A Who’s Who of Indian Bollywood cinema lands in Melbourne


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Move apart Hollywood for song, dance and brilliance – the largest and most vibrant global film trade is Bollywood, and it’s coming Down Under once more after a two-year hiatus.

Developed in Mumbai a century ago, Indian cinema continues to thrive, and its biggest stars have descended on Melbourne for the largest annual celebration of Indian cinema exterior the Indian sub-continent.

According to the 2021 Census, there are greater than 710,000 Indian-born residents living in Australia, and Melbourne has the largest population.

So strap yourselves in people, it’s going to be a giant weekend.

Described as a ‘‘hybrid’’, the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) will showcase greater than 100 films from a variety of genres, themes, and voices and it all may be skilled in particular person in cinemas across Melbourne in addition to streaming free through the IFFM app.

So who’s coming?

We all know India’s first World Cup-winning captain, Kapil Dev, who has now been immortalised in latest Indian flick, 83.

If you’re new to the industry’s greatest stars – who’re treated like royalty back home and have a mixed Instagram following of a staggering 70 million followers – meet Bollywood royalty Abhishek Bachchan and Indian movie stars Tamannaah Bhatia, Vaani Kapoor, Shefali Shah and Taapsee Pannu.

“We are absolutely delighted to have IFFM come back physically this yr alongside an thrilling digital programming,’’ IFFM pageant director Mitu Bhowmick Lange mentioned.

‘‘To have with us a legendary cricketer, Kapil Dev in honour of a movie based mostly on his iconic 1983 World Cup win, we are excited to have him in Melbourne.’’

He mentioned the city was getting ready to celebrate Indian cinema ‘‘in all its glory and diversity’’.

Bollywood dancers are set to light up Federation Square on Saturday. Photo: AAP

A metropolis of cinema and cricket-lovers alike

From August 12 to 14, the large Indian cinema fanbase can journey across the city, from Federation Square to the Arts Centre, and to the Palais and Hoyts theatres to catch a glimpse of the celebrities and watch a few flicks.

Mumbai-born Himangi Singh, 25, based mostly in Melbourne since 2020, tells The New Daily  there is a huge appetite for Indian cinema.

“People are really into movie in India. From school children to grandparents, all of them love Indian movies, Bollywood films.

“The stars are put on a pedestal, treated like royalty … so having them come right here, and to have Bollywood movies not solely celebrated in India however around the globe, is really cool.

“The Indian group in Melbourne shall be actually excited to have Abhishek Bachchan come here,” she stated.

The festival’s centrepiece event, the star-studded IFFM Awards are again. They include new awards, together with greatest film from the subcontinent and greatest streaming series.

To mark the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence on Saturday, thousands will flood Federation Square for a flag-raising ceremony and a stunning Bollywood dance competition.

As for films, award-winning characteristic The Rapist, which was recently awarded the prestigious Kim Jiseok Award on the Busan International Film Festival, will screen and the film’s director Aparna Sen and her daughter, actor Konkona Sen Sharma are set to attend.

The stars of Joyland, winners of the Cannes 2022 Jury Prize, are on the town as is Amazon series director of Mumbai Diaries 26/11 and founder of India’s premier content firm, Abundantia Entertainment, Vikram Malhotra.

Celebrated Indian director and director of Amazon thriller Jalsa, Suresh Triveni and the team behind documentary Ayena (Mirror), and acid survivors Ritu Saini, Farah Khan and Nilanjan Bhattacharya are on the visitor list.

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University professor Dr Amit Sarwal wrote in The Conversation that Bollywood often becomes the face of Indian cinemas.

‘‘As a genre it has grown and developed over a period of 100 years, coloured by India’s historical past, politics, socio-economic conditions, culture, sensibilities, dreams, fantasies, hopes and expectations.

‘‘In the 1990s Bollywood emerged, post-economic liberalisation of India, as a powerful, globalised business and India’s biggest cultural ambassador to the world.

‘‘Many films are accused of being copied or impressed from world cinemas but within the second of ‘inspiration’ Bollywood creates a novel cultural adaptation packaged with romance, melodrama, action, costumes, songs and dance extravaganzas that suit world Indian audiences’ needs and their understanding of the world round them.’’

He said Australia had turn into a ‘‘hot destination for Bollywood in addition to regional language film-makers’’.

Ms Singh says the discharge of so many motion pictures will attract huge audiences over the next few weeks: ‘‘I suppose Bollywood in Australia is great’’.

The 2022 Indian Film Festival of Melbourne runs from August 12 to 20 in cinemas and August 13 to 30 online.


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