Tag Archives: Zoya Akhtar

2020 Indian Film Festival of Melbourne goes ahead rescheduling to October 30th to November 7th

This month the festival kickstarts a brand-new virtual event, the IFFM FILM CLUB featuring some of the finest filmmakers in India, discussing their films.

The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne today announced that this year’s festival will go ahead with dates rescheduled from August to late 2020 due to the ongoing COVID -19 pandemic. IFFM 2020’s program will be devised in line with public health guidance with plans for a compact schedule taking place over a week from October 30 to November 7. 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. More details of festival highlights will be announced shortly.

An exciting new innovation to the festival this year, in response to current challenges and opportunities, is the IFFM Film Club where fans of Indian movies can enroll for a virtual master class with leading filmmakers discussing their works in detail. This exciting new event is facilitated by noted journalist Rajeev Masand. Functioning like a book club, the festival asks participants to watch a classic film, and they then have an opportunity to discuss the film at the virtual film club with the filmmaker. The virtual talks are open for registration to festival-goers and accommodate 100 early bird users.

Previously, the festival has hosted master classes with acclaimed filmmakers including Raju Hirani, Rani Mukherjee, Karan Johar, Rima Das, Zoya Akhtar, Onir, Vijay Sethupathi , Nag Ashwin , Kabir Khan, and many others. With the launch of this year’s Film Club, IFFM continues to celebrate the spirit of diversity through cinema.

IFFM Festival Director Mitu Bhowmick Lange said, “This is a uniquely intimate way for film lovers to stay engaged, entertained and educated while at home in these unprecedented times. We already have a strong line up 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.”

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley said: “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.”

In 2019 the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne celebrated its tenth anniversary. In February this year pre-COVID, IFFM hosted an event in Mumbai where Bollywood 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. Now faced with restrictions and new opportunities the IFFM the team is working hard to develop new exciting elements to the year’s festival while ensuring the safety of festival attendees.

Yaaneea Bharadwaj to make her acting debut in Zoya Akhtar’s new creation

Yaaneea Bharadwaj who has been a theatre artist and a known face for TV commercial is all set to make her acting debut in Excel Entertainments new Amazon Prime Special ‘Made In Heaven’. The show is a Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti creation and is a multi-director web-series. Yaaneea who was last seen in a TV commercial with Hrithik Roshan is definitely going to raise a lot of heartbeats with her presence and performance in the show.

Yaaneea spoke about her being roped for the role in the show, “My character is a Punjabi girl who is completely opposite to who I am in real life. But still, I felt an instant connection with the character which made me realize how much I wanted to be a part of this journey with Zoya ma’am as I’ve always adored her work. To be a part of the series and portray a character in her creation meant a lot to me.”

“My episode was directed by Prashant Nair who was extremely professional and sweet at all times. He knows how to get the best out of any actor and is a perfect example of an actor’s director. Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani’s Excel’s team also made sure I was comfortable and at my peek at all times during the shoot.”

Yaaneea added on her preparations for the show, “Although most of my dialogues were in Hindi I had to prepare myself for a Punjabi accent while speaking Hindi for which I used to converse in Punjabi with all my friends starting a 10-15 days prior to the shoot. I even gained 4kgs of weight in order to look perfect for my part as she’s a typical Punjabi girl.”

This web-series is sure a star-studded affair but Yaaneea is expected to stand out with her bubbly and innocent character. ‘Made In Heaven’ will be Zoya Akhtar’s and Excel Entertainments next venture right after their Valentines hit Gully Boy and Yaaneea is set to ablaze the audience this International Women’s Day which coincidently is Yaaneea’s birthday, with a performance to watch out for.