The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne is honoured to welcome this year some of India’s most talented film makers and opinion makers
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Heralded as "the most beautiful woman in the world,” Aishwarya Rai is one of India's greatest exports. The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne is delighted to welcome this iconic actress-model-humanitarian to our celebration of diversity and cinema.
Rai famously quit architecture to pursue modelling and never looked back. She became a household name in India with just one line in a Pepsi commercial. In 1994 she was crowned Miss World. Then came the movie offers.
Her breakthrough role in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1997) earned her a Filmfare Award for Best Actress. Devdas (2002) earned her a second and made her world famous. She’s graced big budget hits like Dhoom 2 (2006), Jodhaa Akbar (2008), Enthiran (2010) and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (2016) while subverting expectations with arthouse auteur Rituparno Ghosh in Chokher Bali (2003) and Raincoat (2004). She may, however, be even more famous as the face of L'Oréal, Fuji, De Beers diamonds, Pepsi and Coca-Cola.
India bestowed on her the fourth-highest civilian award, the Padma Shri, for her contributions to the arts. But she’s also used her fame to promote humanitarian causes, like the campaign to eradicate polio, and is a UN spokeswoman for using microcredit to alleviate poverty.
Join us in welcoming “the world’s most beautiful woman” back to the world's most liveable city; surely a match made in heaven!
"I would much rather have you believe in something I don’t agree with than to accept everything blindly."
Working in both mainstream and arthouse cinema, Adil Hussain has performed in films across the globe in a plethora of languages. His internationally acclaimed performance as Othello in Roysten Abel's production of Othello- A play in Black and White (1999) was awarded a Fringe First. Starting out in the Indian film industry with roles in Ishqiya (2010) and Agent Vinod (2012), it was his performance in the Indo-Italian production of Gangor (2010) which brought him international recognition from the likes of the Hollywood Reporter. Debuting in Hollywood, Adil played Pi's father in the epic survival drama Life of Pi (2012), directed by Ang Lee. Most recently, Adil received special mentions at the Indian National Awards for his compelling role in Hotel Salvation (2016).
Join Adil Hussain as he presents his film - Hotel Salvation at HOYTS Melbourne Central on Monday, August 21, 6:30 pm.Buy Tickets
“I am very critical of anything that propagates patriarchy and misogyny”
Committed to delivering engaging female-centric stories, through a female gaze,
Alankrita Shrivastava is one of India’s most progressive filmmaker. Hot on the heels
of her acclaimed directorial debut Turning 30!!! (2011), Alankrita’s Lipstick Under My
Burkha (2016) is turning heads. With a strong female voice, the film’s modern and
empathetic depiction of intrinsic - if not taboo - female desires has captured critical
acclaim, taking out the audience choice awards at Glasgow Film Festival and
Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival. Lipstick Under My Burkha is
testament to Alankrita’s honorable mission to tell stories about the complexities of
living as women.
Join Alankrita Shrivastava as she introduces her film - Lipstick Under My Burkha on IFFM Opening night at HOYTS Melbourne Central on Thursday, August 10, 6:30 pm.Buy Tickets
Accomplished in multiple spheres of the arts and filmmaking process, renowned Indian director Karan Johar is also a seasoned producer, actor, TV host and personality, screenwriter, costume designer and author. Affectionately referred to as KJo, Karan Johar’s films over 2 decades, have won innumerable IIFA and Filmfare awards.
Most successful amongst his films, as director are; Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (2016), My Name Is Khan (2010), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (2001). These, along with several films he has produced, under the famous Dharma Productions banner, including the recent award winning, Kapoor & Sons (2016) , Dear Zindagi (2016) have established him as one of the leading director-producers in Hindi cinema.
The inimitable and beloved personality has been a popular host of some glamorous Awards events and is a seasoned judge on the reality shows like Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa ( So you think you can Dance?) and India’s Got Talent. Karan Johar’s recent creative pursuit as author of his memoir titled, An Unsuitable Boy (2016) was among the most anticipated books on and about Bollywood this year.
