Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2015 to Focus on Equality

Natasha Chaku/Melbourne
Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2015 to Focus on Equality

Bollywood actress Vidya Balan today announced the return of Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) which will run from August 14 this year with a theme of 'Equality' apart from raising funds for Royal Melbourne Children's Hospital.

The announcement was made here at a press conference by Balan, the brand ambassador of the festival, along with the Festival director Mitu Bhowmick-Lange and the state minister for creative industries Martin Foley.

Describing Melbourne as her second home, Balan lauded the role of IFFM in popularising Bollywood in Australia.

She said that the annual festival this year was once again pushing the boundaries further by adding a new element of charity to it which no other festival has done so far.

The highlights of the festival this year will include an Indian-inspired fashion show showcasing Australian designers along with ace Indian designer Anamika Khanna on the star studded IFFM Awards Night.

The proceeds from the fashion show will be given to the Royal Children's Hospital under a new partnership between the hospital and IFFM.

Foley said theme of 'equality' will be explored through a special program of films, the Western Union short film competition and a panel event featuring Australian and Indian guests. 

The festival for the first time coincide with India's Independence Day celebrations to be held at the iconic federation square on August 15 this year.

"IFFM is a significant date on Victoria's events calender. It provides an opportunity to showcase Indian culture and stories to the wider community," Foley said.

"This year's festival, which explores equality, will demonstrate the powerful role that filmmakers play in telling different stories, opening new perspectives and creating conversations about issues that affect us all," he said.

Balan and the Victorian minister also exchanged gifts ahead of the announcement.

Balan was presented an aboriginal Glass art work from Melbourne based Kirra Gallery while Balan gifted Vir Sanghvi's book India : Then & Now.

The festival, which will close on August 27, will also feature Telstra Bollywood Dance competition, master classes and Australian premiers.

Lange said details of the full program of the festival will be released in June.

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