The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne has announced its list of nominees for awards at the 12th edition of the festival, IFFM 2021.
IFFM, which is presented by the Victorian Government, is an annual festival that takes place in Melbourne, Australia, and showcases the best of Indian films that year.
This year, the Hindi anthology film Ludo, directed by Anurag Basu, leads the nominees list with four nominations under the categories of Best Film, Best Actor (Pankaj Tripathi, Rajkummar Rao) and Best Director.
Several other films followed with three nominations each, including Vidya Balan-starrer Sherni (Hindi), directed by Amit Masukar; the Suriya-starrer Soorarai Pottru (Tamil), directed by Sudha Kongara; Arun Karthick’s Nasir (Tamil); Ajitpal Singh’s Fire in the Mountains (Hindi); The Great Indian Kitchen (Malayalam), directed by Jeo Baby; and God on the Balcony (Assamese), directed by Biswajeet Bora.
The nominees are drawn from content released between August 2020 to July 2021.
The IFFM 2021 will be a hybrid festival with both physical events and virtual screenings. The physical events will take place between August 12 and August 21 across venues in Melbourne while the online screenings will be available from August 15 to August 30.
The award ceremony is scheduled to take place virtually.
This year, the festival has added three new categories for web series. According to a statement, the festival will recognise the best series as well as the best performances in a series under the actor and actress categories. However, the shows eligible for the awards are limited to only those platforms which are available to Australian audiences.
Ajitesh Sharma’s documentary WOMB (Women of My Billion) will be screened as part of the 2021 IFFM opening night ceremony.
WOMB follows one young woman, Srishti Bakshi, as she embarks on a monumental journey, walking nearly 4000 kilometres over 240 days, from Kanyakumari in South India to Kashmir in the North. Along the way, she meets and learns first-hand about the experiences of women from all corners of the country.
Bakshi said in a statement, “Violence against women and girls is a human rights violation. Since the outbreak of Covid-19 and the world locking down to live within four walls, emerging data and reports from those on the frontlines have shown that all types of violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, has only intensified. In this documentary we celebrate ordinary women who show extraordinary courage to rise above their limitations and challenge deeply entrenched gender norms. We do this to unite the majority because what we discovered was that gender-based violence is a crime perpetrated by the minority but perpetuated by the silence of the majority.”
The Best Film winner in IFFM 2021 will automatically get a nomination under the Best Asian Film category at the prestigious annual Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards (AACTA).