Due to the epidemic, this year’s festival has been completely virtualized, the festival will start on October 23 and will end on October 30. The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, to be held in August from year to year for the last 10 years, is being virtualized this year. However the festival’s director, Mitu Bhowmik Langhe, had hoped to have a compact schedule at the original venue, which would now be held from October 23 to October 30, keeping in mind the threat of the epidemic. Films will be streamed for free at the festival’s official website for all those Australian cinema lovers.
All popular sections of the festival such as Hooray Bollywood, Beyond Bollywood, Film India World, Documentaries and Shorts are expected to be on the same schedule. Interestingly, this year, the entry of the festival’s short film competition has set a new record.
The virtual festival is slated to begin with Vidya Balan starrer Natkhat, which also marks the actress’ production debut. The film is the story of a struggling mother who teaches her young son about gender equality and removes misconceptions. Natkhat premiered on YouTube as part of the iconic VR One: A Global Film Festival, and will now be screened at IFFM. It will premiere in a double bonanza package, which also includes the Marathi film Habbadi, which features the story of a young boy who interrupts talking. This film reflects the core value of IFFM celebrating diversity in cinema. This year too, the festival will offer over 60 films in 17 languages.
Lang said in a statement, “This is an unusual situation that the world is going through and now, more than ever, in this dark time, cinema has been supporting people and giving relief. IFFM entertains film lovers all over the world For it is strong in its spirit. And hope that together we will emerge from it.