Following the success of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne’s first Summer Festival last year, IFFM announces the launch of the second iteration on 29 February – 2 March. This three-day celebration of cinema is part of IFFM’s intention to evolve the festival into bi-annual celebration.

The opening night film, Laapataa Ladies, marks Kiran Rao’s return to directing. Following its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, the film left an impeccable mark on the global stage. The film will have its Australian premiere on 29 February at IFFM Summer Festival ahead of its Australian release on 1 March.

Laapataa Ladies (pictured) is a tale of two young brides embarking on a transformative journey after accidentally getting separated from their new husbands on a train. Filled with humour, heart and profound insights, the film is set to enchant viewers with its exploration of womanhood and the complexities of life.

IFFM recently announced the commencement of its 15th-year celebration, marking a milestone in showcasing the vibrant spirit of Indian cinema to audiences worldwide.

Director Kiran Rao says, “It’s a great honour for Laapataa Ladies (Lost Ladies) to be the Opening Film at IIFM. I am absolutely delighted and would like to convey my heartfelt gratitude to the festival. I hope the Melbourne audience enjoys the film, and that I get to visit this great city in person soon!”

Festival Director, Mitu Bhowmick added her enthusiasm for the second IFFM Summer Festival stating: “This festival’s maiden summer edition will have Laapataa Ladies as an opening film, directed by the talented Kiran Rao. We are thrilled to kickstart our latest venture with such a heart-warming dramedy set within a world of such beautifully written characters. Encouraged by the success of IFFM365, we are broadening the scope of Indian films down under and we are excited to have Kiran’s remarkable film be the first film of the second edition of the IFFM Summer Festival”.

VicScreen CEO Caroline Pitcher said, “IFFM is the largest celebration of Indian cinema in the southern hemisphere, lighting up Melbourne every year with incredible films and unforgettable star power. VicScreen is proud to support the expansion of the festival, with the return of a three-day summer program, which includes the highly anticipated Australian premiere of Laapataa Ladies.”

The IFFM Summer Festival program

29 Feb – Laapataa Ladies

1 Mar – Kayo Kayo Colour

2 Mar – Film to be confirmed

All films scheduled for 6pm at HOYTS Docklands

Laapataa Ladies (Lost Ladies)

Language: Hindi (with English Subtitles)

Director: Kiran Rao

Producer: Aamir Khan, Jyoti Deshpande, Kiran Rao

Cast: Nitanshi Goel, Pratibha Ranta. Sparsh Shrivastava, Ravi Kishan, Chhaya Kadam

 Kayo Kayo Colour (Which Colour?)

Language: Hindi, Gujarati, English (with English Subtitles)

Director: Shahrukhkhan Chavada

Producer: Wafa Refai and Shahrukhkhan Chavada

Cast: Bilkish Refai, Fahim Shaikh, Imtiyaz Shaikh

Set in Kalupur, a neighbourhood in the old city of Ahmedabad, India, this slice-of-life film follows the daily life of Razzak and his family through an observational lens. Razzak, an unemployed father of two, endeavours to own an auto-rickshaw for business while his daughter, Ruba, is introduced to an interesting drink worth 100 rupees that she can’t afford. Through a series of everyday events, the film uncovers the family’s struggles, interpersonal conflicts, joys, and ways of life as they navigate through the intertwined yet unassuming layers of social and political influence.

The family is caught off guard as an unexpected move threatens their fate and alters life as they know it.