NEW DELHI: The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) is becoming a competitive festival with international competition in 2014.
The festival, for which actor Vidya Balan is the brand ambassador, will take place from 1 to 11 May.
The inaugural Indian Film Festival Awards (IFFM Awards) will honour films in five categories: Best Film, Best Performance, Best Director, Best Independent Film and the People’s Choice Award.
A select number of narrative feature films will be invited into competition. The films will be judged by an International Jury of prominent Indian and Australian film industry figures from a wide range of backgrounds. The stellar list includes award-winning Australian director Phillip Noyce (Rabbit Proof Fence, Dead Calm, The Quiet American); world renowned Australian film editor Jill Bilcock (Strictly Ballroom, Elizabeth, Moulin Rouge, Red Dog and Shekhar Kapur’s upcoming Paani) and 2013 Gold Jury member for the Mumbai Film Festival and celebrated filmmaker Raju Hirani (Munnabhai MBBS , Lage rahoo Munna Bhai and 3 Idiots ) Indian actress, producer and television presenter Simi Garewal; film critic Rajeev Masand and Indian actress, director, writer and producer Suhasini Maniratnam. Winners of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Awards announced at the Festival.
Festival Director Mitu Bhowmick-Lange said in a release from Melbourne, “We are thrilled to announce the inaugural Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Awards. The Awards will build the festival’s reputation as an important international showcase for contemporary Indian cinema.”
Balan was a 2013 Cannes Jury Member and in January was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award given by the Indian government. Balan will be in Melbourne to launch the festival programme on March 28.
IFFM continues to offer a window into the future of filmmaking. The Western Union Short Film Competition is now open to filmmakers from India and Australia.
The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne was established in 2012 as an initiative of the Victorian Coalition Government and presents a broad, curated program of more than thirty films, ranging from Bollywood to art house and the sub continent, as well as master classes. In 2014, the festival presents a world-class program of films across three Melbourne cinemas.