Tag: IFFM2020

IFFM-2020 shines with 22,000 views in opening weekend; Moothon (Malayalam) to close fest on 30 October

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By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 28 October: Film lovers across Australia have enthusiastically embraced this year’s online presentation of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne with over 22,000 film views achieved in just the opening weekend. The festival closes this Friday and is delighted to announce the South Indian Malayalam language title  MOOTHON (The Elder One) as the closing night film. The film will be available to stream from 6 pm till midnight on Friday 30 October.

IFFM Director Mitu Bhowmick Lange says, “It’s been heartening to see film lovers across the country engage so wholeheartedly with this year’s selection of films and donate to Festival partner Mental Health Foundation Australia so generously. We are delighted to present the beautiful and confronting MOOTHON by one of India’s finest female directors to close this year’s Festival.”

MOOTHON is directed by writer-director Geetu Mohandas whose previous film LIAR’S DICE received two National Film Awards, premiered at Sundance Film Festival, and was chosen by the Government of India as India's entry for the U.S. 87th Academy Awards.

MOOTHON had its World Premiere at the 2019 Toronto Film Festival and is a complex, multi-layered portrait of Mumbai told through the story of a young boy Mulla (Sanjana Dipu) who comes to Mumbai from Lakshadweep, to find his missing elder brother.

TIFF described the film as, “Alternating between scenes of bracing violence and heartbreaking tenderness, The Elder One is an epic story of familial bonds and underworld misadventure, infused with urgent questions regarding gender, sexuality, and tolerance. Mohandas presents us with an unsparing the vision of Mumbai as a place of decadence and ruthlessness while ensuring that, with enough love, tenacity, and courage, any place can be home.”

Another highlight of the closing night is the announcement of the 2020 Short Film Competition winner. The announcement will be made in an online event in partnership with Mental Health Foundation Australia.

‘Together’ is the theme of the 2020 IFFM Short Film Festival Competition which this year received a remarkable and unprecedented 3000+ entries indicating people’s creativity during the lockdown. The winning film is being judged by Varun Sharma, the Festival’s 2011 Short Film Competition winner who is making his directorial debut this year with a Bollywood mainstream film starring Rani Mukherji and Saif Ali Khan, produced by Yash Raj Studios. 

Over 7 days the festival has screened over 60 films in 17 languages, including 34 International Premieres and 56 Australian Premieres, available to audiences across Australia as the year’s festival has moved online.

All films in this year’s Festival are available for viewing free of charge across Australia till October 30. In recognition of the pressures, this year has placed on many people, IFFM has partnered with Mental Health Foundation Australia and encourages festival participants to donate to MHFA when booking.

To view the Festival program, and for booking guidelines go to:


QUICK REVIEW: B. Selvi & Daughters, Tamil, IFFM-2020


25 minutes simple and empowering film dealing with the relationship between a 50-year-old widowed woman (Selvi) and her independent-minded young daughter in Chennai. Director Driysha charts the ups and downs of an online startup by Selvi and the daughter’s positive push. The rather intricate relationship between the daughter and the mother is seen through the prism of fulfilling a career dream often suppressed by matrimony.
In a society where a middle-aged now single woman is lost in the din of conservative-traditional society, this short film is a ray of hope. It’s never too late to realize one’s dreams. Gayathrie, Kalairani, Jeeva Ravi do justice to their roles. A good selection in the IFFM-2020. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars.

QUICK REVIEW: Habbadi (Marathi), IFFM-2020


By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 23 October 2020: The second opening movie of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2020, Habbadi’ (Marathi) directed by Nachiket Samant (Gachchi, 2017), deals with a 10-year-old village boy (Karan Dave) who faces flak and discrimination because he stammers. He is like anyone but chided in school and daily life for his unusual speech disability. The boy wants to join the village Kabbadi team to visit Mumbai. Uttering ‘Kabbadi Kabbadi’ being an essential part of this Indian sport makes his journey full of roadblocks.


The one hour 48 minutes movie is an empowering one as the boy’s Kabbadi zeal despite the speech defect rubs shoulder with his attempt to meet the village girl (Vedashree Mahajan) who shifted to Mumbai as a mission. With excellent acting and a rural Maharashtra setting, the movie gives a positive message. Never give up. Determination and support can always beat an issue frowned upon by society. This movie is an example of how cinema can give strength to people trying to overcome disability. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars.

IFFM-2020 opens with films addressing disability & gender equality


By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 20 October 2020: The 11th International Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM), online this year will open with Vidya Balan’s Natkhat and Nachiket Samant Habadd in Marathi. The two movies can be streamed free on 23 October 2020 at iffm.com.au.The festival which will go on till 30th October will stream over 50 films in 17 languages, including 34 International Premieres and 56 Australian Premieres, available to audiences across Australia.

IFFM Festival Director, Mitu Bhowmick Lange: “Indian filmmakers – from independent short filmmakers to our most powerful directors – turn their gaze to issues of freedom and equality in the contemporary world and celebrate the diversity that defines us all. The film is a powerful way to bring people together be they sitting in a packed cinema or in 2020, in their own homes.”

All films will be available for viewing free of charge across Australia from October 23 to 30. in recognition of the pressures this year has placed on many people, IFFM is partnering with Mental Health Foundation Australia and encourages festival participants to donate to MHF when booking.

Chairperson, Vasan Srinivasan said: “The world of cinema is one that can bring joy. Sometimes sitting down and watching a film, is a great way to practice self-care and promote mental wellbeing. This is what the Mental Health Foundation Australia is all about. Cinema has the power to unite, and I wish the IFFM team all the very best in their
venture to do so.’’

The Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson said: “The Victorian Government is proud to support the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne. Each year the festival showcases the breadth and depth of Indian cinema and gives a platform for new talent through the short film competition. This year the festival is taking the celebrations to a new level, opening up access to film lovers across the country through this incredible – and free – online program.”

NATKHAT (transl The Brat) is a 25-minute film produced and starring Vidya Balan. One of India’s most powerful and acclaimed actors, widely recognized as pioneering a change in the portrayal of women in Hindi Cinema, Balan plays an abused mother teaching her son about gender equality and empathy through the telling of a simple bed’me story.

The delightful feature HABADDI focuses on Kabaddi a popular contact sport in Southern Asia that first originated in Ancient India. When the news of his village’s Kabbadi team traveling to Mumbai breaks out a 10-year-old boy with a speech impediment sees the opportunity to meet the girl he adores. But will he be able to chant kabbadi kabbadi without stammering?

To view the Festival program, and for booking guidelines go to – Iffm.com.au

IFFM-2020 ( 23-30 Oct 2020) Opening Night Teaser