Bollywood celebrities such as Abhishek Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, Vaani Kapoor, Tamannaah Bhatia, and Shefali Shah, among many others, flagged off the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne to its physical form in Australia with its 13th edition.
Other personalities who were a part of this include singer Sona Mohapatra, former cricketer and ex-captain of India Kapil Dev and filmmakers Anurag Kashyap, Kabir Khan, Aparna Sen, Nikkhil Advani and Shoojit Sircar.
The festival, which kicked off on Friday (August 12), will conclude on August 20.
Commenting on the occasion, Abhishek Bachchan, who is "absolutely loving" being in the moment in Melbourne, is excited to watch the screening of his 'Manmarziyaan' co-star Taapsee Pannu's upcoming film 'Dobaaraa'.
He said, "I'm looking forward to watching 'Dobaaraa'. My almost entire family has represented India here and I'm very proud of it. I'm looking forward to being part of all the celebrations and I thank the government and Mitu for having me here. It feels great to be given the Leadership in Cinema award".
The actors took to the podium in presence of a special audience to announce this year's programme schedule with 'Dobaaraa' being the opening night film.
Other events lined up apart from the screening of over 120 films are the Independence Day Celebrations of India and an array of panel discussions amongst other specially curated events.
When asked about the South and Hindi film debate at the festival, actress Tamannaah Bhatia said, "I think this conversation is only unique to India, whenever I travel abroad I never hear people distinguish, they simply call it Indian cinema. And such is the case even here at IFFM."
She feels that the audience wants to see pan India films as more of such content is being made and being admired by all.