Festival praised for engaging local artistes and community; films screened included Amitabh Bachchan’s Pink
Dr Vikrant Kishore with support of Dr Parichay Patra from RMIT University recently put together an Indian Film Festival—“Indian Stories Australian Screens”. The festival was attended by legends such as director Anupam Sharma of UnIndian fame; Bollywood actors Vishwajeet Pradhan and Vipin Sharma; screenwriter Ritesh Shah of Pink & Force fame; Kate Ben Tovim from Arts Victoria; Professor Nalin Sharda (VU), Professor Richard Allen (City University, Hong Kong), Cr Intaj Khan and various others.
The closing ceremony of the festival was hosted by Australia India Business Council executive and AFL focus group member Miss Rashi Kapoor of the Juniors IPL fame. AIBC Victoria, AFL India, and AFL Multicultural Program were partners and supporters of the film festival as well.
The festival saw huge participation and involvement of local artistes and community in all the aspects and relevant events. It was a massive hit with local artists and community.
The films screened included the Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Pink, Akki Vikki Tey Nikki, Airlift, Kachru Mazha Bapa (Marathi), Vapsi (Punjabi), and also local productions such as Muqaddar and IDIOT.
Former Ministerial Adviser Mr Nitin Gupta, who attended a few sessions, commented, “I was impressed by the way Dr Vikrant Kishore was able to involve and engage with the local artists and community; despite near zero funding from Film Victoria or any other Australian/Victorian film body.” He added that among the films he viewed, his favourite was the Marathi film ‘Kachru Mazha Bapa’. “I would love to see the festival grow bigger next year,” he added.
Mr Gupta had framed Victoria’s Bollywood Policy which had created and funded the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM). Despite being one of the forces behind IFFM, Mr Gupta has hardly ever been seen attending any events at IFFM.
Line producer and danseuse Nithya Remesan said it was good to attend an Indian film festival in Victoria with so much engagement with the local artists and community. “I would love to see it get more financial support from Film Victoria and other Victorian government bodies. I would also like to see more South Indian movies across various film festivals in Australia,” she added.
Other partners and supporters of the festival included the Rajasthan International Film Festival, Delhi Rocks Indian Restaurant, Western Institute of Technology, Wood’n Chimney, Muvizz, SKGA, High Fun, AIFI, Aussizz Education, and Aussiz Travels.
Other stakeholders who spoke at the festival included Amit Sarwal and Anita Brar (SBS), Anindita Banerjee, Mohit R Pandit, Wardah Alam and Nawal Moudgil.
Former Victorian Premier Hon. Ted Baillieu, South Indian actress Mrs Khushboo Sundar, and Indian billionaire and Congress politician Mr Naveen Jindal were unable to attend the film festival due to prior commitments, but had sent in their wishes for the success of the festival.