Tag: Miti Bhowmick Lange

IFFM-2021 QUICK REVIEW: Boroxun (Songs for Rain), Assamese

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By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 17 August 2021: People in an Assamese fishing village have no rain and the river almost dries up. The village economy is shattered. The traditional villagers try out an age-old method – marrying frogs. But, the rain fails to come. The village priest suggests the ritual of marrying two men. A very old man (Mohan) and Benga, (means a fool in Assamese) a young man known for his silly acts are married for the rains. This changes the situation for Bengi, who is always messing up with Benga. The film shows how superstition grips a community in an adverse natural situation. The film was shot in Jogduar, in Teak, Jorhat. The rural landscape is breathtaking. It’s slow but engrossing. I give it – 4 out of 5 stars.

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Name- Boroxun (Songs of Tain), 2021, MA15+
Duration- 86 minutes
Language- Assamese (English Subtitles)
Country- India
Cast- Deep Jyoti Kalita, Bina Patangia, Maitri Das
Director- Krrishna Kt. Borah

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

Photo- Supplied

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:


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

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.

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:

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.