' in both local and international productions.
Some of the landmark productions to his credit are; "Siri Medura" (The Mansion) and Keli Madala by DB Nihalsingha. Later, Nilendra rose to become one of Sri Lanka's most sought after television personalities who introduced Reality TV genre to Sri Lankan audiences, producing many successful television formats such as "Super Star" based on singing talent all over the nation which garnered the
highest ever television ratings in the history of Sri Lankan television and also the franchised version of "Who Wants To be A Millionaire."
Nilendra Deshapriya's debut as a Feature Film Director/Producer, "THANHA RATHI RANGA" [Between Yesterday and Tomorrow] completed in the year 2013, won the prestigious Global Film Initiative Winter granting cycle award. The film is one of the 6 projects to receive this honour..
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