Join Karan Johar for a engaging Masterclass on ‘Directing the Bollywood Dream’ in Conversation with Rajeev Masand at Deakin Edge, Federation Square on Sunday, August 13, 6:30 pm.Buy Tickets
Konkona Sen Sharma
Her discerning taste for Indian independent and arthouse cinema has established
Konkona Sen Sharma as one of India’s leading artists of contemporary parallel
cinema. With actor filmmaker Aparna Sen as her mother, Konkona has filmmaking in
her blood. Starring in an even spread of roles through English, Hindi and Bengali
films, Konkona delivers a diverse performance with a plethora of accolades under
her belt. Recognised for her daring choices, Konkona was awarded best actor at
recently released Lipstick Under My Burkha, her directorial debut in A Death In the Gunj
scooped up best director at the New York Indian Film Festival.
Join Konkona Sen Sharma as she introduces her film - A Death in the Gunj at HOYTS Chadstone on Monday, August 14, 6:30 pm.Buy Tickets
Malaika was a founding VJ and interviewer for MTV India, later going on to co
present popular shows for the channel such as Loveline and Style Check with Cyrus
Broacha. Malaika’s poise and style holds a bold presence within the Indian
entertainment industry, backed by regular modelling appearances throughout her
career. Among Malaika’s achievements in the entertainment industry, she brilliantly
IFFM’s 2011 Guinness World Record-breaking group dance at Federation Square.
The dance included 1,235 participants and was set to the track "Munni Badnaam
Hui" from her Bollywood film Dabang (2010). Malaika has appeared on television as
a judge for shows such as Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa (2010) and India's Got Talent (2009).
"You need to be a good observer to be able to tell stories."
Nitesh headed the operations for international advertising agency Leo burnett before becoming an acclaimed Indian writer, producer, and filmmaker. Nitesh Tiwari made his directorial debut with the light-hearted drama Chillar Party (2011), winning the Indian National Film Award for Best Children's Film. Following this, Nitesh was both writer and director for Amitabh Bachchan - starrer Bhootnath Returns (2014). In 2015, he wrote and produced Nil Battey Sannata (2016), his wife Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari's directorial debut. Nitesh's next project was the biopic drama Dangal (2016), welcomed as Bollywood’s best film for the last decade. Winning the 62nd Filmfare Best Director Award, Nitesh Tiwari is regarded as one of the most talented and respectable members of the Indian film industry.
Join Nitesh Tiwari for a engaging Masterclass on ‘Real to Reel' in Conversation with Rajeev Masand at Deakin Edge, Federation Square on Sunday, August 13, 3:30 pm.Buy Tickets
Onir is a critically acclaimed director, editor, screenwriter and producer; respected
for his provoking and poignant films exploring human connection. His film My
Brother…Nikhil (2005) is a controversial and acclaimed film exploring same-sex
relationships and sexually transmitted diseases. The film was nominated at IFFA
and screened at over 40 international film festivals, taking the Audience Choice
Award in Milan LGBT film festival. Onir has also received an Indian National Award
for his film I Am (2010). His most recent release Shab (2017) stars Raveena Tandon,
Simon Frenay and Gaurav Nanda. Onir’s recent 22 minute Aaba (2017) captures an
orphaned girl’s relationship with her terminally ill grandfather, which premiered at
the Berlin International Film Festival.
Join Onir as he introduces his film - Shabb on IFFM Closing night at HOYTS Melbourne Central on Tuesday, August 22, 7:30 pm.Buy Tickets
A 17-year veteran of the advertising world, Padmakumar Narasimhamurthy makes his directorial debut in the internationally acclaimed A Billion Colour Story, which recounts the struggle of a mixed Hindu/Muslim family to hold themselves together in the face of mounting social division. A poet from a young age, Narasimhamurthy’s matured gift for lyrical dialogue and poetic visuals are put on assured display in a film he not directer, but wrote, produced, and shot as well. A diligent filmmaker and a passionate storyteller, the IFFM is proud to have Narasimhamurthy introduce his exceptional film to Australian audiences in person!
"If the character has the motivation to dance round trees, then I will dance round trees."
