The enigma that is… INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL OF MELBOURNE – 14th Edition | 11-20 August 2023

 The enigma that is… INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL OF MELBOURNE – 14th Edition | 11-20 August 2023

The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Awards Night is set to be an unforgettable evening, graced by a dazzling array of India’s biggest stars, acclaimed filmmakers, and renowned international celebrities.

The red carpet in the heart of Melbourne will welcome some of the most acclaimed names in Indian cinema. Fans eagerly await the presence of Kartik Aaryan, Bhumi Pednekar, Rani Mukerji, Shabana Azmi, Mrunal Thakur, Karan Johar, and Saiyami Kher, among other luminaries. For the complete guest list, check out the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne website, and stay tuned for more exciting announcements.

The charming and energetic Rithvik Dhanjani returns as the host for this spectacular evening, promising to keep the audience entertained between award reveals and captivating performances. The night will be a delightful celebration, featuring live dance and music performances, rejoicing in the joy and power of cinema.

The prestigious Hamer Hall in Melbourne will witness the gathering of film industry luminaries to honour the best of Indian and subcontinent cinema. Esteemed local and international experts, with their unique perspectives and expertise, will judge and select the award recipients.

With dazzling performances and captivating stories, this event will undoubtedly showcase the finest in entertainment and celebrate the richness of Indian cinema. Get ready to immerse yourself in the excitement of this extraordinary celebration!

History of IIFM

The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) is an annual event held in Melbourne, Australia, dedicated to showcasing Indian cinema to Australian audiences. The festival was founded in 2010 and has grown to become a significant platform for Indian films, including Bollywood productions, indie movies, documentaries, and regional cinema. The festival also features various competitions, interactive events, and cultural celebrations.

  1. 2010: The inaugural IFFM showcased a selection of Hindi films, including works by actress Rani Mukerji such as “Bunty Aur Babli,” “Black,” “Hum Tum,” and more.
  2. 2011: The festival featured over 30 films, including 15 Australian premieres. It also set a Guinness World Record for the ‘Largest Bollywood Dance’ with 1500 participants.
  3. 2012: The festival curated and screened 40 films, encompassing modern Indian cinema, Bengali films, and popular Indian movies.
  4. 2013: This year’s festival highlighted a Bollywood dance competition and featured films like “Bombay Talkies,” “Sholay,” and “Talaash.”
  5. 2014: The festival recognized notable films and performances, including “Dhoom 3,” “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag,” “Queen,” and “The Lunchbox.”
  6. 2015: IFFM extended to a two-week duration and focused on the theme of equality. It introduced interactive master classes, awards night, short film competitions, and incorporated Indian Independence day celebrations.
  7. 2016: The festival opened with “Parched” and closed with “Angry Indian Goddesses.” Panel discussions on women in cinema and a master class on Bollywood and body positivity were also included.
  8. 2017: The festival awarded films like “Lipstick Under My Burkha,” “Dangal,” “Sardar Udham,” and honoured Aishwarya Rai Bachchan with the Westpac IFFM Excellence in Global Cinema Award.
  9. 2019: Guests included Shah Rukh Khan, Karan Johar, Zoya Akhtar, Tabu, and more. Notable winners included “Gully Boy” for Best Film, Vijay Sethupathi for Best Actor, and Tabu for Best Actress.
  10. 2020: The pandemic led to a delay in the festival, but it still included around 50 films in 17 languages.
  11. 2021: The festival showcased 127 films in 27 languages, with awards for films like “Soorarai Pottru,” “Sherni,” and “The Great Indian Kitchen.”
  12. 2022: The IFFM continued its tradition, celebrating films such as “83,” “Sardar Udham,” and “Jalsa.” It featured numerous awards, including Best Performance Male, Best Performance Female, Best Director, and more.

Throughout its history, the IFFM has evolved into a dynamic platform that celebrates Indian cinema’s diverse range and provides a space for dialogue, recognition, and appreciation within the Australian community.

Celebrating Excellence: Best Actors, Actresses, and Directors at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM)

The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) has been an annual celebration of Indian cinema, showcasing exceptional talents in acting and filmmaking. Since its inception, the festival has recognized outstanding performances by actors and actresses, as well as the visionary direction of filmmakers. Let’s take a journey through the years and celebrate the best actors, actresses, and directors at IFFM:


  • Best Actor: Farhan Akhtar for “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”
    Farhan Akhtar’s portrayal of legendary athlete Milkha Singh in the biographical sports drama “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” was hailed as one of his career-best performances.
  • Best Actress: Kangana Ranaut for “Queen”
    Kangana Ranaut’s spirited and heartwarming performance as Rani Mehra, a young woman on a solo European honeymoon trip after being jilted, earned her the Best Actress award.
  • Best Director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra for “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”
    Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s direction in “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” was lauded for its emotional depth, storytelling, and the way it captured the life of the iconic athlete.


