Australia is a key foreign market for Indian cinema, says IFFM director

Rani Mukerjee hoisting the Indian flag at Federation square

Rajkumar Hirani wins Best Director for Sanju at festival

Australia is a key foreign market for Indian cinema, given that Indians make up one of the largest migrant communities in the country, but today, even the non-diaspora population is taking a growing interest in what Indian movies have to offer, said IFFM director Mitu Bhoumick Lange at the opening of IFFM in Melbourne this August.

“The government is being so supportive to this festival. It’s a partnership with the Victorian government and a fantastic way of engaging with India,” added Lange.

The IFFM award night took place on 12 August where India’s diverse culture was very much a part of the awards celebration with the beats of dhol, performers dressed in traditional Indian classical attire, Oddisi dance, Bhangra and more from the local communities being the highlights of the evening.

Seen here is Rani Mukerjee, Freida Pinto amongst others

Actor Rani Mukerjee walked away with two honours at IFFM and was also bestowed an Excellence in Cinema award for her brilliant performance in Hichki, where she played a woman with Tourette Syndrome.

Rajkumar Hirani won the Best Director for his film Sanju, a biopic of the life of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt. Vicky won Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Kamili in Sanju, and Richa Chadda won the jury’s heart with her performance in the movie Love Sonia. She also gave away the IFFM Heroes award, which celebrates real life heroes.

The jury members for the fest were Simi Garewal, Sue Maslin, Jil Bilcock, Geoffrey Wright, and Nikkhil Advani.

Rajkumar Hirani with a fan

Wright, known for his Russell Crowe-starrer Romper Stomper, said he was “highly impressed by Indian cinema”. He also said that Indian cinema is growing fast and giving variety to the world of cinema.

Actor Ali Fazal, who was on the jury of the short film competition, chose To-Let as the Indian winner and Found, themed on Islamophobia, as the winner from Australia.

Composer Sachin-Jigger mesmerized Melbourne audience with their fantastic performances at the award night. Rani Mukherjee hoisted the Indian flag at Federation square, which also became the stage for dance competition. IFFM ended on 22 August.


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