Monday, March 8, 2021

Woman of substance

IFFM Director Mitu Bhowmick Lange becomes first Australian-Indian woman to win the prestigious Jill Robb Award

Reading Time: 4 minutesMitu Lange.Indian Link
This holiday season, Mitu Bhowmick Lange, Director of the Indian Film Festival Of Melbourne (IFFM), had much to celebrate as she became the first Australian-Indian woman to receive the prestigious Jill Robb Award.

Mitu took home the Screen Leadership Award for Outstanding Leadership, Achievement, and Service to the Victorian Screen Industry and for fostering cultural collaboration.
Jill Robb was the inaugural CEO of the Victorian Film Corporation (now Film Victoria) and a member of the Film Victoria Board from 1983-1989.
As a producer and executive, Jill has been a role model for many screen practitioners, particularly women working in the screen sector.
Mitu is also the director Mind Blowing Films, a film production and distribution company that distributes Indian films throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Mind Blowing Films is three-time winner of the highest grossing foreign language film award at the Australian International Movie Convention for the films Dhoom 3, PK and Dangal.
Mitu’s passion and commitment as a proponent of Indian cinema in Australia is visible in her impressive drive in leading IFFM to its current form.
Since its inception in 2010, IFFM has progressed in both scope and scale under her direction.
Mitu Lange.Indian Link
It is an initiative of the Victorian Government that aims to strengthen ties between the Indian film industry and Victoria.

IFFM was the first Indian event to win the 2016 Melbourne Award in the category of Contribution to Multiculturalism by a Corporation.
IFFM aims to showcase the diversity, quality and vibrancy of cinema from India and the sub-continent.
Every year, the Festival attracts a line-up of Indian film industry celebrities and stars.
It also provides a platform for up-and-coming filmmakers, dancers and performers to showcase their work.
In December 2017, the International Film Business Awards (IFBA), supported by the Government of Telangana, honoured IFFM with the title of Most Popular Festival Abroad.
Most recently, the Jill Robb award added another impressive accolade to Mitu’s profile. She was understandably elated to be recognised for the prestigious honour.
“The award is decided by Film Victoria and to be honest I had no idea how it came about,” said Mitu, flashing an infectious smile.
“I was happily travelling in Bombay when I got a call informing me about the honour. What made my heart burst with pride and joy was that I am the first Indian to win this – especially when the past winners have been legends like Sue Maslin, producer of Dress Maker, Oscar-nominated Jill Bilcock and other women who I really respect and admire,” she said.
Mitu’s creative and commercially astute approach helped her in overcoming the many challenges that came her way.
“My favourite song is Tagore’s Ekla Chalo Re, and that’s my mantra in life as well,” said Mitu.
According to her, the one characteristic that has always helped her is tenacity and moving forward no matter what.
“The biggest challenge is usually to ensure that we are able to live up to everyone’s expectations. As the festival is growing and getting such immense love and following, there is more pressure on all of us to keep doing better, and live up to the love,” she added.
Mitu’s recipe for putting together a successful show is to create a programme that has something for everyone and is a balance between arthouse and pop culture with a lot of fun and informative and interactive events.
Not one to rest on laurels, Mitu claims she has many goals to achieve.
“I want to make IFFM stronger and start a small film fund around the Festival. I also want the initiative of ‘Educate the Educators’ to become stronger and more widespread,” she said.
“Educate the Educators was launched by our ambassador Vidya Balan, as a platform to help equip educators with the mind and skill-set required to address the teaching needs of special needs children. We had a good outcome in Delhi with our pilot program and we want to build on that,” shared Mitu.
According to Mitu, Mind Blowing Films have now started releasing films in Fiji, along with Australia and NZ, so she needs to build on that and also get her dream film up and going.
Asked to provide a message for the women leaders out there who wish to break the glass ceiling and the bamboo ceiling, Mitu said, “Sky should be the only ceiling that can contain us. If we believe and push forward no matter what, the ceilings do stop existing. I truly believe in that and live that!”

- Advertisement -
Previous articleA celebration of diversity
Next articleSydney by night
Preeti Jabbal
Preeti Jabbal
Preeti is the Melbourne Coordinator of Indian Link.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Ep 9: What do young Indians want from love?

Growing up in Indian culture, most of us know that love has never been as popular as marriage. Even in the movies, the main...

Ep 8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s...

To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic...

Latest News

mitali modi with kamala harris

Shattering glass ceilings: Mitali Modi on working with Kamala Harris

  Emboldened to take action in an era of heightened political polarisation, racial unrest and an uncontainable pandemic, young Indian American Mitali Modi talks here...
The free dialysis centre in Delhi's Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. Source: @mssirsa/Twitter

Free-of-charge dialysis hospital at Delhi’s Bangla Sahib Gurudwara

  A 101-bedded dedicated free-of-charge kidney dialysis centre is up and running at the premises of Gurudwara Bangla Sahib in New Delhi. The Delhi Sikh Gurudwara...

We asked children around the world what they knew about COVID

  During the pandemic, children have been separated from family and friends, schools have been closed and there have been limitations on important activities, such...

Flexible work arrangements help women, but only if they are also...

  Flexible workplace policies designed to improve gender gaps in employment and pay might actually make things worse for women. Flexible work has been on offer...
Guess The Song rj ekta

LISTEN: Will you be the one to correctly guess this tune?

  Are you good with guessing tunes? Keen ear for rhythm and beats? RJ Ekta might've been able to stump you with this one. She recently...