The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) announced the winners of the inaugural IFFM Awards, at a sold out gala at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre,recently.
Amitabh Bachchan, the living Bollywood legend and the special guest at the event, was recognised with the IFFM International Screen Icon Award. DirectorRakeyshOmprakashMehra’sSports biopic‘BhaagMilkhaBhaag’,which follows the life of one of India’s greatest living athletes and Olympian, MilkhaSingh, dominated the evening, taking every award which it was nominated for – Best Film, Western Union Best Director and Best Actor (Male) for Farhan Akhtar.
‘The Lunchbox’, directed by RiteshBatra, won Best Indie Film and Best Actor for Irrfan Khan (shared with Farhan Akhtar, ‘BhaagMilkhaBhaag’). ‘The Lunchbox’is set to premiere at IFFM on 10thMay and will be releasingin July,in Australia. KanganaRanaut won Best Actor (Female) for ‘Queen’ and director Anand Gandhi was given a Special Jury Commendation for ‘Ship of Theseus’.
Bollywood Action film‘Dhoom:3’was awarded with the Telstra People’s Choice Prize for the Indian film with the highest Australian Box Office revenue in 2013.
Leading the panel of judges were prominent film figures from Australia and India, including Phillip Noyce, RajkumarHirani, SuhasiniManiratnam, Jill Bilcock, Simi Garewal and Rajeev Masand. Directors RakeyshOmprakashMehra, RiteshBatra, Vijay Krishna Acharya and actors Farhan Akhtar &KanganaRanaut were present at the event to receive their awards.
IFFM is a Victorian Government initiative that aims to strengthen ties between the Indian film industry and Victoria, with VidyaBalanhaving been the brand ambassador since its inception. The awards have been launched this year, and the festival is scheduled to be held from 1st – 11th May.