The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) is excited and proud to announce the world premiere of the highly anticipated documentary Headhunting to Beatboxing: A Musical Renaissance. The documentary is produced and presented by India’s most celebrated musician, the Grammy, Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe winner, AR Rahman. Directed by Rohit Gupta, the film will be showcased at the 15th iteration of the festival which is scheduled to take place from August 15 – 25, 2024. This year’s festival promises to be a grand celebration of Indian cinema, with a special focus on this documentary which communicates and celebrates the transformative power of music.

Headhunting to Beatboxing delves into the remarkable journey of the Naga tribe in Nagaland, India. Once mired in violence and bloodshed, the tribe has since found healing and rebirth through the power of music, emerging into a vibrant musical renaissance. This poignant documentary captures their inspiring transformation and showcases the profound impact of cultural and musical revival.

A.R. Rahman, who is set to be the guest of honour at IFFM 2024, expressed his excitement about presenting the film: “This documentary is very close to my heart. It’s a testament to the healing power of music and its ability to bring about positive change. I am honoured to share the story of the Naga tribe with the world at such a prestigious platform as IFFM. I have always been intrigued and fascinated by the musical landscape of Northeast India and this story truly blew me away. How fascinating to see the real-life version of seeing the healing power of music not for an individual but for an entire community. I’m proud to be bringing this film for its World Premiere at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne.”

Director Rohit Gupta shared his thoughts on the film: “Working on Headhunting to Beatboxing has been an enlightening experience. The resilience and creativity of the Naga tribe are truly inspiring. I hope this film resonates with audiences and brings awareness to the beauty and power of their musical journey. Cannot wait to see and witness this magical story unfold in front of a live audience at IFFM 2024.”

IFFM Director, Mitu Bhowmick Lange AM, commented on the premiere: “We are incredibly proud to host the world premiere of Headhunting to Beatboxing at this year’s festival. This film exemplifies the best of what Indian cinema has to offer – powerful storytelling, rich cultural insights, and a celebration of the human spirit. We are honoured to have AR Rahman, a true icon, present this film at our festival.”

IFFM 2024 aims to bring even more groundbreaking films and memorable experiences to audiences, with Headhunting to Beatboxing as a highlight of the festival. The 15th annual Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2024 will take place from August 15 – 25, celebrating the best of Indian cinema and fostering cultural exchange through the universal language of film.


IFFM is the Southern Hemisphere’s largest annual celebration of Indian cinema; an extravaganza of Indian film and culture, featuring some of India’s biggest sporting and screen superstars. Presented by the Victorian government, the festival is one of the most popular events in Australia’s cultural calendar and the biggest annual celebration of Indian cinema outside of India.

Established in 2010 by director Mitu Bhowmick Lange AM (Mind Blowing Films), the festival consistently strives to program films that provide a robust forum for conversation and that enhance not only India’s rich storytelling tradition, but also looks to challenge people’s notions of India.

15th Indian Film Festival of Melbourne

Program launch: 18 July

Festival dates: 15 – 25 August