/ Messages / Festival Director
Welcome to the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) 2016: a grand celebration of cinema from India and the subcontinent. It seems like only yesterday we were strutting down the runway at IFFM 2015, but here we go again! The theme for IFFM 2016 is female empowerment: we’re celebrating kickass, wonderful ladies, in cinema and beyond! We’ll be highlighting women in cinema, as they strive for equality and empowerment: by means of the films we show, the short films you make, and the inspiring and challenging stories and experiences from our festival guests.
Your favourite ingredients are all present and accounted for: you’ll find an exciting schedule of Australian and world premieres, Q&A sessions with a rollcall of great Indian stars and filmmakers, masterclasses and panels with influential Indian and Australian figures, the Western Union Short Film Competition and the Telstra Bollywood Dance Competition. For the second year in a row, the festival will be in August: and we’ll again be celebrating Indian Independence Day with a flag hoisting in Federation Square.
Last year’s Awards Night in the heart of Melbourne was such a success that we are returning to the Melbourne city, this time to the gorgeous Melbourne Recital Centre. Not only will we be presenting awards, the Westpace Awards Night will showcase Indian and Pakistani artists, with a special collaborative show from Sara Haider and Shalmali Kholgade, amongst other talented acts. We’re so thrilled to present the Empowerment Concert; in recognition of awesome ladies all over the world!
We’re incredibly excited to announce the launch of our charity initiative, Train the Trainers. We want to educate teachers in India how best to respond to, and teach, children with disabilities: and we’ll be raising funds to send teachers and students across to India to pass on their knowledge, and make a real difference to so many children’s lives.
We are incredibly grateful to the City of Melbourne, our tireless ambassador Vidya Balan, our generous sponsors and, above all, all of you for embracing IFFM as a vibrant and vital cultural exchange. I hope you get to sample as many of the festival’s flavours as possible and will continue to help us improve the recipe of this unique annual filmic feast.
Mitu Bhowmick Lange
IFFM Festival Director