THE Indian Film Festival has engulfed Melbourne in culture, colour, Bollywood stars and fantastic films. Gayertree Subramanium gives you the low down on what’s on offer, and a snippet of the opening night scene.
“I am definitely Shahid’s number one fan. If I don’t get to even catch a glimpse of him tonight, I will be devastated,” Philistia Kumar, 17, a self-proclaimed Bollywood fanatic lamented.
She was among the many ardent Bollywood fans that thronged Hoyts cinemas at Melbourne Central on the opening night of the Indian Film Festival, for a special glimpse of acclaimed Indian actress, and also the face of the festival, Vidya Balan’s new thriller, Kahaani.
At the center of the hustle and bustle though, were none other than Bollywood heartthrobs Shahid Kapoor and former Miss World Priyanka Chopra, who were guest stars at the inauguration of the festival’s launch.
Both these young stars are the epitomy of Bollywood success stories. With good looks, great talent, and an even bigger fan following backing them, Kapoor and Chopra have swiftly risen up the ranks and are highly sought after lead actors within the industry. Renowned for their sizzling onscreen chemistry, the pair star in Teri Meri Kahaani, which will also be screened at the festival.
More than 40 films will be screening over these 10 days, but in addition to popular Bollywood fare (think boy-meets-girl-they-fall-in-love, innumerable fights, dances and comedy sequences), audiences can also look forward to Bengali art house films, movies from South India, and straying slightly beyond the subcontinent, films from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Master classes have also been planned to acquaint Bollywood movie buffs with the ins and outs of the multi-million dollar industry. Meet industry pioneers including costume designer Sabyasachi, writer and National Film Award winner Abhijat Joshi (3 Idiots) along with Director and co-writer Raj Hirani (Munna Bhai MBBS), and the ten time national award winning Rituparno Ghosh (Memories in March).
Don’t miss the Western Union Short Film Competition, which will be running alongside the festival, with the theme this year being ‘Connections’. Winning entries will be screened during the festival, and the judge’s top picks will be aired on national television in Australia, New Zealand and MTV in India.
So have fun and allow yourselves to be mesmerised by the spells Bollywood will cast upon you, and celebrate the films and filmmakers of the world’s biggest cinema producer, right in the heart of Melbourne.
The Indian Film Festival runs till June 22. Films will be screened exclusively at Hoyts Melbourne Central and Chadstone. For full program details and film synopsis please visit the Indian Film Festival website.
There are also free-screenings throughout the festival.
Meld Magazine has a pair of tickets to the Indian Film Festival to give away in our snap draw. Simply tell us which movie you’d like to catch by 12 noon Friday June 15 in the comments sections below. The competition is open only those living and studying in Victoria and the winner will be announced at 5pm on Friday June 15.