The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IIMF) has declared that the 2020 edition has been postponed, with dates rescheduled from August to October due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. IFFM 2020’s program will be organized in line with public health guidance, with a program of a compact schedule that will be conducted with a duration of over a week from October 30 to November 7.
This month, the festival is commencing a new event, the IFFM Film Club, which will feature some of the leading filmmakers in India exploring their work. The organizers made a statement, “The festival is retaining the Short Film Competition and the popular dance competition (to be held on October 31, pending easing of restrictions) but the much anticipated IFFM Awards Gala will be postponed till 2021.”
The festival will ask the participants to watch the classic film and then will provide an opportunity to discuss the film at the virtual club with the filmmakers. It will function as a book club. IFFM Festival Director Mitu Bhowmick Lange said this is an attempt for movie buffs to stay “engaged, entertained and educated” while at home in these unprecedented times of COVID pandemic.
“We already have a strong lineup of filmmakers from various parts of India. Well-known film journalist Rajeev Masand will moderate the session as he opens the film and its maker to a world of questions from curious fans,” he said.
Minister for creative industries, Martin Foley, lauded the IFFM team for their efforts. He believes that social distancing doesn’t mean social disconnection and through the screen, we can continue to be inspired by stories and perspectives from across the globe. “I applaud the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne team for its commitment to continuing to bring the IFFM spirit to film lovers and for pivoting to a new model for 2020 in response to these challenging times,” he said.
However it is confirmed by our sources that Shah Rukh Khan will not be attending the festival this time due to the nationwide lockdown in India and the increasing spread COVID-19 . Earlier this year, IFFM hosted an event where superstar Shah Rukh Khan awarded the four-year scholarship named after him to Gopika Kottantharayil Bhasi from Thrissur (Kerala), as a part of the festival’s long association with Melbourne’s La Trobe University.
The festival has hosted masterclasses with renowned filmmakers including Rajkumar Hirani, Karan Johar, Rima Das, Zoya Akhtar, Onir, Kabir Khan among others in its past editions.