By Neeraj Nanda
Melbourne, 19 August: IFFM-2016 Brand Ambassador Vidya Balan is impressed with the iconic festival taking up issues beyond films. Speaking today at a function at the Victorian Parliament she said, “I am grateful and honoured to be at the Parliament of Victoria promoting the film festival’s core values of the diversity and inclusiveness.”
Praising the festival director Mitu Bhowmick Lange’s initiative of moving beyond films, Vidya Balan said, “breaking down walls and boundaries with the La Trobe University’s project of students taking part in a new effort to help children with special needs in India and the good work being done by the Royal Children’s Hospital is basically breaking barriers in the minds of the people.”
“People do not know how to handle children with special needs and the need of the hour was to treat people as people,” she said.
“The La Trobe University’s initiative was an icing on the cake,” she commented.
LOVE AFFAIR WITH MELBOURNE
About her being the Brand Ambassador of the film festival, Vidya Balan says, “The journey of the past five years has been so wonderful. I come back here year after year and go back with memories cherished for ever.”
“When Mitu first asked me to be the Brand Ambassador of the festival, I thought it will be a one off, but next year again she came to me and then continued to ask me to remain in the position year after year and that kicked off my love affair with Melbourne,” she nostalgically says.
AWARD FOR VIDYA
The Bollywood legend was honoured by Hon. Luke Donnellan, Minister for Roads, Roads Safety and Ports, the IFFM Gold Medal for her contributions to cinema and interest in social issues.
A large number of festival organisers, parliament MPs and officials, Indian Consul in Melbourne Manika Jain, Festival Director Mitu Bhowmick and others were present at the function.
- SAT News Service.