Rahul Bose is an Indian actor, director, screenwriter and social activist. Having
performed in several Bengali films such as Antaheen (2009), Laptop (2012) and The
Japanese Wife (2010), Rahul has also acted in Hindi films such as Maan Gaye Mughal-e-Azam (2008) and Kucch Luv Jaisaa (2011). Rahul is widely recognised for
his work in parallel cinema such as English, August (1994) and Mr. and Mrs. Iyer (2002)
by Time Magazine and Maxim respectively. In addition to his impressive
performances, Rahul is highly regarded for his social activism, as the founder of the
anti-discrimination NGO, The Foundation.
Rahul Bose will introduce his film - Poorna at HOYTS Forest Hill on Saturday, August 12, 6:30 pm.Buy Tickets
Actor, producer, and photographer, Raj Suri is a man of many talents. As the founder of Karigar Australia, Suri has been redoubtable producer of film and digital media, emphasising collaboration between India and Australia. The only Australian producer on the Bollywood film I Am (2010), Suri’s efforts were recognised when the film took home India’s National Award for Best Hindi Film, on top of finding success at film festivals the world over. Suri is also the founder of the Miss India Australia Pageant, a celebration of Australian diversity that also serves as a well of potential for Suri’s efforts as a talent manager. Through personal mentorships and workshops, former winners of the pageant have found considerable success in the Indian film industry. A passionate patron of the arts, the IFFM is ecstatic to host Raj at this year’s festival!
Rajeev has hosted two of India’s popular eponymous film industry talk shows in a distinguished career as a film critic and journalist. Both shows were enormously successful and game-changers in their own right, shaping the relationship between the audience and film critic on Indian television. Rajeev was the Assistant Editor at The Indian Express, Special Correspondent and Film Critic at Star News and additionally Entertainment Editor and Film Critic at CNN-IBN. Interviewing big international talent such as Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Guy Ritchie, M. Night Shylaman and Robert Downey Jr. to name a few. Rajeev was awarded Best Entertainment Critic by the National Television Awards in India and is currently a contributing editor of GQ India. Rajeev will be covering the 2017 Indian Film Festival of Melbourne on his show Rajeev Masand Ki Pasand, currently airing on IBN7.
In 2013, Rajkummar Rao played the role of Govind in the film Kai Po Che!, for which he was nominated Best Supporting Actor award at Filmfare in 2014. That same year, he was awarded the Filmfare and the National Film Award for Best Actor and Critics Best Actor for his portrayal of Shahid Azmi in the biographical drama Shahid. Rajkummar Rao comes to IFFM 2017 with his latest release, Trapped, directed by Vikramaditya Motwane, in which his character, Shaurya is shut in an uninhabited Mumbai apartment.
Rajkummar Rao will introduce his film - Trapped at HOYTS Chadstone on Saturday, August 12, 8:00 pm.Buy Tickets
Raveena Tandon is a critically acclaimed actress, producer and model. Reveena attained recognition early in her career, however it was when she ventured into more serious roles within arthouse and parallel cinema that her success flourished. Winning the Best Actress Indian National Film Award for her performance in Kalpana Lamji’s Daman: A Victim of Marital Violence (2001), Reveena’s characterization has been met with widespread acclaim. Raveena will be joining IFFM 2017 to celebrate the release of her recent film Shab (2017), which is garnering similar amiable attention for its poignant exploration of human relationships.
With over three decades of experience as an actor, writer and director, Satish Kaushik is a legend of the Indian film industry. Known in India for Mr. India (1987) and Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983), Kaushik has also seen international success with the British drama Brick Lane (2007), starring Tannishtha Chatterjee. With over 100 acting credits to his name and over a dozen directorial efforts under his belt, Satish Kaushik is a formidable creative force and it is our honour to have him in-house to introduce his latest project, A Billion Colour Story, alongside writer/director Padmakumar Narasimhamurthy.
An Indian-American environmental engineer turned film producer, Shobhu
Yarlagadda is the co-founder and CEO of Arka Mediaworks, an acclaimed film
production company renowned for it Telugu cinema focus. Shobu’s recent two-part
film series Baahubali was released to an immense success, each part the highest
grossing film in their years of release and, cumulatively, the highest grossing film
series in India. No stranger to accolades, Shobu has scooped up a National Film
Award as well as two state Nandi Awards and Filmfare South Awards for his work.
