IFFM kicks off with a bang, $3 m funding for next 3 years announced

IFFM-2022 media conference. Photo- SAT/NN.

MELBOURNE, 12 April 2022: The 13th edition of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, kicked off today ushering in a nine-day celebration of Indian and subcontinent movies and culture, featuring some of India’s biggest sporting and screen superstars. The Victorian government announced $ 3 million in funding for the festival for the next three years.

It also announced funding of $1.4 million over the next two years – for the My Melbourne screen initiative to be delivered in partnership with the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne.

The program will support local South Asian screen talent to take a big career step while creating short films based on diverse migrant experiences.
Each short film will showcase the talent of South Asian writers, actors and crew living and working in Melbourne and offer skills development opportunities for emerging screen industry workers.

This year’s festival program includes more than 120 films, including documentaries and short films, showcasing the best of cinema from India and the subcontinent across a range of themes and genres.

Today the opening night thriller was Dobaaraa. The movie’s Director Anurag Kashyap, actress Taapsee Pannu and the producer were present. There was also a lively Q-A session after the movie.

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IFFM Director Mitu Bhowmick, “We are back with all our most loved live events, over 120 films in 29 languages, along with some of the world’s most respected filmmakers and stars.”

Highlights of the festival include sports drama 83 about the 1983 cricket World Cup, and Ladies Only, a feminist portrait of modern urban women in India.
International guests include Bollywood actor and producer Abhishek Bachchan, acclaimed Indian actress Shefali Shah and Bollywood star Taapsee Pannu, Tamannaah, and Vaani Kapoor.

Festivities also include master classes, a Bollywood dance competition, and a flag hoisting ceremony at Federation Square to celebrate India’s 75th Independence Day – while Sunday IFFM Awards at the Palais Theatre will see some of India’s biggest stars take to the red carpet.

IFFM-2022 media conference. Photo- SAT/NN.

Recognizing the significant creative and cultural contribution the festival brings, the Labor Government has backed it with $3 million in funding over the next three years – including $2.3 million in new funding from the 2022 budget.

The additional support will enable IFFM to expand its awards program, and introduce year-round screenings through IFFM365 – while delivering the new My Melbourne initiative, a short film and mentoring initiative pairing local South Asian filmmakers with noted Indian film directors.

After being held online last year, IFFM 2022 returns as a hybrid festival with both in-person and online events, from August 12-30. For more information visit iffm.com.au.

Minister for Creative Industries Steve Dimopoulos said, “Over the next few weeks Melbourne will attract some of the biggest Indian names in sport and film, bringing a spectacular celebration of Indian film and culture.”

Victoria is home to a proud and vibrant Indian community and the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne presents an unmissable opportunity to celebrate their stories, with a packed program of great films and live events.”

By Neeraj Nanda

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