Tag: MBF

IFFM-2020 opens with films addressing disability & gender equality

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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

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.

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:

Sooryavanshi and other Hindi movies releases postponed in Australia

By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 14 Match 2020: Akshay Kumar’s ‘Sooryanvanshi’ which was to release on 24 March 2020 in Australia, PNG, and Fiji has been postponed till the next announcement.

A message on the Mind Blowing Films website (mindblowingfilms.com) posted by the ‘Rohit Shetty Picturez’ says:”… due to the recent outburst of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we the makers, have decided to postpone the release of your film Sooryavanshi, keeping in mind the health and safety of our beloved audience…And Sooryavanshi will be back for you just when the time is right..”

A text message from the Mind Blowing Films has confirmed that “all releases have been delayed.”