A Who’s Who of Indian Bollywood cinema arrives in Melbourne
Step away from Hollywood for the song, dance and shine – the biggest and fastest growing global film industry is Bollywood, and it’s coming back down after a two-year hiatus.
Developed in Mumbai a century ago, Indian cinema continues to thrive and its biggest stars have traveled to Melbourne for the biggest annual celebration of Indian cinema outside the Indian subcontinent.
According to the 2021 census, more than 710,000 Indian-born residents live in Australia, and Melbourne has the largest population.
So buckle up folks, it’s going to be a big weekend.
Described as a ‘hybrid’, the Indian Film Festival Melbourne (IFFM) will showcase over 100 films from a range of genres, themes and voices and all of these can be experienced in person at Melbourne cinemas as well streaming for free via the IFFM app.
So who’s coming?
We all know India’s first World Cup winning captain, Kapil Dev, who has now been immortalized in a recent Indian film, 83.
If you’re new to the industry’s biggest stars – who are treated like royalty at home and have an impressive 70 million Instagram followers – meet Bollywood royalty Abhishek Bachchan and Indian movie stars Tamannaah Bhatia, Vaani Kapoor, Shefali Shah and Taapsee Pannu.
“We are absolutely thrilled that the IFFM is physically returning this year alongside exciting virtual programming,” said IFFM Festival Director Mitu Bhowmick Lange.
“To have legendary cricketer Kapil Dev with us in honor of a film based on his iconic 1983 World Cup victory, we are delighted to have him in Melbourne.”
He said the city was gearing up to celebrate Indian cinema “in all its glory and diversity”.
A city of cinema and cricket
From August 12 to 14, the huge fan base of Indian cinema can criss-cross the city, from Federation Square to the Center for the Arts, via the Palais and Hoyts theaters to catch a glimpse of the stars and watch a few films.
Himangi Singh, 25, born in Mumbai, based in Melbourne since 2020, says The new daily there is a huge appetite for Indian cinema.
“People really love cinema in India. From school kids to grandparents, they all love Indian movies, Bollywood movies.
“Stars are put on a pedestal, treated like royalty… so to have them come here, and to have Bollywood films celebrated not just in India but around the world, that’s really cool.
“The Indian community in Melbourne will be really happy to have Abhishek Bachchan come here,” she said.
The flagship event of the festival, the prestigious IFFM Awards are back. They include new accolades including Best Subcontinent Film and Best Streaming Series.
To mark the 75th anniversary of India’s independence on Saturday, thousands of people will flood into Federation Square for a flag-raising ceremony and a stunning Bollywood dance competition.
On the cinema side, award-winning feature film the rapistwhich recently received the prestigious Kim Jiseok Award at the Busan International Film Festival, will be screened and the director of the film Aparna Sen and her daughter, actor Konkona Sen Sharma are expected to attend.
The stars of joylandwinners of the Cannes 2022 Jury Prize, are in town as is the director of the Amazon series of Mumbai Newspapers 26/11 and founder of India’s first content company, Abundantia Entertainment, Vikram Malhotra.
Famous Indian film director and director of Amazon’s thriller jalsaSuresh Triveni and the team behind the documentary Ayena (Mirror), and acid survivors Ritu Saini, Farah Khan and Nilanjan Bhattacharya are on the guest list.
University professor Dr Amit Sarwal wrote in The conversation that Bollywood often becomes the face of Indian cinemas.
“As a genre, it has grown and developed over a 100-year period, colored by history, politics, socio-economic conditions, culture, sensibilities, dreams, fantasies, hopes and expectations of India.
”In the 1990s, Bollywood emerged, after India’s economic liberalization, as a strong and globalized industry and India’s greatest cultural ambassador to the world.
”Many films are accused of being copied or inspired by world cinemas, but at the time of ”inspiration”, Bollywood creates a unique cultural adaptation comprised of romance, melodrama, action, costume, of extravagant songs and dances that cater to the desires and desires of global Indian audiences. their understanding of the world around them.
He said Australia had become a “popular destination for Bollywood as well as regional language filmmakers”.
Ms Singh said the release of so many films will attract large audiences over the next few weeks: “I think Bollywood in Australia is great.”
The 2022 Melbourne Indian Film Festival runs from August 12-20 in cinemas and August 13-30 online.