Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2017: All you need to know

Posted on 8 August, 2017 by Team Wishberry

Between August 10 and 22, Melbourne will witness a myriad of Indian films courtesy the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne. The festival will showcase 60 films in 20 different languages — a hint at the diversity at play when it comes to Indian cinema! Festival Director Mitu Bhowmick-Lange has said that, “This August the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne will present films that explore diversity and the endless potential of humanity. Audiences will immerse themselves in 13 days of film, including Bollywood blockbusters, powerful indie films and stunning documentaries from India and the subcontinent. These films were curated to entertain, inspire, enrage, engage and challenge viewers. We look forward to welcoming a fantastic lineup of guests and welcoming audiences to our screenings and special events.”


Categories at the festival:


Hurray Bollywood


This section of the festival will focus on mainstream Hindi films that went on to become major box office hits. The names include Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya, Gauri Shinde’s Dear Zindagi and the biopic M.S. Dhoni.


Beyond Bollywood


This section of the festival celebrates cinema that is not the product of Bollywood. Some of the names in this section include:

Lipstick Under My Burkha


Alankrita Srivastava’s groundbreaking “lady-oriented” film about 4 women who break stereotypes in small-town India has managed to both shock and awe its audience! This will also be the festival’s opening film.



You can read our review of the film here.


A Death In The Gunj


Konkona Sen Sharma’s directorial debut has been lauded by critics and the audience alike. Billed as a coming-of-age tale set in the 70s in the sleepy town of McCluskiegunj in Bihar (Jharkhand today), the film witnessed powerful performances from actors Vikrant Massey, Kalki Koechlin, Tanuja, Tillotama Shome, Ranvir Shorey and Gulshan Devaiah.



A Billion Colour Story


Director Padmakumar Narasimhamurthy’s multiple-award-winning feature film debut tackles the controversial subjects of religious divide and bigotry in modern-day India.


Doctor Rakhmabai


Ananth Mahadevan’s film celebrates the powerful feminist figure of colonial India Dr. Rakhmabai, who was not only the country first practicing female doctor at the time but was also instrumental in the passage of the Consent Act which outlawed child marriages across the British Empire. The film features Tanishtha Chatterjee along with Bharat Dabholkar, Santos Juvekar, Kavita Lad, and Prasad Oak.



Harikatha Prasanga (The Chronicles of Hari)


This film has been generating a lot of buzz in the festival circuit since 2016. Ananya Kasaravalli's debut feature is a telling tale of ostracization that the transgender community has faced and continues to battle even today — in 2017 India.



Mukti Bhawan


Shubhashish Bhutani’s human drama about a father and son bonding while the father waits to ‘die’, has received critical acclaim across festivals such as Busan International Film Festival and Dubai International Film Festival. The film’s cast includes Adil Hussain, Lalit Behl, and Geetanjali Kulkarni.



Pinky Beauty Parlour


As a nation obsessed with skin colour, Akshay Singh’s black comedy Pinky Beauty Parlour shows the ‘mirror’ to modern Indian society. The film stars Sulagna Panigrahi, Khushboo Gupta, Akshay Sing, and Jogi Malang, and it has been in attendance in festivals such as MAMI and Cannes.



Along with the above-mentioned films, names such as Onir’s Shab, Rahul Bose’s Poorna, Vikramaditya Motwane’s Trapped, Aparna Sen’s Sonata, Prithvi Konanur’s Railway Children, and Vikram Phadnis’ Hrudayantar are some of the other films featured in the Beyond Bollywood section of the festival.


From The Subcontinent


Apart from Indian films, IFFM will also feature films from countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh. The titles include, Aynabaji (Bangladesh), Rahm (Pakistan, UK), Thimphu (Bhutan), White Sun (Nepal), Withered Leaf (Sri Lanka).


Film India World


Anatomy of Violence


Deepa Mehta’s Anatomy of Violence is based on the 2012 Delhi gang rape incident on a moving bus — a case that shaped the conscience of a nation and led to protests all over the country. This film explores the lives of the rapists and tries to fathom the reasons that may have led to the gruesome crime.



Death Certificate


Rajaditya Bannerjee’s film has been billed as the first film to be made in Kurmali language and it details the journey of a woman as she sets to find her missing husband.



Mango Dreams


John Upchurch’s film deals with a man coming to terms with his past with the help of an unlikely friendship. The film features Ram Gopal Bajaj, Pankaj Tripathy, and Sameer Kochhar.



Short films

The festival will also showcase 4 short films including Rahul Chitella’s Azaad, Amar Kaushik’s Aaba (the film won the International Jury Award at Berlin International Film Festival), Gurvinder Singh’s Ghuspaithiya (Infiltrator), and the very own Wishberry crowdfunded and multiple-award winning short film Sisak by Faraz Mariam Arif Ansari.




An Insignificant Man


This documentary charts the rise of Arvind Kejriwal from a common man to the most polarizing figure in modern Indian politics. The film has been directed by Khushboo Ranka, and Vinay Shukla.





Pankaj Johar’s heartwarming documentary follows a mother’s tireless crusade against a corrupt system that includes corrupt police, traffickers, judges and lawyers after her daughter is found hanging in New Delhi.



The Cinema Travellers


Shirley Abraham, and Amit Madheshiya’s documentary brings to you the last running travelling cinemas of the world! Apart from Showing at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, the film won the Special Jury Prize — L’oeil D’or, Le Prix Du Documentaire at the Cannes Film Festival.





Mahadeb Shi’s documentary is about an unusual relationship — that of a Melbournian tram conductor Roberto D’Andrea and trams of Kolkata after India’s Minister of Transport deems Kolkata’s tram lines to be obsolete. This documentary is also going to be the closing film of the festival.

Apart from the above-listed films, the festival will also screen films such as Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali and Aamir Khan’s Dangal for free.

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