The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne enters into its sixth year, this time with Women Empowerment as its central theme. The festival commences from the 11th August till the 20th August 2016. The brand ambassador of the Indian Festival of Melbourne is Vidya Balan and will witness attendance of  other incredibly celebrities who would be gracing the occasion. The 11-day festival presents a world-class program overflowing with gala events, master classes with India’s leading film figures, and over 50 films screenings in 17 languages across four Melbourne venues.

This year’s opening film is going to Parched by Leena Yadav and starring Radhika Apte as one of the leads. “Parched is my reaction to a misogynistic society that treats women as objects of sex, where their greatest role is to serve men. Giving my women characters a voice that observes, absorbs and reacts was what drove me to write this drama about ordinary women who are driven to extraordinary ends. It is a huge honour to be the Opening film at MIFF. This is also because the journey of Parched started in Australia. I was on a jury of a festival in Brisbane and that is where I started writing Parched. And that is also when I attended a talk moderated by Mitu Bhowmick Lange. There is a design to the way things pan out! Thank you IFFM 2016,” said director Leena Yadav.

This year, IFFM is going to have Rishi Kapoor as the chief guest who would also be doing the honour of hoisting the Indian flag on the festival of Indian Independence Day in Melbourne. On being asked about his thoughts on representing India at the festival, Rishi Kapoor said,  “To represent one’s country,that too in a foreign land and unfurl the national flag is a pride like no other. I look forward to being a part of the film festival this August in Melbourne”. 

The festival will also be attended by various other Bollywood celebrities one of them being Richa Chadha. Richa has been invited to host a masterclass at the festival which would be attended by various film enthusiasts across Melbourne. Richa’s masterclass will throw light on some varied things including the growing changes of women’s roles in both mainstream and indie films. On being selected as a host for talking on such issues, Richa said  “It feels awesome to be invited to speak on behalf of Indian cinema. There’s a huge expat population in Australia and I am excited to meet them. Looking forward to discussing cinema at such a platform”. 

Various other programs are going to be held at the festival along with the ‘Angry Indian Goddesses’ being the closing film which took over Indian audiences and international markets by storm last year.