Shah Rukh Khan, Tabu, Karan Johar, Sriram Raghavan, Rima Das, Zoya Akhtar kick off the 10th year celebrations Indian Film Festival of Melbourne!
On August 8, the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne kick started their tenth year celebrations with a grand opening press conference that took place this morning at Melbourne’s central business district. The award winning film festival, considered amongst the largest Indian festivals in the world in the presence of Bollywood’s who’s who, amidst much frenzy and fanfare.
Taking charge of the event, Mitu Bhowmick Lange, director of the festival introduced the programs of the festival. Given that the list includes names like SRK, KJo and Tabu, none of who require introduction, the excitement in the air was palpable. Minister for Creative Industries for the Victorian Legislative Assembly, Martin Foley was present at the do.
Khan, the guest of honour at the festival was received with great love by the audience. The superstar, who has earlier shot Chak De India (one of his career’s most memorable film) eloquently spoke about how much the city means to him. In his trademark charm, he quipped, “Many years ago in 2006-07, I came here when I was a rising superstar giving hit films after hit films. And now I am back here again, still a rising superstar not making as many hit films(chuckles), as much as I would want to do so. I thank everyone for the opportunity to speak here. When I was shooting for Chak De in the city, I used to play Trivial here (a game) with crew members on set. Because of being an Indian film actor, we often feel localised. It’s thus heartening that because of the Indian diaspora - the second generation of Indians here (people like Mitu) Indian cinema is getting noticed. It’s extremely gratifying and makes every Indian proud. I speak for everyone on the Dias today, that we are happy to be here.”
Witty and sharp as always Khan’s energy was matched by long time collaborator and dear friend KJo. As their wise cracks entertained audiences, they also spoke about the overarching theme of courage. Karan said, “I have to start by thanking Mitu who has been such a strong force right through the festival. It’s not the films but the people behind the festival who make it what it is. When I see this fantastic panel and we say the theme is courage, I say the panel is reflective of the glorious courage of our films and changing face of Indian cinema. It represents three feature films that have changed the way we look at Indian cinema and how it has travelled across the globe and will continue to do so. There is Super Deluxe, Andhadhun and Gully Boy. All of these have appealed not only to the diaspora but to international audiences across the globe, making Indian cinema so proud. And what to say about Shah Rukh Khan, he fully represents super stardom. I firmly believe, in the era we belonged to, the term is understood because of him. It’s not just about his large heart but his tremendous presence and aura. The fact that he is an outstanding actor is hugest icing on the cake. I look forward to my time here and all the selection of movies is on point and resonant with the theme of courage.”
Also in attendance were Zoya Akhtar, Rima Das, Thiagarajan Kumararaja, Arjun Kapoor, Tabu and filmmaker Sriram Raghavan.
The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne will go on from the 8th of August to the 15th of August in Melbourne, Australia. The festival will screen over 60 films from all across India and the subcontinent in over 22 languages. Film aficionados will get the opportunity to interact with their favourite artistes and filmmakers at the festival in event, pose questions at Panel Discussions and Q&A sessions post each screening.