Bollywood's popular, indie movies to compete at Melbourne film fest

Jul 16, 2016 IANS

New Delhi: At the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM), to be held next month, Bollywood's popular films like "Bajirao Mastani" and "Fan" and indie dramas like "Parched" and "Thithi" will vie for awards.

The 11-­day festival, which will get underway on August 11, will have gala events and masterclasses with some of India's notable talent. There will also be over 50 films screenings in 17 languages across four Melbourne venues at the fifth edition of the event.

In the Best Actor category, Ranveer Singh ("Bajirao Mastani"), Manoj Bajpayee ("Aligarh"), Shah Rukh Khan ("Fan) and Nawazuddin Siddiqui ("Raman Raghav 2.0") are in competition, while Sonam Kapoor ("Neerja"), Deepika Padukone ("Bajirao Mastani"), Radhika Apte ("Parched") and Rituparna Sengupta ("Rajkahani") are locking horns for the Best Actress title at the gala.

Among those competing for the Best Film tag are "Neerja", "Kapoor & Sons", "Bajirao Mastani" and "Raman Raghav 2.0", the nominees for the Best Indie Film are "Parched" (Leena Yadav), "Thithi" (Raam Reddy), "Ottaal" (Jayaraaj), "Kothanodi" (Bhaskar Hazarika) and "Angry Indian Goddesses" (Pan Nalin).

Competitors for the Best Director include Sanjay Leela Bhansali ("Bajirao Mastani"), Ram Madhvani ("Neerja"), Shakun Batra ("Kapoor & Sons"), Leena Yadav ("Parched") and Raam Reddy ("Thithi").

Mitu Bhowmick Lange, Festival Director, said in a statement: "With some of the most amazing works showcased, we have tough competition at the IFFM this year. From 'Fan' to Bajirao Mastani to the indie films, we have the best films in pipeline for this year."

The central theme for this year's IFFM, which has actress Vidya Balan as its ambassador, is women empowerment. Also, veteran actor Rishi Kapoor will be honoured with the Excellence in Cinema Award at the gala.

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