On August 8, the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne began their tenth year celebrations with an opening press conference that took place at Melbourne’s Central Business District. The award-winning film festival had several stars from Indian cinema such as Shah Rukh Khan, Vijay Sethupathi, Gayathrie Shankar, Tabu, Karan Johar, Arjun Kapoor, Sriram Raghavan, Rima Das and Zoya Akhtar in attendance.
Tamil film Super Deluxe has been nominated for three honours opposite several Bollywood biggies such as Andhadhun, Gully Boy, Badhaai Ho and Sui Dhaaga in Australia. The movie, as well as Vijay Sethupathi (for his role of transgender Shilpa) and director Thiagarajan Kumararaja are up for awards.
Taking charge of the event, Mitu Bhowmick Lange, director of the festival introduced the programs of the festival. Martin Foley, Minister for Creative Industries for the Victorian Legislative Assembly, was also present at the event.
Shah Rukh Khan, the guest of honour at the festival, addressed the audience, “Many years ago in 2006-07, I came here when I was a rising superstar giving hit films after hit films. Now I am back here again, still a rising superstar... not making as many hit films (laughs), as much as I would want to do so. When I was shooting for Chak De in the city, I used to play Trivial (a game) with crew members on set. Because of being an Indian film actor, we often feel localised. It’s thus heartening that because of the Indian diaspora — the second generation of Indians here, that Indian cinema is getting noticed.”
Filmmaker Karan Johar also took the stage and stated that the panel at the festival is reflective of the glorious courage and changing face of Indian cinema. “It represents three feature films that have changed the way we look at Indian cinema and how it has travelled across the globe and will continue to do so. There is Super Deluxe, Andhadhun and Gully Boy. All of these have appealed not only to the diaspora but to international audiences across the globe, making Indian cinema so proud.”
The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne will go on from August 8 to 15 in Melbourne, Australia. The festival will screen over 60 films from all across India and the subcontinent in over 22 languages.