Bollywood celebrities such as Abhishek Bachchan, Taapsee Pannu, Vaani Kapoor, Tamannaah Bhatia, and Shefali Shah, among many others, flagged off the 13th edition of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IIFM) in Australia on Friday. Other celebrities who were a part of this included singer Sona Mohapatra, former Indian cricketer Kapil Dev, and filmmakers Anurag Kashyap, Kabir Khan, Aparna Sen, Nikkhil Advani, and Shoojit Sircar.
The celebrities took to the podium in the presence of a special audience to announce this year's programme schedule, with Anurag Kashyap's Dobaaraa being the opening night film. According to sources, the awards ceremony is all set to take place on August 14 and the festival will conclude on August 20.
Commenting on the occasion, Abhishek said that he was excited to watch the screening of his Manmarziyaan co-star Taapsee's upcoming film Dobaaraa.
“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 (sic),” the actor was quoted as saying.
Other specially curated events lined up, apart from the screening of over 120 films, include the Independence Day celebrations of India and an array of panel discussions.
According to reports, when asked about the South and Hindi film debate at the festival, actress Tamannaah Bhatia told media sources, “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. I think what the audiences want is to see pan-India films and more of such content is being made and being admired by all (sic).”
Indian Film Festival of Melbourne is an annual film festival presented by the Victorian government in Melbourne, which showcases the best films from India.