Welcome to the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2017. Those who have lived in or visited India know its cultural power. It is a country full of colour, tradition, character, religion, flavour, celebration, language. It prospers and it struggles - it’s diverse.

That’s the theme of this year’s Festival, Diversity.

In my mind, this diversity is no better represented than through India’s cinema. This year we are proud to present a program that reflects the ethnic mosaic of our region through more than 60 films from 20 unique language groups.

Our Festival isn’t a one-way conversation, it's an opportunity to engage with the filmmakers, actresses and actors that visit. This interaction can be through attending a screening and a Q&A with the stars, a masterclass with some of the biggest names in the industry, or one of our special events, such as the Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition or our Westpac Awards Night.

This year, our Awards night will see the biggest names from India and the Subcontinent celebrate the films that have been released over the last year. The event will be held at the beautiful Melbourne Recital Centre and will include a special performance by Akriti, Prakriti and Sukriti Kakar. The Kakar sisters have provided the vocals for many Bollywood films and will be visiting Melbourne to perform for the first time. There will also be a special screening of the winning entries of the Western Union Short Film Competition.

There’s a fantastic opportunity to win tickets to our events by showing us your social conscience with the very exciting #IFFM Hero campaign. We encourage you to capture yourself “doing good”, tag us at #iffmhero and go into the running to receive free tickets, meet and greets, and prizes.

There has been a real effort to extend the Festival's reach so that we’re able to reach more fans of Indian Cinema. I’m proud that this year’s festival will be bigger and better than ever, with films screening across 5 venues. Our partnership with HOYTS has grown and allowed us to present films at their Melbourne Central, Forest Hill, Chadstone, Highpoint and Broadmeadows venues.

Our Festival is going to be so much more than just the 13 days in the program. Beyond August we will continue continuing to bring you special events every few months under the IFFM banner to make sure that lovers of India cinema can stay engaged year-round.

We couldn't present this Festival without our presenting partners Film Victoria, City of Melbourne, supporters' generous sponsors, our wonderful ambassador Vidya Balan, our generous sponsors and most of all, you, our audience. Thank you for being a part of IFFM and I sincerely hope that you soak up the diversity of films and events.

Mitu Bhowmick Lange
IFFM Festival Director