Tag: Mitu Bhowmick Lange

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.

IFFM-2020 from October 30 to November 7

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By SAT News Desk

Monday 29 June 2020: The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne today announced that this year’s festival will go ahead with dates rescheduled from August to late 2020 due to the ongoing COVID -19 pandemic.

IFFM 2020’s program will be devised in line with public health guidance with plans for a compact schedule taking place over a week from October 30 to November 7. The festival is retaining the Short Film Competition and the popular dance competition (to be held on October 31, pending easing of restrictions) but the much-anticipated IFFM Awards Gala will be postponed until 2021. More details of festival highlights will be announced shortly.

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An exciting new innovation to the festival this year, in response to current challenges and opportunities, is the IFFM Film Club where fans of Indian movies can enroll for a virtual masterclass with leading filmmakers discussing their works in detail. This exciting new event is facilitated by noted journalist Rajeev Masand. Functioning like a book club, the festival asks participants to watch a classic film, and they then have an opportunity to discuss the film at the virtual film club with the filmmaker. The virtual talks are open for registration to festival-goers and accommodate 100 early bird users.

Previously, the festival has hosted masterclasses with acclaimed filmmakers including Raju Hirani, Rani Mukherjee, Karan Johar, Rima Das, Zoya Akhtar, Onir, Vijay Sethupathi, Nag Ashwin, Kabir Khan, and many others. With the launch of this year’s Film Club, IFFM continues to celebrate the spirit of diversity through cinema.

IFFM Festival Director Mitu Bhowmick Lange says, “This is a uniquely intimate way for film lovers to stay engaged, entertained and educated while at home in these unprecedented times. We already have a strong line up of filmmakers from various parts of India. Well-known film journalist Rajeev Masand will moderate the session as he opens the film and its maker to a world of questions from curious fans.”

The Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley says: “Social distancing doesn’t mean social disconnection and through the screen, we can continue to be inspired by stories and perspectives from across the globe. I applaud the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne team for its commitment to continuing to bring the IFFM spirit to film lovers and for pivoting to a new model for 2020 in response to these challenging times.”

In 2019 the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne celebrated its tenth anniversary. In February this year pre-COVID, IFFM hosted an event in Mumbai where Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan awarded the 4-year scholarship named after him to Gopika Kottantharayil Bhasi from Thrissur (Kerala), as a part of the festival’s long association with Melbourne’s La Trobe University. Now faced with restrictions and new opportunities the IFFM team is working hard to develop new exciting elements to the year’s festival while ensuring the safety of festival attendees.