The Festival Director

Message from The Festival Director

Namaste and a very warm welcome to the 14th Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2023!

It is my utmost pleasure to extend my heartfelt greetings to every supporter, viewer, and audience member that celebrates with us the vibrant spirit of Indian and South Asian cinema, fourteen years on! The world around us is very visibly undergoing a significant shift towards automation, digitisation, and artificial intelligence, which is revolutionising various aspects of our lives. While the increase of our reliance on these mechanisms has undeniably brought numerous benefits to our day to day lives, it is the human ability to think creatively, to imagine, and to express emotions that sets us apart. In a world increasingly driven by data, algorithms, and efficiency, the arts and cinema offer a counterbalance—a space for introspection, reflection, and human connection. They remind us of the importance of nuance, imagination, and the subjective experience. The theme for this year’s festival, IDENTITY, pushes us to think beyond the technological advancements happening around us, and look inward - to where we truly come from, what we stand for, and how we choose to live our lives.

Over the course of our journey thus far, we have had the immense honour to showcase some of the most groundbreaking films, facilitate interactions with pathbreaking filmmakers, and helped discover new, budding talent through our platform, and we are ecstatic to bring you yet another wonderful season of such delightful cinema.

We have carefully sourced, curated and selected a bouquet of films from across India and the subcontinent for you to choose from. Be it thought-provoking documentaries, soul-stirring independent films or entertaining short films—we have a wide array of cinematic experiences awaiting you. These films are guaranteed to touch your soul and make you brim with pride. To provide as many of you as possible with an opportunity to make the most of our selection, we will be screening films on our website and App as well, allowing you to access our programme from the comfort of your home, from anywhere in Australia!

But the cinema experience is only one of the many exciting events we have in store for you. You are welcome to join us and interact with some of India’s most prolific writers, directors, producers, and actors through a series of panel discussions. Over the course of the festival, we plan to bring the community together through the most heart-pumping, foot-tapping events, especially the Indian Dance Competition and the glamourous Awards Night. We are also extremely proud to showcase a curation of talented works from independent filmmakers for The IFFM Short Film Competition. Through these endeavours, we hope to provide aspiring filmmakers and enthusiasts to engage in insightful conversations, learn from the best, and foster meaningful connections.

Finally, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to our sponsors, collaborators, and the dedicated team behind the scenes who have worked tirelessly to make this festival a reality. Without their unwavering support, this extravagant celebration of cinema would not have been possible.

So, come on over. Let our festival comfort you like a hot chai on a cold, wintry Melbourne day!

Mitu Bhowmick Lange AM
IFFM Festival Director