Join Shobu Yarlagadda for an engaging Masterclass on ‘Indian Folklore to Celluloid’ in Conversation with Rajeev Masand at Deakin Edge, Federation Square on Sunday, August 13, 2:00 pm.Buy Tickets
You have to know everything about them so you're in control and so they can't surprise you."
Simi Garewal was the leading lady for some of India’s most legendary directors,
however it was through her pursuits in producing and presenting for television that
she gained her current status. Simi’s groundbreaking talk shows changed Indian
television; perhaps her most prolific was Rendezvous with Simi Garewal. In the early
1980’s she founded the award-winning production company Siga Arts International, also heading the jury of
the Indian TV Academy Awards. Often donning a white outfit during her celebrated
career, Simi Garewal became known throughout India as the ‘Lady in White', a visual
memento that accompanied her mark on India’s entertainment industry.
“We don’t belong to any political party, but we feel democratic inside and our only
weapon is cinema.”
Shoojit Sircar is a well respected Indian director, highly
regarded within the industry for his independent films and unique characterisation,
diverting from typical Bollywood. Hailing from a theatre and documentary
background, Shoojit has illustrated his diversity and creativity through his cinematic
endeavours. His more recent films Madras Café (2013), Piku (2015) and Pink (2016)
were received with critical acclaim, each scooping an Indian National Film Prize in
various categories. Shootjit’s Piku received Best Film and a nomination for Best
Director at the Filmfare Awards.
Join Shoojit Sircar for an engaging Masterclass on ‘Actors and their Acting!’ in Conversation with Rajeev Masand at Deakin Edge, Federation Square on Sunday, August 13, 5:00 pm.Buy Tickets
"Actors love to be cast against type, that's when you get the most interesting performance out of them."
Tannishtha Chatterjee’s career is marked by a long list of accolades in Indian and international cinema. A respected actress, Tannishtha was on the jury of the 2010 Asia Pacific Screen Awards. Tannishtha’s international credits include Joe Wright's Anna Karenina (2012) and Garth Davies's recent critically acclaimed Lion (2016). Her film Dekh Indian Circus (2011) won Best Children’s Film with a Special Mention at the Indian National Film Award and the Audience's Choice Award in Busan International Film Festival, while Monsoon Shootout (2013) was in official selection at the 66th Cannes film festival. In 2016 Tannishtha was honoured with a Special Award at the BAFTA and London Asian Film festival for her contribution to Asian Cinema. Recently, Tannishtha won Best Actress at the 2017 Pune International Film festival for her biographical role in Dr. Rakhmabai (2017).
Join Tannishtha Chatterjee as she introduces her film Doctor Rakhmabai at HOYTS Broadmeadows on Wednesday, August 16 at 7:30 pm.Buy Tickets
Taran Adarsh has led a fulfilling and successful career as a film critic, journalist, editor and film trade analyst. Critiquing his first film at just 15, Taran was bound for the business, going on to become producer and screenwriter for Hello Bollywood (1994) and Fox (2009). In 2007, Taran was chosen to host talk show B BIZ, giving box office reports and entertainment industry interviews. With years in the industry rubbing shoulders with Bollywood’s favourites and executing his discerning knowledge in the field, Taran now lends his expertise to leading Bollywood entertainment website, Bollywood Hungama. Taran will be delivering a masterclass on numbers at this year’s IFFM.
Join Taran Adarsh for a engaging Masterclass on the 'Changing Dynamics of the Indian Box Office!' at Deakin Edge, Federation Square on Sunday, August 13, 12:30 pm.Buy Tickets
"The journey has been beautiful, and lucky too."
One of India's leading fashion designers, Vikram Phadnis’ pieces have been adored
by big names within Indian fashion and cinema for years. With a unique and classic
synthesis of popular and avant-garde styles, Vikram has forged an enduring 25-year
career in fashion. This year Vikram makes his directorial debut in the emotional
family drama Hrudayantar (2017). Vikram’s bold and versatile creativity reaches a
wide and established audience, adorning the likes of Salman Khan, Vidya Balan,
Priyanka Chopra and Anil Kapoor.
Join Vikram Phadnis for a engaging Masterclass on the his journey ‘Catwalk to Cinema' at Deakin Edge, Federation Square on Sunday, August 13, 11:30 am.Buy Tickets