Welcome, Anil Kapoor!

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The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne announces its 2015 program with Anil Kapoor as special guest

Melbourne’s Indian community is getting ready to say “Welcome” to Bollywood star Anil Kapoor in August this year.
This of course is the name of one of his all-time top-grossing blockbuster films (the sequel of which, Welcome Back, is set for a September release).
Anil Kapoor, who the mainstream community know thanks to Slumdog Millionaire, will be in Melbourne as a special guest of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM), which takes place 14-27 August.
The event has become Melbourne’s – indeed Australia’s – flagship annual Bollywood event, which brings to our shores films as well as film personalities from India’s larger than life cinema world.
Anil Kapoor will head a long list of celebrities this year, including his daughter fashionista Sonam Kapoor, Imran Khan, Kangana Ranaut and Fawad Khan. IFFM regulars Rajkumar Hirani and Simi Garewal will make an appearance this year again, as will film-makers Shonali Bose (Margarita With a Straw) and Nagesh Kukunoor, whose latest film Dhanak won the Grand Prix at the Berlin Film Festival this year.
The Indian Independence Day celebrations in Melbourne on 15 August this year, you can be sure, will be littered with stardust. Anil himself will take part in a major event at Federation Square alongside the High Commissioner Navdeep Suri, and many notables from the government in Victoria.
Don’t be surprised if many Indian nationals from across Australia feel a sudden patriotic urge to see the cherished tiranga unfurl in Melbourne this year!
The theme of the IFFM this year is Equality – among the races and the sexes and the social classes.
Festival Director Mitu Bhowmick Lange said, “Indian filmmakers, from independent short film makers to our most powerful directors, turn their gaze to issues of freedom and equality and in the contemporary world and celebrate the diversity that defines us all.”
The schedule lists Umrika as the opening film, and the world premiere of political thriller Phantom as the closing screening, with some 45 features and documentaries in various categories such as Hurrah Bollywood, Beyond Bollywood, From the Subcontinent, Girl Power, Film India World and Master Stroke.
These include your usual Bollywood fare such as Haider, PK, Piku and the Tamil Kaaka Muttai (The Crow’s Egg) which had successful screenings at the Sydney Film Festival.
But it is the growing LGBTQI community in India that has sent in the interesting work, including Nannu Avanalla… Avalu (I am Not He… But She), Unfreedom and Tell Me A Story.
Check out also Indophile Australian film-maker Paul Cox’s documentary from India, Calcutta, and a tribute to Chandigarh sculptor The Kingdom of Nek Chand.
The gala Awards Night will be held on 15 August.
The usual IFFM events such as the Short Film competition, dance contest and masterclasses will be held again. Meanwhile, another gala this year is a fashion show featuring designer Anamika Khanna and Gaurav Gupta.
Come August, the Indian community’s annual 14-day date with Bollywood stars will be on!

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