- Simi Garewal, Nikhil Advani and the finest Australian film talent come together as the IFFM Jury
Melbourne- The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) – the southern hemisphere’s greatest annual celebration of Indian cinema – today announces details for their much anticipated 2018 program.
Taking place from 10-22 August under the unifying theme of ‘Inclusion’, this year’s Festival offers all Australians the opportunity to explore the richness and diversity of contemporary Indian cinema, from Bollywood box-office hits, documentaries and art-house premieres, to a Bollywood dance competition and master classes with key figures from the Indian film industry.
The festival this year will see over 60 films in 22 languages. The line up of this year’s festival boasts of a diverse and distinct range of films, many of which will premiere for the first time in Australia and some that have had critical success in the biggest festivals of the world. Over 13 days audiences will get to watch stories about Sex trafficking, a bangle seller and his wife, about an old lady reminiscing about her past. They can devour the diversity of India with films like Bhasmasur that talks about debt and a father-son relationship, Ahare Mon which discusses the types of people who are allowed to fall in love and Juze, that talks about the misuse of power and emotional harassment. They’ll get a taste of mind games with films like In the Shadows and Paddayi, a whiff of Bollywood grandeur with films like Padmavat and will fall in love with movies like Hichki and Chumbak. The festival truly has something for everyone.
This year’s competition section also portrays the diversity of Indian cinema proudly. The jury members will choose between 6 categories. The categories are Best Film, Best Indie Film, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Supporting Role and Best Director. The nominations under each category have been given below.
BEST FILM: Padman, Hichki, Padmaavat, Sanju, Secret Superstar, Raazi, Mahanati, Rangasthalam
BEST INDIE FILM: In the shadows, Village Rockstars, Balekempa, Up, Down and Sideways (Documentary), Mayurakshi, Garbage, Sir, Love Sonia
BEST ACTOR: Ranbir Kapoor for Sanju, Varun Dhawan for October, Ranveer Singh for Padmaavat, Akshay Kumar for Padman, Manoj Bajpayee for In the Shadows, Fahadh Faasil for The Exhibit and the Eyewitness, Soumitra Chaterjee for Mayurakshi, Shahid Kapoor for Padmaavat
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE: Vicky Kaushal for Sanju, Ranvir Shorey – In the Shadows, Samantha Akkineni – Mahanati, Richa Chadha – Love Sonia, Freida Pinto – Love Sonia, Trimala Adhikari – Garbage, Meher Vij- Secret Superstar
BEST DIRECTOR: Rajkumar Hirani for Sanju, Shoojit Sircar for October, R. Balki for Padman, Siddharth P Malhotra for Hichki, Advait Chandan for Secret Superstar, Sanjay Leela Bhansali for Padmaavat, Rima Das for Village Rockstars, Dipesh Jain for In the Shadows, Ere Gowda for Balekempa, Suresh Triveni For Tumhari Sulu, Meghna Gulzar For Raazi, Tabrez Noorani – Love Sonia, Rohena Gera for Sir
BEST ACTRESS: Rani Mukherjee for Hichki, Vidya Balan for Tumhari Sulu, Deepika Padukone for Padmaavat, Alia Bhatt for Raazi, Bhanita Das for Village Rockstars, Keerthy Suresh for Mahanati, Tillotama Shome for Sir, Zaira Wasim for Secret Superstar
Films like Konkona Sharma’s Death in the Gunj, Alankrita Shrivastava’s Lipstick under my Burkha, Shakun Batra’s Kapoor and Sons, Vikramaditya Motwane’s Trapped, Nitesh Tiwari’s Dangal, M Manikandan’s Kaaka Muttai, Vishal Bharadwaj’s Haider and Rahul Bose’s Poorna have all been winners at the IFFM Awards.
Mitu Bhowmick Lange, the director says, “ Our competition section is as diverse as the films and people who come for the festival. It has some mainstream, indie and regional films but the one thing they share no matter what the language or theme is that it is a fantastic eye-catching cinema. That’s always been the goal of the festival to appreciate and applaud those who create films for their audiences. The directors who think about what the fans will like and bring to the screen so many real stories, the actors and actresses who deliver on that to make it most believable and the supporting actors who carry the film and actor on their shoulders. We’ve had an array of brilliant films even in the past, whether they were edgy, quirky, hard-hitting or plain beautiful. Our jury is a mix of Australian and Indian directors, producers and actors who together make for the perfect jury with experiences in two different industries but share a common thread, the love for cinema. I cannot wait to see what they choose, especially what our Australian Filmmakers select.”
The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne also proudly presents its jury members which consists of notable directors, writers, actors and editors from India and Australia, namely Simi Garewal, Sue Maslin, Jill Bilcock, Andrew Anastasios, Nikhil Advani and Geoffrey Wright.
Simi Garewal needs no introduction, the veteran actress and talk show host is a festival favourite. Sue Maslin is one of Australia’s finest film and television content producers and has produced films like The Dressmaker, Japanese Story and Hunt Angels. Jill Bilcock is one of the world’s leading editors, having worked with prominent film directors like Sam Mendes, Baz Luhrmann and has worked on films like Romeo + Juliet, starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Claire Dane and Moulin Rouge starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor to name a few. Andrew Anastasios is a script researcher and a writer. Mainly a television series writer, Andrew has co-written the Russell Crowe starrer The Water Diviner. Nikhil Advani has been making Bollywood films for over 2 decades now and producing them for over 10 years, having worked with the biggest names from Shahrukh Khan to Akshay Kumar, Rani Mukerji and Abhishek Bachchan. Geoffrey Wright is an Australian director of the cult classic, Romper Stomper which is also the film that gave Russell Crowe his big break. He has adapted Macbeth into film and has written and directed for the small screen as well.
The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne was established in 2012 as an initiative of the Victorian Government and has established itself as an important part of State’s cultural calendar. In 2016, the festival was honoured. With the much respected Melbourne Award for contribution in Multiculturalism.