Kabir Khan, Rima Das, Onir and Imtiaz Ali roped in by IFFM to work on My Melbourne, an anthology of short films

My Melbourne will premiere at IFFM 2021 before travelling to other international film festivals
Kabir Khan
Kabir Khan

Indian filmmakers Kabir Khan, Rima Das, Onir and Imtiaz Ali will mentor up and coming filmmakers in Melbourne to make short films on the themes of Race, Disability, Sexuality and Gender. The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) announced that these prolific filmmakers will work with selected Victorian filmmaking teams and the shorts will be compiled into one film entitled My Melbourne which will premiere at IFFM 2021 before travelling to other international film festivals.

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 a relationship 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."

Kabir Khan, Imtiaz Ali, Rima Das and Onir
Kabir Khan, Imtiaz Ali, Rima Das and Onir

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. Onir will work on and develop the selected stories and will oversee pre-production with the teams virtually.  Once travel restrictions are lifted, the four filmmakers will travel to Melbourne to shoot the films. "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," says Onir.

Rima Das who is known for her award-winning film Village Rockstars says she is excited to be part of this initiative. "It's an honour 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, who is awaiting to release his film, 1983, a biopic on India's first cricket World Cup victory, 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, whose films centre around romance with a backdrop of the evolving society says, "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."

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