  • Best Actor: Irrfan Khan for “Piku”
    Irrfan Khan’s portrayal of Rana Chaudhary, a taxi company owner and friend to the titular character, in “Piku” showcased his naturalistic acting style and received widespread acclaim.
  • Best Actress: Bhumi Pednekar for “Dum Laga Ke Haisha”
    Bhumi Pednekar’s debut performance as Sandhya in the quirky romantic comedy “Dum Laga Ke Haisha” impressed the audience and critics alike.
  • Best Director: Shoojit Sircar for “Piku”
    Shoojit Sircar’s direction in “Piku” was commended for its realistic and heartwarming depiction of a father-daughter relationship.


  • Best Actor: Nawazuddin Siddiqui for “Raman Raghav 2.0”
    Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s intense portrayal of a psychopathic serial killer in “Raman Raghav 2.0” left a lasting impact on the audience.
  • Best Actress: Sonam Kapoor for “Neerja”
    Sonam Kapoor’s performance as the courageous flight attendant Neerja Bhanot in the biographical drama “Neerja” earned her critical acclaim.
  • Best Director: Leena Yadav for “Parched”
    Leena Yadav’s direction in “Parched” was celebrated for its exploration of women’s issues in rural India and its sensitive storytelling.


  • Best Actor: Sushant Singh Rajput for “Dhoni”
    Sushant Singh Rajput’s portrayal of Indian cricket icon Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the biographical sports drama “Dhoni” was a standout performance.
  • Best Actress: Konkona Sen Sharma for “Lipstick Under My Burkha”
    Konkona Sen Sharma’s powerful role as Shireen in “Lipstick Under My Burkha,” a film that delves into the hidden desires of four women, earned her accolades.
  • Best Director: Nitesh Tiwari for “Dangal”
    Nitesh Tiwari’s direction in “Dangal,” a biographical sports drama based on the life of wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat, was praised for its inspiring narrative.


  • Best Actor: Vijay Sethupathi for “Super Deluxe”
    Vijay Sethupathi’s versatile performance in the anthology film “Super Deluxe” garnered him the Best Actor award.
  • Best Actress: Tabu for “Andhadhun”
    Tabu’s impactful role as Simi in the thriller “Andhadhun” showcased her impeccable acting skills.
  • Best Director: Sriram Raghavan for “Andhadhun”
    Sriram Raghavan’s direction in “Andhadhun” was recognized for its gripping storytelling and suspenseful narrative.

These are just a few examples of the remarkable talents that have been celebrated at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne over the years. Each year, the festival continues to honour actors, actresses, and directors who have left an indelible mark on Indian cinema with their exceptional performances and visionary storytelling. As the festival looks toward the future, audiences eagerly anticipate discovering the next generation of talented artists and filmmakers.

Iconic Moments in the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne’s History

The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) has been a platform for cinematic excellence, cultural celebration, and creative exchange since its inception in 2010. Throughout its history, the festival has witnessed numerous iconic moments that have left a lasting impact on audiences and the film industry alike.

Celebrating Diversity in Cinema

One of the most significant aspects of IFFM is its dedication to celebrating the diversity of Indian cinema. The festival has showcased films from various Indian languages, allowing audiences to experience the rich tapestry of cultures and stories that make up the Indian subcontinent. This inclusivity has led to moments of cross-cultural appreciation and understanding.

World Premieres and Exclusive Screenings

IFFM has been a platform for premiering some of the most anticipated films from India. The festival’s ability to secure world premieres and exclusive screenings of films has generated excitement among cinephiles and industry professionals. These premieres provide filmmakers with a unique opportunity to engage directly with international audiences and receive immediate feedback.

Dialogues on Social Issues

Many films showcased at IFFM have tackled pressing social issues, sparking important conversations about topics such as gender equality, LGBTQ+ rights, mental health, and more. These films have not only entertained but also acted as catalysts for change, using cinema as a medium to address pertinent societal concerns.

Interaction with Film Celebrities

IFFM has welcomed a multitude of film celebrities, including actors, directors, producers, and more. Q&A sessions, panel discussions, and masterclasses led by these luminaries have provided audiences with insights into the filmmaking process, creative inspirations, and the industry’s inner workings.

Showcasing International Collaboration

The festival has also highlighted collaborations between Indian filmmakers and talents from around the world. These collaborations showcase the global reach of Indian cinema and underscore the power of storytelling to transcend geographical boundaries.

Recognising Excellence

The awards presented at IFFM are not just accolades but also symbols of artistic excellence. Recognizing the best in various categories, including acting, directing, screenwriting, and more, these awards have become markers of quality within the industry.

Promotion of Emerging Talent

IFFM’s dedication to nurturing emerging talent extends beyond filmmakers to include actors, writers, and other industry professionals. The festival’s various workshops, networking opportunities, and talent showcases have provided a platform for emerging artists to connect with established figures in the industry.

Cultural Exchange Beyond Films

In addition to film screenings, IFFM has also celebrated Indian culture through various events, exhibitions, performances, and culinary experiences. These activities provide audiences with a holistic and immersive experience of Indian art, traditions, and creativity.


The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne’s journey is marked by moments that have left an indelible mark on the festival’s history and the cinematic landscape. From celebrating diversity and addressing social issues to fostering creative exchange and recognizing talent, IFFM continues to be a dynamic platform that shapes the way audiences perceive and engage with Indian cinema.

