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Indian Film Festival of Melbourne moves to October-November

The Australian festival will also kickstart a virtual event titled IFFM Film Club where Indian filmmakers will talk about their films.

Our Correspondent

The 11th edition of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) announced that the festival this year has been pushed ahead from August to October–November because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The festival will be held according to the Australian public health guidelines for a compact schedule from 30 October to 7 November.

The IFFM awards gala have been postponed until next year but the short film competition and the popular dance competition will continue. The dance competition is due to be held on 31 October, depending on the easing of restrictions. The festival will also kickstart a virtual event titled IFFM Film Club where Indian filmmakers will talk about their films.

Movie buffs can enroll for a masterclass with filmmakers in the film club which will be facilitated by journalist Rajeev Masand. The event will be like a book club wherein participants will be asked to watch a classic film and then discuss it with others, including a noted filmmaker. These talks are open for registration to festival goers and can accommodate 100 early bird users.

In previous editions, film personalities like Rajkumar Hirani, Rani Mukerji, Karan Johar, Rima Das, Zoya Akhtar, Onir, Vijay Sethupathi, Nag Ashwin and Kabir Khan have participated in masterclasses.

Festival Director Mitu Bhowmick Lange said in a statement, “This is a unique intimate way for film lovers to stay engaged, entertained and educated while at home in these unprecedented times. We already have a strong line up of filmmakers from various parts of India. Well-known film journalist Rajeev Masand will moderate the session as he opens the film and its maker to a world of questions from curious fans.”

The Australian minister for creative industries Martin Foley also added, “[Physical] distancing doesn’t mean social disconnection and through the screen we can continue to be inspired by stories and perspectives from across the globe. I applaud the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne team for its commitment to continuing to bring the IFFM spirit to film lovers and for pivoting to a new model for 2020 in response to these challenging times.”

Earlier this year in February, the festival hosted an event in Mumbai where Shah Rukh Khan awarded a four-year scholarship in his name to Thrissur’s Gopika Kottantharayil Bhasi, as a part of its long association with Melbourne’s La Trobe University.

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