IFFM 2021 streaming live from August 15

IFFM (Indian Film Festival Melbourne)  is back!  This year the celebration goes double, as the festival will screen films both in cinemas from August 12-21, and free online streaming Australia wide from August 15-30. With 30 plus films running in cinemas, and many more online – the program this year will highlight film themes like love, environment, modern slavery, women empowerment, breaking stereotypes & taboo, LGBTQIA+, human rights, and many more across seven film categories.

The 12th edition of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) launches with our magnificent Opening Night film, Satyajit Ray’s feminist classic Mahanagar (The Big City, 1963) – an unmissable highlight of the Festival’s tribute to legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray, as part of global celebrations marking his centenary birth year – streaming free of charge across Australia via the festival’s website.

Synopsis of Mahanagar: Based on the short story Abataranika by Narendranath Mitra, it tells the story of a housewife who disconcerts her traditionalist family by getting a job as a saleswoman. The film examines the effects of the confident working woman on patriarchial attitudes and social dynamics. Besides The Apu Trilogy (also screening at IFFM), the film, according to veteran film critic Philip French, is one of Ray’s greatest films.

Celebrating diversity through cinema, the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2021 is delighted to premiere two thought-provoking films ‘Bittu’ by Karishma Dube and ‘WOMB – Women of My Billion’ by Ajitesh Sharma as a part of its Opening Night Gala.

Bollywood films to be screened are: Bellbottom, Bhuj: The Pride of India, Lootcase and Ludo. Then there are Awakaash, a Marathi feature film; Barah By barah, a Hindi feature film; Biriyani, a Malayalam film; Ghongo, a Konkani film; Smrisha, an English and Malayalam film; Agan Pankhudi, a Gujarati film; Ghazal, a Dari film; Two Assamese films – Boroxun and Bridge.

There are documentaries and short films even A film from Maldives – Dhivehi; Bhutan – Lunana – A Yak in the Classroom and a Bangladeshi film – The Salt in Our Waters.

All up there are films in 27 languages which include films in Gojri, Gondi, Odiya, Bodo, Madiya, French and in Kashmiri and many more besides Hindi.

Themes this year are:

Stories with women in the lead that inspire gender equality

– Stories told by women filmmakers

– Films about sexuality, spirituality, identity and love

– Stories of displacement, despair and human rights that resonate universally

– Stories advocating access and inclusion for the differently abled that show we are more than just our abilities

– Period poverty, social stigmas and the politics of gender

– Decoding Modern Slavery

– Films about tracing our steps back, discovering our roots and who we are

– Climate Change

– Coming of Age films

Panel Discussion – South Asian Representation in Australian Media

From cultural biases to stereotypes and systematic barriers such as lack of portrayal, South Asian artists for years have been debating their stance in the Australian media industry. It need not always be subject to ignorance of race, but also the big question, “Who gets to tell our stories on national television?”

Deconstructing this conversation via their own personal and professional experiences we have renowned Indian-Australian Actor, Presenter, Lawyer, Writer and Podcaster – Sharon Johal, former Miss Universe Australia 2019 – Priya Serrao, Celebrity Chef and Hospitality entrepreneur – Helly Raichura and Melbourne-based Screenwriter & Film Producer – Ravi Chand on our celebrated guest panel, sharing their journeys as representatives of South Asian origin in the media. 

The panel discussion will be hosted on August 14, 2021 at Hoyts Melbourne Central. 

Panel Discussion – Spirituality, Sexuality, Gender Diversity & Love

Every member of the Queer community has fought the battle of dwindling between practising their faith and owning their sexuality. While for many the idea of faith and spirituality shunned the acceptance of the LGBTQIA+ community, some found a way to bridge this by following their faith while keeping true to their sexuality. This conversation opened a pandora of questions where faith, gender diversity, love and sexuality fit in the same sentence. Speaking with a few members, we have a robust panel of members from the community sharing their personal experience of finding the key to integrate faith, sexuality and gender identity.

The panel discussion will be hosted on August 14, 2021 at Hoyts Melbourne Central.

Acclaimed independent director Onir and producer, actor and activist Richa Chadha will judge the 2020 IFFM Short Film Festival Competition. A selection of the best submitted films, addressing this year’s theme of ‘modern slavery and equality’, will be available for viewing

The Festival winner will be announced on August 30.

In 2021, IFFM takes over five key venues in Melbourne’s CBD and suburbs, while an extended virtual season will see films stream free of charge across Australia via the festival’s website, iffm.com.au. IFFM has partnered with the Mental Health Foundation Australia and

Royal Children’s Hospital and encourages festival participants to donate to MHFA when booking.

The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne is the southern hemisphere’s greatest annual celebration of Indian cinema and films from the Indian sub-continent. Established in 2010, it is recognised as an important feature of the State’s cultural calendar. IFFM is proudly supported by the Victorian Government via Film Victoria – principal partner of the festival

Do Visit: https://iffm.com.au/allfilms.php#hurrah for more information.

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