2020 has been the year of first time ever for most everyone and it's no different for this year's Indian Film Festival of Melbourne. Streaming online from 23-30 October 2020, it's FREE to watch and enjoy Australia wide from the comfort of your home! There are over 50 films in 17 languages, from documentaries to short films to Australian and world premieres of stories about race, gender, love, equality, hope and much more.
Head to the website to check out the program and stay in touch via Facebook for updates. If the link does not take you to the program, keep in mind that you need to sign up, then log in, to view this year's offerings. However, this action is not necessary if you're just browsing. In the spirit of giving back, this year IFFM are recognising community heroes who have contributed to helping Victories, especially during this pandemic. #IFFMHero Nominations are open now and you can nominate anyone, including yourself, who is your hero, and let them know why. Take a look at some examples here. Share your entries via firstname.lastname@example.org or publish it on your social media page and tag #IFFM#IFFMHero
The Festival opens up with two outstanding films that address disability (Natkhat) and gender equality (Habaddi). In Habaddi, a 10 year old orphan with a speech impediment learns that his village's school Kabaddi team are travelling to Mumbai. It's his ticket there where he hopes to meet the girl he adores. However, his stammering has made him shy away from social interaction - so how will he overcome it before the approaching deadline of the tournament?
Natkhat is about a mother who teaches her 7 year old about gender equality through bedtime stories. Learning her son is gravitating towards disregard for the other gender just like the men in her family, she hopes to change the course of this appalling frame of mind.
You'll find the best mainstream films from the last year under Hurrah Bollywood and art-house and cinema in regional Indian languages under Beyond Bollywood. Films from the Subcontinent cover Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal, whereas Film India World contains films that cross international borders. The Documentary section is also game strong with a few critically acclaimed docos in the mix.
In the Children's Corner, aside from Habaddi, you have Dharan and Karuppudurai and in Animation, Wade and Watchmaker at Time's End. Dharan is a story of a 6 and 8 year old who learn to understand each other's culture, only to have their friendship tested by a proposed dam sanctioned by one's father, forcing involuntary migration on the other's father. Karuppudurai is the burden bestowed upon a family by their bedridden 80 year old family member. After overhearing their hardships in dealing with his medical expenses, he decides to run away from home. He befriends an 8 year old who helps him rediscover life and motivates him.
Wade is a climate change nightmare, animated and set in Kolkata. As sea levels rise, humans and tigers face off on the flooded streets. Watchmaker at Time's End has a watchmaker with a failed marriage struggling to make the perfect watch to keep up with the times, which is uncomfortably relative. Included in the selection of films are Tributes honouring the work of 3 actors who passed away in the last year; Rishi Kapoor, Sushant Singh Rajput and the well-known Irrfan Khan who has been in films that definitely crossed the seas Beyond Bollywood.