Now in its seventh year, the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne is returning from August 10 – 22, 2018. Officially the largest celebration of Indian cinema in the southern hemisphere, this edition of the IFFM centres on the theme of “Inclusion”, presenting a fantastic array of Bollywood extravaganzas, studio and non-studio dramas,documentaries, and for the first time, a program of films for children. 60 films in 22 different languages will screen over 22 days.
The opening week coincides with the Indian Independence Day celebrations, which will include the raising of the Indian flag on Saturday 11 August at Federation Square, hosted by Bollywood actress Rani Mukherjee, followed by the Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition in the afternoon and the Westpac Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Awards at The Palais Theatre on Sunday 12 August.
This year’s opening night film is the Australian premiere of Love Sonia, directed by Tabrez Noorani, with stars Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), Richa Chadha (Gangs of Wasseypur and Masaan) and Mrunal Thakur joining Noorani on the night, while Rohena Gera’s Sir, a transgressive romance between a wealthy young Mumbai businessman and a countrywoman who comes to work as his maid, will close out the season.
Other highlights this year include Lliam Worthington’s One Less God, a drama based on the 2008 terror attack on Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Hotel; Haami, Nandita Roy and Shiboprasad Mukherjee’s delightful film about two best friends; Village Rockstars, the story of a tenacious 10-year-old girl who fights against stereotypes and poverty to pursue her dream of forming a rock band; Garbage, a furious thriller about violence to women; Chumbak, a coming of age story about a table-cleaning-waiter-boy; the romantic drama White; and the multiple award winning Tikli and Laxmi Bomb, Aditya Kripilani’s story of two Mumbai based sex workers who decide to kick men out of the business and start a cooperative run by and for women.