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Indian Film Festival of Melbourne closes with Rohena Gera's Sir starring Tillotama Shome

The film's leading lady attended the screening at the festival and participated in a question and answer session afterwards.

Festival director Mitu Bhowmick Lange with Tillotama Shome

Our Correspondent

Rohena Gera’s Sir, which had its world premiere at Cannes this May, closed the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne on 22 August. The 12-day festival screened 60 films in around 22 languages.

Gera’s directorial debut features Tillotama Shome as Ratna, a maid who forges a connection with her employer’s son, Ashwin, played by Vivek Gomber. The film was well received by the audience in Melbourne.

Shome, who attended the screening and later participated in a question and answer session, said, “The film handles a subject matter that is delicate and the audience in Melbourne embraced it with great warmth. I missed Rohena and Vivek a lot. The questions were varied and many. The one that sticks, is a gentleman from Africa who asked how can one do away with such man made divisions. He has personally experienced deep racism and the film's exploration of a deep class divide, a kind of modern day slavery resonated with him.”

Festival director Mitu Bhowmick Lange felt Gera’s film made for a fitting end to the nearly two-week film festival.

“We were so privileged and honoured to have the film close the festival so close to its wonderful premiere at Cannes. Sir is a beautiful film that addresses the inequality that we have in out society whether it is class or gender in a beautiful subtle way,” Bhowmick Lange said, adding, "It was a super screening, the film got a standing ovation, as did Tillotama, the audience was quite speechless for quite a while because they were mesmerized by the film and her performance.”

Lead actress Shome, director Gera and the film were all nominated at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne's awards. However, they lost out to actress Rani Mukerji, director Rajkumar Hirani and independent film Love Sonia, respectively.

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Indian Film Festival of Melbourne