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Vidya Balan named ambassador to Indian Film Festival of Melbourne

The actress will return as the ambassador to the film festival which will begin on 10 August.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Shriram Iyengar

Vidya Balan has been named as the ambassador to the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM)  for the second time running. The festival, which is held from 10-22 August, will have diversity as the central theme for the year.

Vidya, who was first named as ambassador to the festival last year, said, "I am excited by the female directors and writers who have their work showing at the Festival. Over the past few years, a new generation of female Indian filmmakers has begun to shine on the global stage. To see women behind the camera, creating powerful pieces of art is reflective of the positive steps that the film industry in India and the subcontinent are taking."

The IFFM is one of the largest Indian film festivals outside India. With support by the Victorian government, the festival will feature over 60 films, indie films, and short films from India in over 20 different languages. There are over 30 Australian premieres scheduled over the duration of the festival.

Mitu Bhowmick Lange, the festival director, is looking forward to screening such a diverse range of films “This August the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne will present films that explore diversity and the endless potential of humanity. Audiences will immerse themselves in 13 days of film, including Bollywood blockbusters, powerful indie films and stunning documentaries from India and the subcontinent. These films were curated to entertain, inspire, enrage, engage and challenge viewers. We look forward to welcoming a fantastic lineup of guests and welcoming audiences to our screenings and special events.”

Among the films making an appearance at the festival will be Alankrita Shrivastava's Lipstick Under My Burkha, Subhashish Bhutiani's Mukti Bhawan, Konkona Sensharma's A Death in the Gunj, and the blockbuster epic, Baahubali series.

Vidya has been nominated for the IFFM award for Best Actress for her performance in Kahaani 2, alongside Alia Bhatt (Dear Zindagi), Sensharma (Lipstick Under My Burkha), Ratna Pathak Shah (Lipstick Under My Burkha), Kavya Madhavan (Pinneyum) and Tannishtha Chatterjee (Doctor Rakhmabai).

Among the actors nominated are Amitabh Bachchan (Pink), Aamir Khan (Dangal), Rajkummar Rao (Trapped), Sushant Singh Rajput (M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story), and Adil Hussain (Mukti Bhawan).