The Indian Film festival Melbourne has already begun at Melbourne Recital Centre. The ten-day event, which opened on 11 August, is an initiative by the Government of Victoria. The festival this year is based on the theme of female empowerment.

Indian Film Festival of Melbourne was launched with fanfare of film industry’s noted names. Martin Foley, Minister for Creative Industries was among those present at the launch event. 

Rishi Kapoor, Richa Chaddha, Radhika Apte, singer Shalmali and Pakistani actor Fawad Khan were also among the guests at the launch event. 

The festival will feature 50 film screenings in 17 languages at four different venues across Melbourne. Besides that, festival will also see the world premiere of Ashutosh Gowariker’s Mohenjo Daro, starring Hrithik Roshan and Pooja Hegde.

Award winning filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage made a documentary about a case that shook the courts in Sri Lanka in 1996, where two women accused a sitting judicial magistrate of sexually assaulting them. 

Intrestingly, the festival will also feature mater classes with renowned Indian film personalities such as Rishi Kapoor, Richa Chadda, Fawad Khan and Radhika Apte. 

After multiple face-offs with censor board over several films such as Udta Punjab, Gulaal and Black Friday, Anurag Kashyap is all set to deliver a master class on censorship to students and cinema lovers in Australia. 

“I can put forth my point of view and talk about how censorship is so pointless in the day and age of the internet. I am really looking forward to interacting with the students,”

Still from  Parched.Since, the theme of the movie is women empowerment; there will be screening of the women-centric films and other narratives.

This year, the Melbourne Indian film festival launches with the award winning film,Leena Yadav-directed Parched, which has Radhika Apte as protagonist .  

Parched’ traces the tale of ordinary women –one is a widow, the other is a wife and another one is a prostitute. We see them unapologetically talk about men, sex and life as they struggle with their individual boundaries to face their demons and stage their own personal wars.

“Parched is my reaction to a misogynistic society that treats women as objects of sex, where their greatest role is to serve men.”

Sonam Kapoor’s heart touching tale of Neerja is all set to go to Australia. The film, which left audiences heart-struck across several film festivals, will now be screened at Melbourne Indian Film Festival.

Festival will also screen Bengali film, Srijit Mukjerjee directed Rajkahaini. The critically acclaimed director, Srijit Mukherji, made the film and it stars Rituparna Sengupta in the lead role as the no-nonsense “Madame” of the brothel.

The film revolves around the era of 1947 and explores the consequences of partition of India. Mukherjee’s movie Rajkahini is weaved around a border between the two nations that runs through a brothel housing 11 women.

After the recent murder of Pakistani model Qandeel Baloch, the oft-ignored cruel practice of honour killings has been brought back into focus by global media. Melbourne Indian film festival will also screen Oscar winning documentary directed by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Girl in the River. 

The film is based on the true story that tells the horrifying tale Saba who is shot in the face by her father and uncle and then dumped in a river, all because she wants to run away with her fiancé instead of marrying her uncle’s rich brother-in-law.

Anurag Kashyap’s Raghav 2.0, the film which received tremendous critical acclaim upon its release is all set to be screened at Indian film festival at Melbourne. 

“I am delighted to be a part of it. I am excited to meet the filmmakers from around the world and talk about cinema and more.”

Still from Neerja. The much talked about movie, directed by Veteran indie filmmaker Pan Nalin, Angry Indian Goddesses will also be screened at the festival. It tells the tale of seven feisty girls who meet up in Goa to attend a wedding and somehow manage to reverse the stereotypical assumptions of how ‘proper women’ should behave.

Award winning filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage made a documentary about a case that shook the courts in Sri Lanka in 1996, where 2 women accused a sitting judicial magistrate of sexually assaulting them. 

The 60-minute documentary is with various storytelling styles which is backed by various court records, newspaper clippings, interviews with journalists and lawyers.

Besides all the galore, Rishi Kapoor will be honoured for his immense contribution to Indian cinema and actress Vidya Balan too will be present as she is the brand ambassador for the festival. 

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