MELBOURNE – 19 July 2022: The 13th Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) 2022 program was officially launched today by IFFM Festival Director, Mitu Bhowmick Lange. The festival will feature both in cinema and online and will screen over 100 films in 25 languages and encompass a diverse range of subjects including gender identity, religion, caste, and poverty and continue to present films that showcase all aspects of culture from India and the Indian subcontinent. There will be a strong female presence across IFFM this year with the over a third of the program featuring films headlined by women. Today the festival has announced as one of its esteemed guests, Indian superstar Samantha Prabhu. Samantha is one of the most popular actresses in the Indian film industry and a respected philanthropist. The festival will also welcome celebrated South Indian actress, Tamannaah Bhatia who will be one of the guest judges for the much-loved IFFM Dance Competition at Federation Square on Saturday 13 August.
Festival Director, Mitu Bhowmick Lange said. “After the unprecedented challenges faced over the last few years, we are so excited to bring the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne back to the big screen, along with our digital platform, ensuring viewers around Australia can access the festival too. This year we have a thought-provoking program of internationally acclaimed films that include a very special feature Ayena (Mirror), which also featured at the Budapest International Documentary Festival and looks at the aftermath of two very special acid attack survivors and their extraordinary spirit and friendship. We are especially delighted to have the Winner of the Jury Prize from Cannes Film Festival, Joyland in our program. Our Opening night film, Dobaaraa is another wonderful inclusion, and we are very thrilled to welcome the team direct from the respected London Indian Film Festival.“
The 2022 Festival has announced its dynamic program streams: Beyond Bollywood, Hurrah Bollywood, Documentaries, Short Films (Official Selection), Film India World, Films from the Subcontinent and Made in Melbourne. Kicking off the program is the Hindi time bending drama film, Dobaaraa, directed by one of India’s best known international directors, Anurag Kashap and stars Taapsee Pannu and Pavail Gulati. The film will come direct from London after its highly successful premiere at the respected London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) and will feature as the Opening Night film for IFFM’s Opening Night presented by Singapore Airlines.
Director, Anurag Kashap said, “Excited to be showcasing our film and being elected as the opening night film for the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne. I have previously been to IFFM and have first-hand seen the unison with which Indian films and films from the subcontinent are celebrated and showcased with much vigour. Dobaaraa is a special film for me as a filmmaker and I’m looking forward to showcasing it at this platform.”
The festival will continue its tradition to celebrate India’s Independence Day with the IFFM Flag Hoisting Ceremony remaining as one of the pivotal events of the festival, with thousands of people descending upon Federation Square to see their favourite stars hoist the Indian flag. This year being the 75th anniversary there are several special events and guests planned with more to announced in the coming weeks.
Other program highlights include the Punjabi feature film, Adh Chanani Raat (Crescent Night), this celebrated film, directed by Gurvinder Singh, which draws on Punjabi literature to complete a trilogy that captures the socio-political and economic life of the state. The film comes to IFFM direct from its acclaimed inclusions at both the International Film Festival Rotterdam and Mumbai Film Festival (MAMI). After its world premiere at Sydney Film Festival the Indian feature film, Fairy Folk, directed by Karan Gour will also feature. The film examines thorny questions of love and sexuality in this magical realist drama in which a genderless woodland being crashes into the lives of a jaded couple. Hugely successful Hindi feature, Dug Dug, directed by Ritwik Pareek which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival will also be part of the line-up.
Throughout August, IFFM will take over multiple key venues in Melbourne’s CBD and suburbs including Federation Square, Arts Centre Melbourne, and the Palais Theatre. This year IFFM has chosen the Royal Children’s Hospital as its charity partner, and IFFM online viewers will be encouraged to donate to support this essential hospital service.
Key Dates Announced:
Friday 12th August:
• IFFM Press Conference, Melbourne CBD
• IFFM Opening Night @ Hoyts District Docklands
Saturday 13th August :
• Flag Hoisting Ceremony for the 75th Anniversary Indian Independence @ Federation Square, Melbourne
• IFFM Dance Competition @ Federation Square, Melbourne
• IFFM Talks @ Arts Centre, Melbourne
Sunday 14th August:
• IFFM Awards Night @ Palais Theatre, St Kilda
Saturday 20th August:
• IFFM Closing Night @ Hoyts District Docklands