Cricketer Shane Warne joined Vidya Balan at yesterday's
launch of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM),
a state government-funded event.
event is said to be more about spinning Victoria's business
relations with the subcontinent to showcase the world's
largest movie industry, Bollywood.
world is interested in India because of its burgeoning
middle class and its capacity to buy,'' Tourism Minister
Louise Asher has reportedly said. ''We want to ensure
[Victoria is] at the forefront of positioning our businesses
to do well in India. It's in that context, given that
Bollywood is so big, that we're not only looking to
develop business ties but cultural ties with India.''
said that it was hoped that the upcoming festival
might attract tourism from India and conceded that
the government hoped it might play a part in repairing
the damage to Victoria's education industry. ''Education
is Victoria's number one export and Indian students
are a substantial part of that,'' she said.
premier Ted Baillieu has been a staunch advocate of
the festival. Incidentally, Balan is the event's ambassador.