Rishi Kapoor is a veteran of Bollywood, with over 40 years of acting, writing and producing experience. A household name, Kapoor is a prolific and recognizable star with versatile and daring capabilities. Making his Bollywood debut in Bobby (1973), Kapoor has charmed audiences for over four decades, and, in 2008, was awarded a FilmfareLifetime Achievement Award for his significant contribution to Indian cinema. Synonymous in Bollywood for his dedication to the industry, we’re delighted to host this influential star in Melbourne, and present a retrospective series of his starring performances.
Festival ambassador Vidya Balan returns to Melbourne to celebrate her Marathi-language debut in Ek Albela. Making her silverscreen debut in Bengali drama, Bhalo Theko (2003, Vidya is renowned for her portrayal of strong female characters. The outspoken actress is an active advocate for greater inclusivity in the Indian film industry, advocating for a more balanced representation, and empowerment, of women in Bollywood cinema. Vidya sat on the Cannes Jury in 2013; and is involved in a number of global humanitarian causes.
Anurag Kashyap is a fearless and stylish Indian auteur who made his directorial
debut with the censored thriller, Paanch (2001). His films are provocative,
challenging and stylish; and challenge preconceptions of Indian cinema.
Internationally renowned for his bold and distinctive style, Kashyap forms a part
of an exciting collective of independent filmmakers emerging from India. He has
served as a jury member for A-list film festivals; Venice, Sundance and Busan International Film Festival.
Pakistani heartthrob, Fawad Khan, a familiar face on Pakistani television and silver screen, made his Bollywood debut alongside Sonam Kapoor in Khoobsurat (2014). Winning a Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut, the dashing star quickly gained an enthusiastic audience following across South Asia. Khan received critical praise for his portrayal of a writer in Kapoor & Sons (2016), and looks to be making a significant impact upon the Bollywood industry.
Amrinder Gill is a Punjabi singer and actor, who launched his career with Apni Jaan Ke (2000). His 2011 album, Judaa, was one of the most successful Punjabi albums ever; and Gill received a Brit Asia Music Award for Best Album in recognition of his success. With a Master’s Degree in agricultural science, the versatile performer has also starred in a number of hit Punjabi films, including Munde UK De (2009), Daddy Cool Munde Fool (2012) and Angrej (2015).
Renowned for playing bold and sensuous characters, Rituparna Sengupta is an Indian film actress and producer. With over two decades of experience in Bengali, Bangladeshi and Hindi cinema, the National Award-winning (Dahan, 1998) actress is a stalwart of the Indian film industry.
A leading auteur of Bengali cinema, Srijit Mukherjee rose to prominence with Sayjajit Ray tribute film, Autograph (2010). Autograph won 41 awards and screened all across the world; and launched the career of a stylish and prominent filmmaker. With experience in directing, acting and writing, and a slate of award-winning and memorable films, including Rajkahini (2016), we’re excited to welcome the influential all-rounder to IFFM 2016.
CNN IBN’s Rajeev Masand has been a familiar face on Indian televisions for nearly 20 years; and has established himself as one of the country’s most respected and knowledgeable entertainment reporters. The renowned film critic has interviewed stars from across the globe, and won Best Entertainment Critic at the National Television Awards in 2008, 2010 and 2011.
“Once I returned to Mumbai, it struck me — the stories of these women were stories of every woman, everywhere. Cultures and circumstances may vary, but their struggles and inner lives are instantly recognizable across time and space. I knew then that these stories had to be shared, discussed and acknowledged by the world.” – Leena Yadav on the making of Parched.
Director of Parched, Leena Yadav is a strong and bold filmmaker with exciting creative vision. With a background in film and television editing, she turned her hand to directing with Shabd (2005), a Bollywood drama. Parched (2015) signified a step away from conventional Bollywood film: with a core cast of strong, empathetic women. The film premiered at Toronto International Film Festival to critical acclaim, and won significant impact awards across the globe.
MALAIKA ARORA KHAN
Malaika Arora Khan is an actress, dancer and film producer. Making her start as a VJ on MTV India, Malaika rose to fame as a dancer, and in 2012, coordinated a world record-breaking dance to Munni Badnaam. She starred in the iconic music video for Chaiyya Chaiyya, filmed on a moving train. The versatile performer appears regularly as a judge on India’s Got Talent.
“All I know is that I want to be a part of change in Indian cinema. Just a tiny dent."
Richa Chaddha is a bold actress, known for her unconventional roles and strong feminist ideals. Making her debut in Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! (2008), the confident star has impressed in a number of critically-acclaimed features, including the award-winning Masaan (2015). Joining a growing number of stars advocating for change, Richa has called for greater inclusivity and equality in the film industry. In a 2016 TED talk, the outspoken star alluded to her struggle with body image in the wake of sexism and misogyny encountered upon her initial foray into Bollywood.
Vancouver Film School alumnus, Shakun Batra, is an Indian director and screenwriter. With a reputation for sharp writing and astute direction, Batra has found success helming a number of critically acclaimed Bollywood romances; namely Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu (2012), and IFFM 2016 film, Kapoor & Sons.
A leading lady in IFFM 2016 Opening Night Film, Parched, Radhika Apte is a talented actress of the stage and the screen. The leading lady marked her arrival into Bollywood with a bang; with a couplings of back-to-back acclaimed performances in Badlapurrr and Hunterrr, Hailing from Pune, Radhika gained a critical following with a slate of performances in regional films, and looks set to become the new constant of Indian cinema.
With a powerful and captivating voice, Karachi-born singer-songwriter Sara Haider is a young artist on the rise. With influences from East and West, the powerhouse vocalist has captivated audiences of Pakistan’s Coke Studio, establishing herself as a hardworking artist with an exciting future ahead.
Shalmali Kholgade is one of India’s leading playback singers, with a versatile voice, and startling talent. The songstress made her critically acclaimed Bollywood debut with Pareshaan in Ishaqzaade (2012), and has continued to captivate audiences in Hindi, Marathi, Bengali and Telugu. The gifted performer also appears as a judge on Indian Junior Idol 2.