August Delights: A Preview of Upcoming Events in Australia

As the calendar flips to August, Australia prepares to welcome a diverse array of events that promise to captivate, entertain, and educate. From cultural celebrations to artistic showcases, this month offers a plethora of experiences that cater to various interests and communities. Let’s take a sneak peek at some of the exciting upcoming events across the country, curated to make your August a memorable one.

Indian Film Festival of Melbourne

Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM)

August 10 – August 22 | Melbourne |

Kicking off the month is the renowned Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, a cinematic extravaganza that celebrates the vibrant Indian film industry. Showcasing an impressive lineup of Indian films, documentaries, and short films, the festival provides a platform for both established and emerging talents. Attendees can immerse themselves in the magic of Indian cinema, interact with filmmakers, and enjoy a diverse range of screenings and special events.

Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF)

August 4 – August 21 | Melbourne |

For cinephiles seeking a broader cinematic experience, the Melbourne International Film Festival is a must-attend event. With a rich selection of international and Australian films spanning various genres, MIFF offers a captivating journey through the world of cinema. From thought-provoking documentaries to avant-garde features, this festival promises to be a haven for film enthusiasts.

Indian Independence Day Celebrations

August 15 | Across Australia

As the Indian community commemorates the nation’s independence, various events and gatherings will take place across Australia. From flag-hoisting ceremonies to cultural performances, these celebrations not only honour India’s history but also showcase its diverse culture and heritage. Keep an eye out for events organized by local councils, community organizations, and Indian Consulates, all of which offer an opportunity to join in the festivities and connect with fellow community members.

Splendour in the Grass

August 19 – August 21 | North Byron Parklands, Byron Bay |

Music lovers are in for a treat with the Splendour in the Grass music festival. Set against the picturesque backdrop of Byron Bay, this event boasts an impressive lineup of local and international artists across various genres. From indie rock to electronic beats, festival-goers can indulge in three days of non-stop music, art, and culture in a vibrant atmosphere.

Darwin Festival

August 4 – August 21 | Darwin |

Up in the Northern Territory, the Darwin Festival offers a unique blend of arts, music, and cultural experiences. With a focus on showcasing the region’s diverse talents, this event features a mix of live performances, visual arts exhibitions, and culinary delights. From traditional Indigenous performances to contemporary art installations, the festival captures the essence of Darwin’s vibrant creative scene.

August in Australia is set to be a month of discovery, inspiration, and celebration, with events that cater to a wide range of interests. Whether you’re a film enthusiast, music lover, culture buff, or simply seeking a memorable experience, these upcoming events offer a chance to immerse yourself in the best that Australia has to offer. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be a part of these exciting moments that will shape the August landscape.

Garba Extravaganza: A Festive Lineup of Celebrations Sweeping Australia in August

The lively rhythms of Garba and Dandiya are set to resound across Australia this August, as the Indian community gears up for a month of vibrant dance, soulful music, and cultural celebrations. From lively dance circles to captivating music performances, these events bring together people from all walks of life to revel in the joyous spirit of Navratri. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the upcoming Garba events happening across the nation, listed in chronological order:

  • Kinjal Dave @ Netball SA
    August 11, 6:30 PM – 11:59 PM | Netball SA Stadium, Keswick Terminal SA
  • Kirtidan Gadhvi Garba Melbourne 2023
    August 11, 7:00 PM – 11:45 PM | Westside Indoor Sports, Altona North VIC
  • Umesh Barot live in Brisbane
    August 12, 6:00 PM | Spanish Centre Acacia Ridge, Acacia Ridge QLD, Australia
  • Gold Coast Garba with Jignesh Kaviraj
    August 12, 6:00 PM | Robina Community Centre, Robina QLD
  • Navratri Garba 2023 with Kirtidan Gadhvi
    August 12, 6:30 PM | Southern Districts Basketball Association, Carina QLD
  • Vhalam Navratri 2023 Melbourne
    August 12, 6:30 PM | Springers Leisure Centre, Keysborough VIC
  • Garba 2023 with Sagar Patel – LIVE in Perth
    August 12, 4:00 PM | Curtin Stadium, Bentley WA
  • Raas Rang With Bhoomi Trivedi 2023
    August 18, 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM | Whitlam Leisure Centre, Liverpool NSW
  • Jaysinh Gadhavi Thanganat Garba Utsav
    August 18, 7:00 PM | Curtin Stadium, Bentley WA
  • Aishwarya Majmudar Rangtaali 2023 – Perth
    August 18, 4:30 PM | Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, Perth WA

These are just a few of the exciting Garba events taking place across Australia in August. From Melbourne to Perth, Brisbane to Sydney, these celebrations showcase the rich cultural heritage of India through dance, music, and community gathering. Whether you’re a seasoned Garba dancer or a newcomer eager to experience the festivities, these events provide a platform to embrace the vibrant spirit of Navratri and create lasting memories. So, grab your colourful attire and get ready to dance the night away in the enchanting rhythms of Garba!

Deepak Gopalakrishnan

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