Australian Film Festival in 8 Indian cities

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By our film reporter

Melbourne, 12 August: Eight prominent Indian cities are all set to hold the Australian Film Festival of India 2014 (AFFI-2014), from November 2014 to February 2015. The festival is being produced by the An Australian Film Initiative, with support from Destination NSW and the Australia India Film Fund.
Phillip Noyce has been confirmed as the retrospective director of the third annual AFFI. With the festival expanding into eight cities including New Delhi, Chennai, Bombay, Meerut and Lucknow, Destination NSW has come on board as a strategic partner.
Speaking from Los Angeles, Phillip Noyce said “I am delighted to see this extensive collection of my film and television works screening at the retrospective program for the Australian Film Festival of India 2014/2015. Cinema is universal; it brings people together, as much through common and shared experiences as it does by illuminating and enlivening new possibilities in story and new modes of engagement. To be a part of such an extensive tour through one of the world’s greatest and most diverse filmmaking cultures is all the more exciting for me.”
Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer, Sandra Chipchase said the Government’s tourism and major events agency is delighted to support the AFFI.
“India is a key market for us, so the more we can do to showcase all the wonderful things to see and do in Sydney and NSW, the better,” Ms Chipchase said.
“From April 2013 to March 2014, we welcomed 82,000 Indians to Sydney and NSW who contributed $197 million into the NSW economy, so it’s a market we want to continue to support.
“In addition to supporting the Film Festival, Destination NSW recently launched Jhappi Time, a campaign to encourage friends and relatives to visit their loved ones who live in our spectacular Harbour City or throughout beautiful Regional NSW,” she said.
Brainchild of Sydney based filmmaker Anupam Sharma along with Peter Castaldi, the initiative was launched in 2011 to promote, market, and distribute Australian cinema and film culture in India. The first two editions of the festival received support from Australian screen icons including Hugh Jackman, Baz Luhrmann, John Winter and Bill Bennett.
In 2014-15 the festival will also feature works and sessions by Australian film graduates from India who have returned to India with successful careers. There will be roundtables about various aspects of production between the two film industries.
“Of all the festivals I have either worked on or participated in, this is the most exciting venture of all. The response we receive each year from both the professional sectors and the local population of filmgoers in India is a truly exciting and enlivening experience for all involved. It is an honour and a pleasure to be working with my co-director, Anupam Sharma, and all our staff and partners, both here and in each city we screen in” said Festival Co Director Peter Castaldi.

With previous support from Screen Australia, DFAT, Australia India Council, Screen NSW, Destination NSW and many other Australian organisations, the festival has grown over the last 3 years with a very heavy social media presence and extensive interest from Indian media.
The festival program and locations are likely to be announced in October this year.

- SAT News Service

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