Tag: #IFFM2016

Vidya Balan praises IFFM for moving beyond movies

Photo: SAT/NN.

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.


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.


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.

Feel good movies do not make the world a better place: Anurag Kashyap


Photo: SAT

By Neeraj Nanda

Melbourne, 14 August: Controversial Indian filmmaker, Anurag Kashyap has said social media is manipulated and controlled by those who control our lives. Anurag was speaking during a master class with the media and film buffs during the ongoing International Film Festival of Melbourne 2016 (IFFM-2016).

The veteran and vocal filmmaker, whose ‘Udta Punjab’ recently faced the wrath of the Indian film censors, was candid and answered questions in a local café near the popular St. Kilda beach on a variety of subjects affecting the Indian film industry, religious fundamentalism, and new technologies.

Anurag Kashyap, who is famous for making new wave cinema in Bollywood, like Dev D (2009), Udaan (2010), Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 1 (2012) and The Lunchbox (2013), says “Feel good movies do not make the world a better place.”

Anurag’s Udta Punjab which quickly found its way to the internet once he won the case against the Indian censors, remains one of the most downloaded movies in recent times despite it doing well at the box office.

“It was a different type of case as the censor people called us and wanted to cut so and so scenes, dialogues, names etc. but gave nothing in written so as to avoid a challenge.

“It was because of the coming elections in Punjab, the censor was playing a game with us,” he said.

The director who also acts in a coming movie ‘Akira’, feels concerned about religious intolerance. “There is so much religious insecurity in the country and fundamentalism has spread all over the world,” he said.

About himself as a filmmaker, he says, “I am not good at anything else. I write my scripts by hand while traveling.”

Answering to a question on piracy and new technologies by SAT, Anurag said, “People in the film industry download movies themselves and complain about piracy. They download 60-70 percent of the movies. How can they fight piracy?”.

Anurag disclosed he was ready to start shooting a horror movie with Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Gangs of Wasseypur Part 1 and Part 2) and Radhika Apte (Parched).

- SAT News Service.