The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) announced today that four of India’s most popular and prolific filmmakers will work with selected Victorian filmmaking teams to mentor and then shoot short films on the themes of Race, Disability, Sexuality and Gender. The shorts will be compiled into one film entitled ‘My Melbourne ‘which will premiere at IFFM 2021 before traveling on the international film circuit. The four filmmakers are Kabir Khan, Rima Das, Onir, and Imtiaz Ali.
IFFM Festival Director Mitu Bhowmick Lange said, “This exciting initiative gives Victorian screen practitioners a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with some of the world’s best filmmakers and also develop relationships with them. I am delighted and thrilled that IFFM has secured four of India’s most diverse voices of independent cinema for these workshops and the creation of four short films on the core values of IFFM – diversity, and inclusivity.”
The Festival is now calling for authentic migrant experience story ideas. Each of the four selected teams will be assigned a budget to create an original script, striving for creativity, originality, and pure storytelling. Kabir Khan, Imtiaz Ali, Rima Das, and Onir will workshop and develop the selected stories and oversee pre-production with the teams via zoom. Once travel restrictions are lifted, the four filmmakers will travel to Melbourne to shoot the films.
Rima Das said, “It’s an honor to receive this invitation. It’s essential for filmmakers to examine the world around them from the prism of its socio-political context. The short film will allow us to bring in authentic lived-in stories that often get lost in popular culture.”
Kabir Khan says, “Celebration of our diversity is a dialogue that should be fostered in current times. In the post-pandemic world, being one with each other in a community should be the single most important takeaway. The virus has shown us the futility of everything else. I am excited at the opportunity presented by IFFM and looking forward to the experience.”
Imtiaz Ali adds, “The last few months have been full of life lessons for all of us. Viewing stories of identity in the context of the diverse society that we are all a part of is quintessential for us to chart our path ahead. I am looking forward to meeting a new set of people and understanding their life stories for the screen.”
Onir said, “The role of a filmmaker I believe is to trigger a dialogue. The world we are living in calls for fresh discussions on inclusivity and diversity to reiterate strong value systems for our audiences. I am glad for the opportunity and hope it’s a step in the right direction.”