STORY: Renowned Bollywood actress Vidya Balan has yet again become the brand ambassador of Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM), the southern hemisphere’s greatest annual celebration of Indian cinema, which will take place from May 1 to May 11.
Balan, who became the face for IFFM for the third consecutive year, also announced nominations for best performances in various categories on Tuesday (March 04) in western city Mumbai in province of Maharashtra.
Director of Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, Mitu Bhowmick Lange, complimented Balan by saying that she has supported Melbourne on various occasions.
“Yes, Vidya has been brand ambassador from day one.
Q. Okay. What makes you continue Vidya, for having on board?
Well, in Melbourne, the nigh belle, which means Bollywood, she has been in addition to her skills as an actor, she has been a stunning advocate of Melbourne and at functions like this which are unscripted, stand up and support things about Melbourne.” (sic),” said Lange while addressing mediapersons in Mumbai.
This year for the first time the festival will present five international awards, in the categories of Best Performance, Best Director, Best Film, Best Indie Film and the Audience award.
This year the Best Actor nominees include Irrfan Khan for ‘The Lunchbox’, Farhan Akhtar for ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ and Rajkumar Yadav for ‘Shahid’, while best actress nominees include Deepika Padukone for ‘Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela’, Sonakshi Sinha for ‘Lootera’ and Nimrat Kaur for ‘The Lunchbox’.
Best Director nominees include Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra for ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, Ritesh Batra for ‘The Lunchbox’, Anup Singh for Punjabi movie ‘Qissa’ and Anand Gandhi for the movie ‘Ship of Theseus’ that has been released in English, Hindi, Arabic and Swedish language.
Best Film nominees include ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’, ‘The Lunchbox’, ‘Lootera’ and ‘Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela’ while best Indie (Independently produced film) film includes ‘Ship of Theseus’ and Marathi movie ‘Fandry’.
When asked if she wanted her recently released ‘Shaadi ke Side Effects’ to be a part of the film festival next year, Balan said any performance can be nominated if it a creates a deep impression on the minds of the audience.
“I don’t think it works like that, you know (Hindi movie) Ghanchakkar is not amongst the nominees of this year. I think if a performance or a film is worthy of being nominated, it will be nominated and let us hope ‘Shaadi ke Side Effects’ makes a mark,” said Balan.
The awards will be judged by a prominent jury comprising of Australian film director Philip Noyce, Indian filmmaker Raju Hirani, south Indian movie actress Suhaasini Maniratnam, Australian film editor Jill Bilcock, veteran Indian actress Simi Garewal and Indian film critic and entertainment reporter Rajeev Masand.
The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne that brings the best of Indian and regional cinema, will host prominent Indian filmmakers and screen professionals and has been generating huge interest and value for businessmen and communities in the country.