MUMBAI: Cricketer Shane Warne joined Vidya Balan at yesterday‘s launch of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM), a state government-funded event.
The event is said to be more about spinning Victoria‘s business relations with the subcontinent to showcase the world‘s largest movie industry, Bollywood.
‘‘The 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.‘‘
Asher 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.
Victorian premier Ted Baillieu has been a staunch advocate of the festival. Incidentally, Balan is the event‘s ambassador.