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Kabir Khan, Imtiaz Ali, Rima Das, Onir to make short films for Indian Film Festival of Melbourne

The filmmakers will each make a short film on different themes for an initiative titled My Melbourne.

Our Correspondent

The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) has brought together filmmakers Kabir Khan, Imtiaz Ali, Rima Das, and Onir for an initiative called My Melbourne.

The acclaimed filmmakers will team up with selected Victorian filmmaking crews to mentor and later film shorts on different themes like race, disability, sexuality, and gender. These will be combined into an anthology film titled My Melbourne for the festival in 2021, and also be entered on the international film circuit.

Mitu Bhowmick Lange, festival director at IFFM, stated, “This exciting initiative gives Victorian screen practitioners a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with some of the world’s best film makers and also develop relationships with them. I am delighted and thrilled that IFFM has secured four of India’s most diverse voices of independent cinema for these workshops and the creation of four short films on the core values of IFFM – diversity and inclusivity.”

The festival is calling for authentic migrant experiences and story ideas. Once selected, the four teams will be given a budget to create an original script, with emphasis on creativity, originality and pure storytelling. Writer-director Onir will workshop and develop the selected stories and oversee pre-production with the teams via Zoom.  Once travel restrictions are lifted and eased, the four filmmakers will travel to Melbourne to shoot the films.

National award-winner Rima Das said it was an honour to receive the invitation.  “It’s essential for filmmakers to examine the world around them from the prism of its socio-political context,” she added. “The short film will allow us to bring in authentic lived-in stories that often get lost in popular culture.”

Kabir Khan added that he was excited about this new opportunity and experience, “Celebration of our diversity is a dialogue that should be fostered in current times. In the post-pandemic world, being one with each other in a community should be the single most important takeaway. The virus has shown us the futility of everything else.”

Imtiaz Ali shared that the last few months have taught us all many life lessons. He said, “Viewing stories of identity in the context of the diverse society that we are all a part of is quintessential for us to chart our path ahead. I am looking forward to meeting a new set of people and understanding their life stories for the screen.”

“The role of a filmmaker I believe is to trigger a dialogue,” Onir stated. “The world we are living in calls for fresh discussions on inclusivity and diversity to reiterate strong value systems for our audiences. I am glad for the opportunity and hope it’s a step in the right direction.”

Related topics

Indian Film Festival of Melbourne