The 2014 Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) is proud to announce the establishment of an international competition in 2014 with the presentation of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Awards. The festival is the southern hemisphere's greatest annual celebration of Indian cinema and takes place from Thursday 1 to Friday 11 May.
The inaugural of Indian Film Festival Awards (IFFM Awards) will honour films in five categories: Best Film, Best Performance, Best Director, Best Independent Film and the People's Choice Award. This will be the first Indian cinema awards of its kind in Australia.
Festival Director Mitu Bhowmick-Lange says, "We are thrilled to announce the inaugural of Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Awards. The Awards continue to build the festival's reputation as an important international showcase for contemporary Indian cinema."
A select number of narrative feature films will be invited into competition. The films will be judged by an International Jury of prominent Indian and Australian film industry figures from a wide range of backgrounds. The stellar list includes award-winning Australian director Phillip Noyce; world renowned Australian film editor Jill Bilcock (Shekhar Kapur's upcoming Paani) and 2013 Gold Jury member for the Mumbai Film Festival; celebrated Indian film maker, Rajkumar Hirani; Indian actress, producer and television presenter Simi Garewal; Rajeev Masand, one of India's most respected film critics, and Indian actress, director, writer and producer, Suhasini Maniratnam. Winners of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Awards will be announced at the Festival.
India's most revered actress, Vidya Balan returns in 2014 as Festival Ambassador. This caps off a stellar year for the actress. Vidya was a 2013 Cannes Jury Member and in January was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award given by the Indian government. Vidya Balan will be in Melbourne to launch the festival program on March 28. In 2014, the festival presents a world-class program of films across three Melbourne cinemas.