Celebrating the theme of diversity in cinema, the eigth edition of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2017 today kicked off with the Australian premiere of Alankrita Srivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha. The festival is aiming to highlight diversity in cinema, by means of the films they show, the short films made, and the inspiring stories and experiences from the festival guests. The festival, dubbed as the largest Indian film festival of the southern hemisphere will show over 60 Bollywood Films, indie films and short films in 20 different languages. These films, from India and the subcontinent, include over 30 Australian premieres.
The festival was officially opened in the presence of festival director Mitu Bhowmick by special guests: Konkana Sen Sharma and Alankrita Srivastava who lit the ceremonial lamp.
Besides screening, the fest will also hold several special events including flag hoisting event, master classes, Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition, screening at Dandenong and a special awards night. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will be hoisting the Indian national flag at Melbourne’s iconic pulse point , Federation Square. She will be the first Indian woman to do so. In addition, the actress will also be felicitated byt he government at the Westpac IFFM Awards night on 11th August, for her contribution to Global cinema. Amongst other guests who will be attending this festival are Karan Johar, Sushant Singh Rajput, Raj Kummar Rao, Adil Hossain, Malaika Aroa, Nitesh Tiwari, Rajeev Masand, Vikram Phadnis etc.
On making it bigger in its 6th year of IFFM, Mitu Bhowmick said,”It was indeed a great pleasure to host the Australian premiere of Lipstick Under My Burkha. The audience was thrilled to have seen a film that has literally redefined the way women oriented content has been shaping up in India for the past few years. Alankrita and Konkona graced the opening night and also addressed questions of the curious audience post the film. We are happy to have Lipstick as the opening night film because the film doesn’t only entertain but also makes us think.”
The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne is one of the biggest Indian Film Festivals outside of the the country. It is one of the few festivals which is supported officially by the government which in this case is the Victorian Government which has been associated with the festival since its inception in 2010. The festival’s ambassador is Bollywood actress, Vidya Balan. Last year the Festival boasted of 51 films and documentaries which were showcased from all across India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia and was a great success because of its theme ‘Women Empowerment’