Tag: IFFM-2020

Cinema needs to reflect the truth of the times: Aparna Sen

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Photo: SAT

By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 5 July 2020: Cinema needs to reflect the truth of the times, says Aparna Sen India’s leading cinema actress and director. She was answering questions by Rajeev Masand during a zoom interview, for the IFFM Film Club, Melbourne.

Aparna’s 2019 Bengali movie ‘Ghewre Barey Aaj’ (Home and the World) is loosely based on slain journalist Gauri Lankesh, a triangle story of a Hindu nationalist professor, a Dalit girl and her liberal editor husband. The background is India’s current political climate.

Answering to Rajeev Masand’s questions, Aparna detailed her story writing in school and development as an actor, writer, and director over the years.

” Times have now changed and I feel worried about the lack of harmony in India. Hindus, Muslims, and others fought together for the independence of the country.

My idea of India is under threat and telling the story of an individual in the context of the times is important,” she says.

On a question by SAT about the role of a film person when the idea of India is under threat, she says, actually, it is up to the filmmaker and their conscience. There are people who are afraid to speak. It’s important to reflect the times.”

IFFM-2020 Director Mitu Bhowmick Lange appreciated all participants and Aparana Sen’s participation in the web interaction conducted by Rajeev Masand and hoped Aparna will be in Australia for the next International Film Festival of Melbourne.

IFFM-2020 from October 30 to November 7

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By SAT News Desk

Monday 29 June 2020: The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne today announced that this year’s festival will go ahead with dates rescheduled from August to late 2020 due to the ongoing COVID -19 pandemic.

IFFM 2020’s program will be devised in line with public health guidance with plans for a compact schedule taking place over a week from October 30 to November 7. The festival is retaining the Short Film Competition and the popular dance competition (to be held on October 31, pending easing of restrictions) but the much-anticipated IFFM Awards Gala will be postponed until 2021. More details of festival highlights will be announced shortly.

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An exciting new innovation to the festival this year, in response to current challenges and opportunities, is the IFFM Film Club where fans of Indian movies can enroll for a virtual masterclass with leading filmmakers discussing their works in detail. This exciting new event is facilitated by noted journalist Rajeev Masand. Functioning like a book club, the festival asks participants to watch a classic film, and they then have an opportunity to discuss the film at the virtual film club with the filmmaker. The virtual talks are open for registration to festival-goers and accommodate 100 early bird users.

Previously, the festival has hosted masterclasses with acclaimed filmmakers including Raju Hirani, Rani Mukherjee, Karan Johar, Rima Das, Zoya Akhtar, Onir, Vijay Sethupathi, Nag Ashwin, Kabir Khan, and many others. With the launch of this year’s Film Club, IFFM continues to celebrate the spirit of diversity through cinema.

IFFM Festival Director Mitu Bhowmick Lange says, “This is a uniquely intimate way for film lovers to stay engaged, entertained and educated while at home in these unprecedented times. We already have a strong line up of filmmakers from various parts of India. Well-known film journalist Rajeev Masand will moderate the session as he opens the film and its maker to a world of questions from curious fans.”

The Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley says: “Social distancing doesn’t mean social disconnection and through the screen, we can continue to be inspired by stories and perspectives from across the globe. I applaud the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne team for its commitment to continuing to bring the IFFM spirit to film lovers and for pivoting to a new model for 2020 in response to these challenging times.”

In 2019 the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne celebrated its tenth anniversary. In February this year pre-COVID, IFFM hosted an event in Mumbai where Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan awarded the 4-year scholarship named after him to Gopika Kottantharayil Bhasi from Thrissur (Kerala), as a part of the festival’s long association with Melbourne’s La Trobe University. Now faced with restrictions and new opportunities the IFFM team is working hard to develop new exciting elements to the year’s festival while ensuring the safety of festival attendees.

The magic of cinema will never fade away: Shoojit Sircar & Ronnie Lahiri

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Photo- MBF

By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 18 June 2020: Director Shoojit Sarkar and Producer Ronnie Lahairi whose Amitabh Bachchan, Ayushmann Khurana starrer is making global waves on the streaming service Amazon Prime, remain committed to the magic of cinema which they feel will never fade away.

The two cinema icons were recently participating in the inaugural IFFM Film Club on Zoom organized by the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2020, and hosted by Rajeev Masand. Their film Gulabo Sitabo is one of the first mainstream Indian movies to release exclusively on a streaming service.

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Rajeev Masand, Mitu Bhowmick Lange, Shoojit Sircar & Ronnie Lahiri. Photos- MBF

Answering to a question by SAT Editor, Neeraj Nanda, Saoojit Sarkar said, “The magic of cinema will never fade away. When the lockdown opens up, it is normal human behavior to watch something at a stadium, a tennis match, cricket or a movie in a cinema. This because human behavior is to come together and cinema magic will remain.”

“And, of course, streaming services being a new evolution will co-exist with cinema, he said.

Ronnie Lahari said, “We are a community of people and enjoy when we are with a lot of people. That’s not happening when you are watching on a streaming service. These are unrepresented times and we took a decision to release Gulabo Sitabi on the basis of the current situation.”

“It’s not that all our films will be on streaming services. As soon as the lockout opens I will be happy to release my next film on the big screen where everyone can watch it together,” he said.

The IFFM Film Club interview and interaction with Saoojit Sarkar & Ronnie Lahari event on zoom on the eve of the release of Gulabo Sitabo attracted massive participation from across Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Host Rajeev Masand’s penetrating questions and interesting questions from participants added to the glory of the unusual but lively and informative interaction. Kudos to IFFM CEO Mitu Bhowmick Lange and the Mind Blowing Films team for this exceptional digital experience. SEE FULL VIDEO BELOW:

IFFM-2020: Make a short film with one of India’s top film maker

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By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 28 May 2020: The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne-2020 run by the Mind Blowing Films is this year coming up with many new concepts. Under one of them – Make A Film, people get a chance to create short films with India’s prolific filmmakers Kabir Khan, Onir, Rima Das, and Imtiaz Khan.

This concept of making a short film with a prominent filmmaker is unique and is likely to usher in a trailblazing path. Its potential is immense with a mix of cinematic experience with emerging talents.

You can mail your expression of interest at info@iffm.com.au, telling a bit about yourself and why you want to be a part of this team, along with any film making experience.

No scripts or concepts are to be sent now, says the Mind Blowing Films website.