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Malaika Arora Khan

Malaika Arora Khan

The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2016 gala awards night

By Henry Shires

Make room Melbourne International Film Festival there’s a brand new MIFF in town. Only luckily they (the director and office of the Festival are right in our very own St Kilda) have switched the otherwise Melbourne International Indian Film Festival’s title around to make it the rather more parochial sounding Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM).

Which unfortunately does not do any justice to the huge array of globe-trotting talent who had flown in to embody the festival’s truly superstar studded Gala Awards Night.

If you have not heard of Pakistani actor of the moment Fawad Khan then you have clearly never seen a contemporary Indian film for he is the George Clooney (in his younger days), Justin Bieber (if he makes it any older) and the universally nice Bradley Cooper, all rolled into one! The very essence of the screen heart throb, teen idol and leading leading man of the day. The likes of which you would probably have to go back at least as far as Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp in their heydays to find a western equivalent for.

But this extraordinary night was not just for the teen and twenty somethings. Also present were the current elder statesman of Indian cinema Rishi Kapoor who acting dynasty stretches back 88 years of its current 130 year history. Together with his wife and creative partner of over 3 decades, Meetu Singh. If you see an Indian film without a film industry Kapoor involved in some way, these days, it is almost the exception. For instance, Rishi and Meetu’s granddaughter the unspeakably glamourous and 20’s flapper or 60’s It Girl slim Sonam Kapoor, who won Best Actress for the film Neerja. And also graced the red carpet as well as the big screen.

Ironically the audience’s firm favourite and winner of Best Film on the night was even titled KAPOOR AND SONS!

Though my personal recommendation which was also short listed for Best Film is the towering Bajirao Mastani. An epic, mythical, action adventure. Which makes Games of Thrones with its paltry allocation of only three dragons, look like a walk in the proverbial.

And, who should I find propping up the bar but the not-at-all-apparently-Indian St Kilda’s own resident star film director. The director of the hugely acclaimed recent Aussie Independent Movie, Pawno, Paul Ireland. Who was co-presenting the best Actor and Actress Awards.

Only in Melbourne can a Scottish-Australian Indie Film Director be found presenting an Indian Film award!

Rishi and Sonya Kapoor

Rishi and Sonya Kapoor

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