All You Need To Know About The 6th Indian Film Festival of Melbourne

Posted on 11 July, 2016 by Team Wishberry

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The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne is an eleven-day event held between 11th and 21st August 2016. The sixth edition of the prestigious festival will see around 50 of the best Indian films spanning 17 different languages.

The theme:

Each year, the festival follows a theme based on which the films are picked. After last year’s theme of “Equality”, this year the festival’s theme is “Women Empowerment”. There will be various panel and round table discussions in this vein.

The opening and closing film:

The opening film of the festival is Parched directed by Leena Yadav and starring talent powerhouses such as Radhika Apte, Surveen Chawla, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Sayani Gupta, Tanya Sachdeva and Kamla Devi. The closing film of the festival is Pan Nalin’s Angry Indian Goddesses starring Sandhya Mridul, Anushka Manchanda, Sarah Jane Dias, Amrit Maghera, Rajshri Deshpande and Pavleen Gujral.

Festival Guests:

This year, the festival will see an array of talented and notable guests such as Rishi Kapoor, Richa Chaddha, Rituparna Sengupta, Malaika Arora Khan, Vidya Balan (also the brand ambassador of the festival) and Radhika Apte. Rishi Kapoor, as Chief Guest, will be hoisting the Indian flag at the festival.

Richa Chaddha will be hosting a masterclass on various topics concerning women in films, including the growing change in women’s roles in mainstream as well as independent cinema. She will also be doing a conversation on ‘Bollywood and Body Positivity’. Rajeev Masand will be hosting a round table discussion on the topic ‘Wild Women in Cinema’.

Films to watch out for:

A Girl In The River and Saving Face

Academy award-winning Pakistani director Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy's films exploring contemporary honour killings, and the horrendous practice of acid attacks respectively, will be awarded in the Masterstrokes section.


A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers

Also by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, this film follows 160 predominantly Muslim Bangladeshi policewomen on a crucial mission overseas. It will be getting its Victorian premiere at the festival.



Directed by Rahat Kazmi, Mantostaan is based on Pakistani playwright Manto’s dark satirical stories that recall the horror and trauma of the 1947 partition.


For The Love of a Man

Crowdfunded on Wishberry and a film festival hit (including the 71st Venice International Film Festival 2016), this is a documentary based on the ardent and unreal cult following of superstar Rajinikanth, as seen through the lives of his four superfans.



Another Wishberry crowdfunded film! A dark, gritty and amazing Assamese film that joins together four folktales juxtaposed against the backdrop of an idyllic rural Assam. It has also been nominated under the Best India Film category at this festival.



A comedy that follows three generations of men reacting to the death of their 101-year-old grandfather. The film bagged the National Award for Best Feature Film in Kannada.



A group of immigrants detained by the local state police, are tortured and forced to admit to a crime they have no knowledge of. When all hope seems to be lost, a policeman from their hometown speaks on their behalf at the court hearing, setting them free. The policeman asks for a return favor and the boys oblige, oblivious to the ill fate that awaits them.



The film is an adaptation of Anton Chekov’s short story, Vanka. The two-time National Film Award winning feature follows the story of a young boy who lives with his grandfather. The two live an extremely beautiful life together - fishing, playing, herding ducks, until one day the grandfather falls ill.



Written and directed by Nishant Roy Bombarde, Daaravtha is the story of a young boy approaching adulthood who is between his sexual desires, and the expectations impressed upon him by a strict patriarchal society.



After a long shift, a rickshaw driver is shocked to discover a young boy asleep in the back seat of his auto. The two struggle to communicate, but venture on a journey to return the boy to his family. Set across two working-class neighbourhoods, Playgrounds examines the harsh realities of India’s urban masses.


K2 and the Invisible Footmen 

The film is about the lives of porters that assist those on mountain expeditions and carry their luggage along the route of the 2nd highest mountain peak in the world.


Amdavad Ma Famous

The film is a documentary set against a backdrop of Uttrayan, the country’s larget kite-flying festival. It witnesses the transformation of an 11-year-old Zaid from a young boy to an aggressive and a passionate kite-runner, until he comes across a challenge that threatens to keep him away from the one thing he loves.


Apart from Indian films, the festival will also be screening commendable films from the Indian subcontinent and expat filmmakers. For more details, visit Indian Film Festival of Melbourne.


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