The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) is set to return to the physical format for its 2022 edition which will have legendary cricketer Kapil Dev as the guest of honor. The film gala will be held in the Victorian capital from August 12-20, both in person and virtually, the organizers said Friday.
Dev, whose journey as Indian men's cricket captain was chronicled in Kabir Khan's rousing sports drama '83', said he is looking forward to the festival.
"It’s a great platform celebrating the best in Indian cinema. I truly do believe that sports and cinema are two major cultural experiences for not only Indians but various communities and countries that bind us together. It’s something for decades now that has united people. It’s a deep-rooted emotional connection and love we have for both cinema and sports, and when they come together it’s a rewarding experience for everyone," the former cricketer said in a statement.
According to the organizers, the film programming is more diverse than ever before "with over 100 films in 23 languages having been selected for the festival".
Programming of the festival will soon be announced by the organizers and a slew of Indian film artists will be flying down to Melbourne to celebrate cinema in all its diversity, with the annual awards gala to be held on August 14. The last two editions of the IFFM were held virtually in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and festival director Mitu Bhowmick Lange said the team is excited to bring back the magic of cinema on the ground.
"We are absolutely delighted to have IFFM come back physically this year alongside an exciting virtual programming. To have with us a legendary cricketer Kapil Dev in honor of a film based on his iconic 83 World Cup Win, we are excited to have him in Melbourne. Being a city of cinema and cricket lovers alike, we are certain the audiences will be excited to see him here."
"The festival this year has over 100 films from across the India sub-continent and we are excited to celebrate Indian cinema in all its glory and diversity,” added Lange.
From its diverse program of film and joyous celebration of culture to the star power it attracts, a film extravaganza is an unmissable event, said Steve Dimopoulos, Minister for Creative Industries. "The Victorian Government is a proud, long-standing supporter of IFFM, this year boosting our support for the festival to extend its reach and impact, and we look forward to seeing Victorians from all communities join the celebration," Dimopoulos said.
[With Inputs from PTI]